What is a breather valve and what is the use of breather valve

What is a breather valve and what is the use of breather valve

Breather Valve is a pressure relief valve and it is used as a protective device in storage tanks. Breather valves are mostly used for atmospheric and low-pressure storage tanks. Breather valves can prevent an explosion in tanks due to the increased pressure and it can also prevent the inward collapsing or implosion that can cause during the filling or emptying the storage tanks which could cause a decrease in a vacuum and lead to implosion. Breather valve doesn’t allow the vapor to go until the preset pressure is reached by the tanks. Breather valves can protect the storage tank content while the tank is in out-breathing mode. The major function of the breather valve is to protect the storage tank by controlling the in-breathing and out-breathing. And also during the increase in pressure. In order to do the, in breathing and out-breathing properly by a storage tank it needs a proper vent that matches the tank and the in-breathing and out-breathing of the tank take place during the loading and unloading operations. In-short breather, valves can protect the tanks and vessels from rupture because of overpressure or against collapse that is caused by vacuum. Storage tanks and vessels can be protected from the propagation of flames through the venting system, and this may cause an explosion. If the storage tank is carrying flammable liquid then it needs to breathe and also needs to reduce the evaporation loss.

What are the functions of the breather valve

  • It must reduce the vapor loss from the storage tanks
  • It must prevent the pressure and vacuum that exceeds the tank limit
  • It must prevent flammable conditions
  • It must protect the contents of the tank from moisture intrusion.

How to select a breather valve

The breather valve which is selected must be able to reduce the moisture that could enter the container. These valves must protect the container or the tank from excessive pressure and vacuum. So the breather valve must remain sealed except during the airlift and in extreme temperature conditions. In order to select a breather valve for a container or a tank, we should know certain factors about the container such as.

  • Maximum pressure and vacuum that the tank could withstand
  • The volume of the container
  • How quick the change in pressure can take place
  • The temperature variation that could happen during the storage
  • Relative humidity and temperature of the storage area

How to install breather valves

Breather valves must be mounted on tank roof nozzles and they must be close to the tank roof. So that we could know the pressure under the pallet is maintained under the three percent of the tank pressure. These valves are installed in the tanks so that it can reduce the vapor loss through the vent nozzle. Mostly the breather valves are provided with a nut, gasket, and washer so that it can be mounted through a hole in a flat surface. In certain cases, flange adaptors are used for non-standard drilling on tank nozzle flange and for use when tank flanges differ dimensionally for valve flanges. While mounting certain factors must be considered such as mounting hole diameter, installation torque, the thickness of the valve.

How does a breather valve work

Breather valves are used in tanks and vessels so that the tanks can be protected from pressure or vacuum conditions that are over the tank limit. These valves are able to adjust the tank pressure with the environmental pressure changes and by that, it can prevent excessive pressure differentials. The pressure and vacuum side of the valve incorporates a pallet and diaphragm assembly which rest on an O ring seal to prevent leakage. The pallet weight pushes the diaphragm weight against the seat so it can remain closed. So the pressure or vacuum increases the pallet and diaphragm lifts and the air or gas is allowed to flow.

What are the types of breather valve

Pressure or vacuum relief valve

These valves are used to prevent the overpressure or vacuum conditions in a storage tank or a vessel. It could be a single unit or two-unit, in two-unit, one is to control the vacuum and the other to control the pressure.

Pilot operated relief valve

These valves are used to protect the tank or vessels from low pressure and from the vacuum. It can decrease the need for overpressure design requirements, and this will reduce the emission.

Air operated relief valve

These valves have high efficiency and it can reduce the evaporation loss. These valves are used in places where polymerization and crystallization can take place. The content loss is very less while using this valve and remote sensing is possible too.

Emergency vent valve

These valves are very useful for emergency conditions like fire or the temperature rise due to chemical reactions. So during these conditions, the evaporation rate would be high. So normal breather valves won’t be able to handle this temperature so we use emergency vent valves as a back-up

What are the advantages of breather valve

  • It can protect the content of the tank from vaporizing so it can save cost
  • Fire hazard protection
  • The tank is protected from pressure or vacuum conditions
  • Reduces the corrosion and emission
  • It provides safety to pumping operations
  • Low maintenance

To get more info about the control valve check the following

News Reporter
post-graduate in Electronics & communication