Reports > Pilot Valve Characteristics


ITRC Report No. R 13-002.  Charles Burt and Kyle Feist

Pressure Regulating Valve Pilot Characteristics — 2-Way vs. 3-Way Pilots

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Pressure regulation valves, with 3” – 6” diameters, are commonly found at the entrance to agricultural irrigation blocks and manifolds. These valves are typical of a “hydraulic” design, in which a chamber above a flexible disc/diaphragm is filled or emptied. As the chamber is filled or emptied, the irrigation water passes through a smaller or larger orifice, and the pressure downstream of the valve is lowered, increased, or maintained at a constant target pressure. The flow in/out of the chamber is controlled by a small “pilot valve”. The characteristics of these pilot valves are discussed here, in general terms. ITRC provides these notes based on discussions with valve representatives and upon results seen in hydraulic valve testing at ITRC laboratories.


Burt, C.M. and K. Feist  2013.  Pressure Regulating Valve Pilot Characteristics - 2-Way vs. 3-Way Pilots.  Irrigation Training & Research Center, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, USA. ITRC Report No. R 13-002. 4 pp.

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