Gauge Blowout Protection with Pressure Limiting Valves

May 15, 2024
gauge blowout

Gauges are crucial in monitoring the pressure differences across various points in an industrial setup, such as filters, pumps, and heat exchangers. To protect these gauges from damage due to excessive pressure, pressure limiting valves are employed. These valves are designed to prevent the occurrence of gauge blowout by limiting the pressure that reaches the gauge, ensuring the safety and longevity of both the gauge and the overall system. Gauge blowout is not a factor to consider with differential pressure gauges but is a cause for concern with line pressure gauges.

Role of Pressure Limiting Valves

Pressure limiting valves function as a safeguard for gauges by automatically blocking or reducing the flow of pressure that exceeds a preset threshold. They are integral in systems where sudden surges in pressure can occur, potentially causing gauge failure or blowouts. The valves engage when the pressure crosses a determined set point, thereby preventing any damage by keeping the pressure within safe operating limits. This mechanism is crucial in maintaining operational stability and reliability, especially in high-pressure environments. Line pressure gauges have safety mechanisms built in so energy shoots out the back when over pressured instead of at the person. This destroys the gauge. The Model 200 can prevent this from happening.

Design and Installation Considerations

The design of pressure limiting valves involves robust materials capable of withstanding high pressure while maintaining precise control over the flow. Common materials include brass, stainless steel, and aluminum, each chosen based on the specific requirements of the application, such as compatibility with the medium and the operating environment. Installation of these valves requires strategic placement in the pipeline system to ensure they effectively manage the flow before it reaches the gauge. Proper installation ensures that the valve functions as intended without any compromise on the system’s efficiency.

Benefits and Applications

Implementing pressure limiting valves provides multiple benefits:

  • Protection Against Overpressure: By controlling unexpected spikes in pressure, these valves protect gauges from experiencing forces that could lead to mechanical failure.
  • Increased Equipment Lifespan: Reducing the likelihood of pressure-related damage extends the operational lifespan of the pressure gauges and other sensitive components.
  • Enhanced Safety: Limiting the maximum pressure in the system prevents potential safety hazards associated with gauge glass breakage and the subsequent release of process medium.
  • Compliance with Safety Standards: Many industries require installation of pressure limiting devices to comply with safety regulations, making these valves essential for legal and safety compliance.

Applications of pressure limiting valves in systems with pressure gauges span across various industries including oil and gas, water treatment, and chemical processing. These valves are particularly vital in applications where the process conditions can vary significantly, necessitating continuous monitoring and control of the pressure experienced by the gauges.


Pressure limiting valves are essential for protecting pressure gauges from damage due to unexpected pressure surges. Their role in ensuring the safety, reliability, and compliance of pressure monitoring systems cannot be overstated. Mid-West Instrument recognizes the importance of these devices and offers a range of pressure limiting valves designed to meet the specific needs of diverse industries. With over 60 years of expertise in manufacturing gauge accessories and related protective devices, Mid-West Instrument is equipped to provide high-quality solutions that enhance the safety and efficiency of industrial operations.

Need help finding the right differential pressure gauge and equipment for your business? Reach out to us today to speak with one of our experienced professionals.