What is a Treater Valve?

Otreater valve

A treater valve is a mechanical on/off valve designed to hold liquid level. Oil and gas production vessels use a treater valve. Examples of these include: heater treaters, free water knockouts, and saltwater disposal systems.

How Do Treater Valves Work?

The treater valve actuates based on the hydrostatic pressure generated from a column of liquid in the discharge piping from a vessel. Furthermore, the height of water column can be field adjusted by moving the weight on the arm in or out.

The inlet of the valve connects to the water siphon leg or oil discharge line of a heater treater or free water knockout. Vessel Gas Pressure (in red below) communicates to the Upper Housing. This then balances the Gas Pressure (in green below) under the Main Diaphragm.

The effective area of the Balancing Diaphragm is also the same as the effective area of the Seat. Pressure or vacuum acting on either side of the Balancing Diaphragm will cancel the pressure or vacuum acting on the Seat. This balancing feature prevents the valve from slamming open and closed, which is prevalent in unbalanced single seat construction.

treater valve

The Vessel Gas Pressure (Red) inside the Upper Housing acts upwardly on the Balancing Diaphragm to cancel the downward pressure on the Seat. Downstream Pressure (Blue) acting on the Seat communicates to the top side of the Balancing Diaphragm. This cancels any downstream pressure or vacuum effect on the valve operation.

A weight and lever through a rotary Teflon-packed stuffing box to a Pivot Stem is the force that holds the seat close. The Pivot Stem pushes down on the Diaphragm Assembly. When the liquid rises in the discharge piping of the vessel above the set level, it lifts the Diaphragm Assembly against the Weight load to open the valve. As liquid discharges to lower the level, the Weight closes the valve.

What Options are Available?

Adjusting liquid level up to approximately four feet can be done by moving one weight on the lever arm. Additionally, for higher liquid levels add weights.

In the video below, Kimray Applications Technician Kyle Andrews demonstrates the range and various levels of liquid head the treater valve will hold depending on the amount and location of weights on the arm.

Applications for a Treater Valve

  • Treaters
  • Free Water Knockouts
  • Saltwater Disposal

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Mike Fick serves as a Product Manager at Kimray, and is responsible for Kimray’s line of liquid level control products and low pressure control valves. He collaborates with Kimray’s engineering, manufacturing, and quality teams to optimize the performance of our products and make a difference for our customers.