What are Automatic Recirculation Valves?

centrifugal pump with ARV serviced by industrial automated valve repair
Prevent damage to centrifugal pumps with reliable ARVs maintained by industrial automated valve repair.

Centrifugal pumps are highly used in many industrial processes, particularly within the oil and gas industry. Their ability to handle low-viscosity fluids at high flow rates makes them ideal for tasks like crude oil transfer. They can even be combined with other pumps to create powerful multistage units for large-scale oil delivery. 

However, a common danger to these pumps is running them without proper flow, leading to costly damage. Automatic Recirculation Valves (ARVs) act as safeguards for these pumps. They ensure it has sufficient flow to operate safely and continuously.

We provide expert industrial automated valve repair for both standard and specialty valves. Contact Southern Valve Service today for a free repair quote and get your critical equipment back in operation.

How an Automatic Recirculation Valve Works

An ARV is a compact valve that connects directly to a centrifugal pump’s discharge line. It simplifies traditional bypass systems by combining multiple functions into a single unit. This translates to space savings and simplified installation within piping systems. Additionally, their self-contained, mechanical operation can eliminate the need for external power or complex control systems, reducing both installation and maintenance costs.

An ARV typically includes:

  • A check valve that prevents flow reversal and dampens pressure fluctuations.
  • A flow-sensing bypass valve that automatically diverts excess fluid back to the pump when needed, eliminating the need for external controls or power. When flow drops below the safe minimum, a spring-loaded disc or piston opens a bypass route.
  • A pressure letdown unit that regulates pressure within the bypass loop. This bypass allows a portion of the pumped fluid to recirculate back to the pump’s inlet or a reservoir, ensuring the pump always has enough flow to operate safely.

By integrating these functions, ARVs offer a compact and efficient solution for protecting centrifugal pumps.

ARVs Prevent Damage and Downtime to Oil & Gas Operations

Centrifugal pumps in the oil and gas industry face a unique set of challenges, which is why reliable and functional ARVs are essential for warding off potential damage.

  • Overheating: Pumps handling crude oil or viscous fluids can overheat quickly if flow drops too low, leading to damage and costly downtime. ARVs prevent this by ensuring the pump always has enough flow, even during process fluctuations.
  • Cavitation: Sudden pressure drops within a pump can cause gas bubbles to form and violently implode (cavitation). ARVs maintain a steady flow, minimizing the risk of these damaging events.
  • Vibration: Insufficient flow can cause excessive vibration, damaging seals, bearings, and other critical pump components. ARVs help maintain the flow stability needed for smooth, longer-lasting pump operation.

Experienced Industrial Automated Valve Repair

By preventing damage to centrifugal pumps caused by insufficient flow, ARVs minimize costly downtime and protect valuable equipment. If you have automated valves in need of expert repair, contact Southern Valve Service for a free service quote. Our experienced technicians can provide the reliable, cost-effective valve repair solutions you need.