Sixty Seconds With Summit Pump : Vol 1-17 Pressure relief valves: never throttle your safety

Pressure Relief Valves: Never Throttle your Safety?
Each of Summit Pump’s Internal Gear Pumps come standard with a pressure relief valve. These valves are designed and positioned to protect the pump by SAFETY means only; they are not meant for throttling the flow or pressure of the system.
When the system pressure is increased and the pressure relief valve is opened, possibly due from a blocked pipe or closed valve, it recirculates the fluid within the pump via the valve. Even though this avoids building pressure in the system.

Pressure flow in a relief valve
Credit: Presure flow in a relief valve by Summit Pumps

The heat generated by the moving parts of the pump has nowhere to go, except into the pump materials and the recirculating fluid. This can become problematic for a few reasons:

Blue valve leading to pump suction
Credit: Blue valve leading to pump suction by Summit Pumps

There should always be other means of pressure relief in the system. Switches and alarms should also be installed if the pressure relief valve to were ever open. Measuring flow in the discharge is a good way of doing this.
The valves are set to a standard pressure based on the pump model and size, unless otherwise specified on your purchase order.

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- The Summit Pumps Team