What is a Back Pressure Valve?

How to Define a Back Pressure Valve

A back pressure valve is a specific type of control valve that is designed to hold pressure on pressurized 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. The adjustment bolt on top is the set point you screw down on the spring. The spring pushes down on the diaphragm assembly, which positions the three-way valve . The three-way valve 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. A constant back pressure then is set.

If the set point is exceeded, the upstream pressure pushes up on the diaphragm assembly, closing off the three-way valve and allowing gas to be vented from the top of the diaphragm and allowing the upstream pressure to be vented.

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 lbs-125 lbs, and then from 10 lbs-280 lbs in this configuration.


  • Separators
  • Treaters
  • Gas outlet on Free Water Knockouts