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Why Are Valves Important?

Why Are Valves Important?

Most people probably don’t realize just how ubiquitous and indispensable valves are. Do you know how many valves you use every day? And how important they are for our everyday life? Probably not, since we usually take them for granted, except when they malfunction. And when they do, we want those valves repaired fast. Luckily, valve repair in San Diego is largely an easy task.

There is a fascinating story behind valves, and here’s a summary.

The basic concept of a valve

A valve is a fitting that regulates the flow of a fluid (be it gas or liquid) through a passageway. It does so by blocking, partially obstructing, or opening the passage. Their name comes from Latin, meaning to turn (fun fact, the automotive company VOLVO gets its name from the same Latin verb). The simplest form of a valve is the so-called check valve. It is also a very ancient design. It consists of a flap, hinged on one side, free on the other. What it does is it stops the flow of the fluid in one direction, while allowing it in the opposite direction.

Natural valves

We may think ourselves geniuses for designing and making valves. And sure, they are incredibly useful. But nature has us beat there. In fact, our cardiovascular system is dependent on one-way valves to control the direction of blood circulation.

Commonly used valves

As I said before, we probably don’t even know how many valves we use daily. In the western world, our homes are full of them. Every time you turn the faucet, you’ve used a simple gate valve; the gas stove uses a ball valve. Your car uses poppet valves to measure and time the gas and air needed in the pistons of the engine. You can bet that any machine we use with either gas of liquids has some kind of valve in it. During a hot summer, our minds turn to our AC units. They contain a specific valve called thermal expansion valve. These valves control the amount of coolant which goes into the condenser of the AC unit. And the list goes on and on.

Materials/sizes/operation methods

We can discuss valves in terms of materials. They are usually made of metal, as they need to be durable, but they can be made of plastic or rubber if they are disposable. Again, in terms of size, they are usually on the smaller scale, ranging from 0.1 mm to about 60cm. There are, however, specialized valves that can vastly outsize that. Think about those huge gas line pipes. The valves controlling the flow in them are massive.

Finally, we can divide the valves according to the actuation method. You can have hydraulic, pneumatic, manual, motor or electronic valves. It all depends on what force activates the change in the valve’s position. With hydraulic valves, it is water, pneumatic ones use air. Manual valves require direct human intervention, either by turning a leaver, flipping a switch, or any other method. The last two use external forces produces by a motor and electric current respectively.

Here at PCE, we are familiar with all kinds of valves and their importance to our technology. If you need any kind of valve repair in San Diego County, call the seasoned experts at PCE.
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1620 Rigel Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 233-5096 
Diesel & Motor Division
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San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 687-0038 
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