What is a Back Pressure Valve?

A back pressure valve is a type of control valve that holds pressure on production vessels such as separators, treaters, and free water knockouts and releases upstream pressure when a designated set point is reached.

How Do Back Pressure Valves Work?

The Kimray Back Pressure Regulator is an “integrated” valve because the pilot—the key to opening and closing the valve—is connected to the valve and comes out as one piece.

The valve monitors upstream pressure. To adjust the set point, turn the adjustment bolt on top.

The spring pushes down on the diaphragm assembly, which positions the pilot plug. The pilot plug then allows gas from upstream to push down on the diaphragm.

The flow through this valve is from underneath the plunger. The flow pushes up on the plunger as the gas is pushing down on the diaphragm.

Because the diaphragm has a larger surface area than the plunger, the same pressure can hold the valve in a closed position.

This sets a constant back pressure and the valve will begin regulating the pressure.

If pressure exceeds the set point, the upstream pressure pushes up on the diaphragm assembly, closing off the pilot plug. Gas will then vent from the top of the diaphragm and the upstream pressure will be regulated.

What Options are Available?

  • 1/6″
  • non-vent
  • elastomer options
  • stainless steel valve trim

Applications for the Back Pressure Valve

  • Separators
  • Treaters
  • Gas outlet on Free Water Knockouts

Do you have more questions? Fill out the form below to get in contact with our team.


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Breck Swigart serves as a Product Manager at Kimray, and is responsible for Kimray’s line of pneumatic valves, pneumatic pilots, regulators and temperature controllers. He collaborates with Kimray’s engineering, manufacturing, and quality teams to optimize the performance of our products and make a difference for our customers.