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Pressure Control Valve vs Pressure Reducing Valve – What’s the Differenc

Pressure Control Valve vs Pressure Reducing Valve

When it comes to managing fluid flow, there are many types of valves available in the market. Two of the most commonly used valves are pressure control and pressure reducing valves. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, these valves have distinct differences that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between these two types of valves and help you understand which one would be best suited for your requirements.

What is Pressure Control Valve?

Pressure Control Valves are devices used to regulate the pressure of fluids and gases in a system. They help maintain proper operating pressures, keeping the pressure within a safe range for downstream equipment. They also protect against over/underpressure conditions that can arise due to system dynamics or demand changes. Pressure control valves are critical components for ensuring the safety and operation integrity of many systems.

What is Pressure Reducing Valve?

A Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) is a device designed to limit the pressure of liquid or gas in a system, usually by automatically regulating either the flow rate or upstream pressure. It is used in many industrial and household applications including boilers, pipelines, air conditioners and sprinklers. PRVs help reduce potential risks caused by excessive pressure as well as improve energy efficiency throughout a plumbing system.

Difference Between Pressure Control Valve and Pressure Reducing Valve


A pressure control or regulating valve maintains a set pressure level within a system. The valve senses the pressure upstream and modulates the fluid flow to maintain a set, predetermined pressure level. On the other hand, a pressure reducing valve is designed to reduce the upstream pressure level to a lower set pressure downstream system and maintain a steady pressure level. In simpler terms, pressure control valves regulate pressure to maintain a consistent level, while pressure reducing valves decrease the pressure to a desirable level.


Pressure control valves are often used in systems where pressure needs to be maintained to prevent excess pressure that can damage equipment or cause safety hazards. They are commonly used in industries such as oil and gas, chemical, and pharmaceuticals. Pressure reducing valves, on the other hand, are often used in systems where downstream pressure needs to be controlled. They are commonly used in water treatment plants, irrigation systems, and residential homes to regulate incoming water pressure.


There are various pressure control valves, including pressure relief valves, pressure-reducing valves, and back-pressure regulators. Pressure relief valves are designed to release pressure when it exceeds safe levels, pressure reducing valves are designed to maintain consistent pressure, and back-pressure regulators are used to regulate upstream pressure. Pressure-reducing valves, on the other hand, have two types: direct-acting and pilot-operated. Direct-acting pressure reducing valves use a spring to maintain pressure, while pilot-operated pressure reducing valves use a pilot valve to control pressure.


Pressure control valves and pressure reducing valves differ in their construction as well. Pressure control valves are designed for high-pressure applications and are typically made of heavy materials like cast iron, stainless steel, or bronze. Pressure reducing valves, on the other hand, can be made using lighter materials such as PVC, brass, or mild steel depending on the application. Additionally, pressure reducing valves often have a diaphragm or piston mechanism, while pressure control valves typically have a sliding stem mechanism.


Finally, cost is a significant factor that sets these valves apart. Pressure control valves tend to be more expensive than pressure reducing valves. Their complex design and heavy construction cost them more to manufacture and install. In contrast, pressure reducing valves are relatively less expensive, making them a more cost-effective option for many applications.


Both pressure control and pressure reducing valves are essential in managing fluid flow in various systems. Understanding the difference between these two types of valves is crucial in selecting the right type for the application, ensuring safety and efficiency. Whether you need to maintain a steady pressure upstream or control pressure downstream, there is a valve that will suit your needs. Consider factors such as function, application, type, construction, and cost when selecting the type of valve you need. By doing so, you can ensure optimal performance, reduce energy costs, and increase the lifespan of your equipment.

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