What are flow control valves? A common question about a commonly used—and relied upon—product.
Simply put, flow control valves limit or regulate the flow of liquids, gases, or a mixture of both as required. For this blog topic, we will focus on valves that control fluid. In its most basic form, a flow control valve has an adjustable aperture which is opened and closed manually as necessary—opening to increase the flow and closing to decrease the flow.
There are many types of flow control valves, ranging from the simplest—i.e. those consisting of only an inner ball attached to the handle and operated manually—to those using optimized orifices that precisely limit the fluid flow automatically, either in a pressure dependent or pressure independent configuration.
Either way, these diverse, reliable valves are used in liquid systems, and can effectively limit the flow rate of water and/or any number of fluids. It’s also extremely easy to retroactively integrate them into existing systems.
Why are flow control valves needed?
In many cases when an HVAC system is put into place it will require an exact amount of constant flow in order to properly size pumps, piping and other accessories. Without proper flow control valves in place, fluctuating system pressures will deviate from design flow. The flow control valve should be the constant. All the valves in the system can be added together to help with the calculations necessary to determine what type and/or size of pump needs to be provided.
The industries and applications that rely on flow control valves are virtually limitless, from industrial HVAC systems to kitchens, bathrooms, irrigation systems, and even our different military branches. However, not all flow control valves are created equal.
The best control valves will not only do their job effectively, but will also eliminate vibration, noise, feedback, and oscillation, with a design that ensures they won’t clog and can be back flushed. If you are looking to control flow in your Hydronic system be sure to look for valves that offer these advantages.
If you have more questions about flow control valves and their applications? Contact us anytime.