SAFETY RELIEF VALVES - Safety relief valves are automatic valves used on system lines and equipment to prevent over pressurization. Most relief valves simply lift (open) at a preset pressure and reset (shut) when the pressure drops only slightly below the lifting pressure. Figure shows a relief valve of this type. System pressure simply acts under the valve disk at the inlet of the valve. When system pressure exceeds the force exerted by the valve spring, the valve disk lifts off its seat, allowing some of the system fluid to escape through the valve outlet until system pressure is reduced to just below the relief set point of the valve. The spring then reseats the valve. An operating lever is provided to allow manual cycling of the relief valve or to gag it open for certain tests. Virtually all relief valves are provided with some type of device to allow manual cycling.
Other types of relief valves are the high-pressure air safety relief valve and the bleed air surge relief valve. Both of these types of valves are designed to open completely at a specified lift pressure and to remain open until a specific reset pressure is reached-at which time they shut. Many different designs of these valves are used, but the same result is achieved.