What is a Back Pressure Valve?

A back pressure valve is a specific type of control valve that is designed to hold pressure on production vessels—such as separators, treaters, and free water knockouts—and release upstream pressure when a designated set point is reached.

How Do Back Pressure Valves Work?

The Kimray Back Pressure Valve is considered 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 the set point is exceeded, the upstream pressure pushes up on the diaphragm assembly, closing off the pilot plug. This allows gas to be vented from the top of the diaphragm and the upstream pressure to be regulated.

What Options are Available?

The Kimray Back Pressure Valve is available from 1-6″ and is available in a non-venting configuration that will help producers who need to keep emissions low as well as those operating in housed applications. This valve comes with different elastomers depending on the temperature and gas makeup. We offer stainless steel options in the wetted area of the valve, and we also offer a reduced inner valve to offer better control with the Kimray Back Pressure Valve. This valve operates in a low pressure, oz.-20 lbs (back pressure), 3 psi-125 psi, and then from 10 psi-280 psi in this configuration.

Applications for a Back Pressure Valve

  • Separators
  • Treaters
  • Gas outlet on Free Water Knockouts

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.


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