Top 12 Hydraulic Valves

Hydraulic valves are used in domestic or industrial applications for conveying fluids. They are used for on/off or for controlling functions. They come in various sizes, pressure ratings, materials and end fittings. The following article gives a summary of various points to be considered when buying a valve for new installation or for replacement.

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Hydraulic Valves Buying Guide

Hydraulic valves are used to control the flow of liquids in a system. They can be on/off or controlling type. Every valve will have a minimum of two connections or ports, inlet and outlet.  In some cases, there can be one inlet and two outlets or the other way round. A valve having two ports is called a 2- way valve and so on.

Types of valves

The on/off valve has two positions, 'On' & 'Off'. When the valve is 'On', it allows liquid to flow from inlet to outlet, and when it is off, it shuts down the inlet, and there will be no flow. In a Controlling type valve, in addition to 'On' or 'Off' functions, flow can be controlled. On/Off valves can be operated either manually or electrically.  Electrically operated on/off valves are typically used where automatic control of temperature is provided, say in a room heater. In domestic heating systems, Hydraulic valves are used for Hot water.

Valves replacement or installation

Valves are also used for compressed air in several domestic or industrial air operated hand tools, like drills, grinders, etc.  When buying a valve for replacement or new installation, the following points need to be considered. Like, the type of valve, which can be on/off or controlling, Ball valve, plug valve, etc., the pressure rating of the valve (maximum pressure up to which valve can be used, 150 PSI, 600 PSI etc. ) and a number of ports. Then consider the size of the valve, which is in Meters or Inch, for example, ¼" to 1 ½", 6mm to 40 mm. Check whether it is a Full bore or reduced bore. Full bore has less pumping losses.

Valve Material and End Details

The material of valve, whether Brass, Brass Chrome-plated, Zinc Alloy, Stainless steel type of ends are suitable for fitment of pipe, for example, ½" BSP (F). For fitment of a tube, for instance, ½" BSPT (M) with ferrule (Olives) and Nut. One end is apt for pipe, and the other end is right for tube fitment, for example, ½" BSP (F) X ½ BSPT (M) with ferrule and Nut. Ends suitable for flexible hose pipes are normally used for compressed air service.

On & Off Valves

In electrically operated on/off type, normally closed (NC) or normally open (NO), Operated by Motor or Solenoid, the return is normally by spring, Voltage requirement and type of current AC or DC. In some makes, a manual lever is provided for filling and draining. Some valves are available with provision to change the powerhead without draining the liquid. They can be used for inhouse or outdoor needs. In case of replacement requirement, nameplate items should be matched with the ones being purchased.