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The boiler pressure relief valve (PRV) is a safety valve designed to relieve an excessive build-up of pressure inside the boiler. The is a pressure vessel designed to handle a safe amount of pressure. If the pressure were to build up beyond the safety limitations as set forth by the design specifications the boiler system needs a safe way to vent the pressure to prevent an explosion. Furthermore, the boiler PRV is a safe way to vent excessive dangerous pressures inside the boiler.
Boiler Pressure Relief Valve
This PRV is piped into a nipple on the side of a Burnham boiler. The relief valve is piped to a drain so if the PRV were to vent it would vent all the hot water to a safe place. A place away from people or electrical circuits. As part of a boiler preventive maintenance plan, these valves should be checked for seeping or dripping. Any safety relief valve found dripping or seeping should be replaced. Consequently, most residential and light commercial hot water boilers have safety relief valves that will vent at 30 psi.
In the old days, some boilers did not have any pressure relief valves installed on the boiler. It was not uncommon for the system to build up the pressure and an explosion occurs. Typically, this would send the boiler through the roof of the house. Insurance companies got tired of paying the cost associated with these explosions. Therefore they decided to implement safety requirements as recommended by industry professionals and engineers.
Professionals involved in boiler safety issues. As these changes were made some of these requirements were added to the mechanical and boiler codes. Codes for various states and municipalities.
Code and Conclusion
Therefore, it is now in the mechanical code that a boiler is required to have a safety pressure relief valve. A PRV to prevent too much pressure from building up in the pressure vessel whether it is steam or hot water. Lastly, make sure your boiler pressure relief valve is in proper order. If your PRV is venting you could have a boiler pressure problem.
Boiler Pressure Relief Valve – Boiler Safety