The Functions of a Pressure Reducing Valve

by Steve Smith; Updated September 26, 2017

What Pressure Reducing Valves Do

A pressure reducing valve is installed in a pipe system that connects to a storage tank or reservoir of liquid or gas. Whether it is a home, fuel tank or any other system, the pressure reducing valve is in place to relive the pressure that naturally builds up inside that system. Pressure valves manage the pressure in the system using a spring actuated valve system connected to a diaphragm. The diaphragm acts to slow down the flow of liquid in the system and maintain a preset pressure throughout.

Home Water

Water pressure reducing valves are often installed on home water systems. Their function is to sow down water flow. This helps to ensure that less water is used by homeowners. Some water systems naturally operate at a very high pressure in order to move water long distances. The high pressure must be reduced for use in the home. If water were to flow at this high pressure, straight from the water system, enormous amounts of water would be wasted each and every day.

Water Heating Systems

Pressure reducing valves called "Feed Valves" are installed on hot water heating systems in homes and businesses. These pressure reducing valves are used to maintain a steady level of pressure throughout the system. Since the water must travel up to reach the top floors of a building, an immense amount of pressure is required in the main pipe lines. However, this pressure is too much for the lower floors. Pressure reducing valves in this case, function to reduce pressure from main lines to the lower floors of the building. The resulting function is that pressure can be very high in the main systems, and water can reach the higher floors.

About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.