A Quick and Simple Guide to Air Release Valves

air release valve

In piping systems, air release valves play a crucial role in removing air and preventing system damage. These valves facilitate the release of air during pipe filling, introduce air during pipe emptying, and release air under pressure to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the system.


This guide will provide an in-depth exploration of air release valves, covering their functions, different types, advantages, and disadvantages. Additionally, it will provide useful tips for proper selection, installation, and maintenance.


Av-Tek’s valves are manufactured with high-quality materials that guarantee years of reliable service. We’re committed to providing excellent products and services that help you create outstanding solutions for your projects and meet individual needs. 


To learn more about our range of top-quality valves, check out our product catalog.


How Air Release Valves Work


Air and gas pockets can accumulate in piping systems for reasons such as the temperature of the fluid, the geometry of the pipes, and the pumping rate. The accumulation of air pockets in pipes can lead to problems like reduced flow rates, water hammer, and even system failure.


Air release valves are designed to prevent such problems by automatically releasing air and gas pockets from the pipeline. When air enters the valve, it rises to the top, and its pressure opens the valve’s mechanism, allowing the air to escape. The valve will then close once all the air has been released.


Av-Tek’s Air Release Valves


Here’s a list of the air release valves that we offer at Av-Tek Valves, including the key features, advantages, and applications of each valve. Whether you’re looking for a valve for your water and sewage system, wastewater treatment plant, or any other application, we have the right air release valve for your needs.


Poly Air Valves


Our Poly Air Valves are designed with a polyamide (PA) body that is reinforced with fiberglass and are available in 1 lb and 2 lb options. These fully automatic triple-function valves are compact and efficient, with a float made from polypropylene foam and O-Rings made from NSF 61-certified EPDM rubber. The rolling gasket seal is made from potable water-approved silicone rubber.



Polyamide fiberglass air valves are commonly used in distribution lines, pump stations, high points in the line, and before pressure-reducing valves (PRVs) and flow metering devices.


Ductile Iron Air Valves


As with all air release valves, our Ductile Iron Air Valves serve three primary tasks: 


  • exhaust air out of the pipeline when the pipe is filling with water
  • permit air back into the system when the pipe is draining or being dewatered
  • let air out when the pipeline is under pressure


Av-Tek’s 5300 series air valves are designed to keep the air out of the pipeline according to the specific application. Our standard air valves can seal anywhere between 20-30 psi, from when you introduce water into the pipe until you hit that pressure to seal the valve.


What sets this product apart is its innovative design, which includes a draining system to avoid wastewater from entering your system. With a drain port cast into the exhaust vent, you can easily attach a drain line with an isolation valve or check valve.


Wastewater Air Valves


Our 5500-02 Wastewater Air Valves are specifically designed for use in challenging applications where standard air valves cannot be used due to the risk of clogging and damaging internal components. 


These valves are ideal for use in sewage main transmission lines, treatment plants, and irrigation systems that involve solids and debris in suspension. We offer two body options: ductile iron or stainless steel bodies, ensuring the valve can handle a variety of harsh environments. 

Wastewater air valves play a critical role in ensuring the proper operation of sewage lines, allowing the entrance of a large volume of air in case of a pipe burst or draining, the release of air pockets during working conditions, and the discharge of air during pipe filling. The valve is made with a stainless steel float that is guided by four ribs, which eliminates many of the failure risks of these valves.


The design of our wastewater air valves features a strongly sloped funnel shape to avoid grease deposits and other materials. Maintenance is easy and can be performed from the top without removing the air valve from the pipe. 


Maintenance of Air Release Valves


Proper maintenance not only extends the lifespan of air release valves but also helps to prevent damage to other components in the system. Here are some guidelines for maintaining air release valves:


  • Regular inspection: Air release valves should be inspected regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This includes checking the body of the valve for cracks, the float for any signs of deformation, and the sealing components for any damage.
  • Cleaning: Dirt and debris can accumulate in the valve, leading to reduced efficiency and performance. Cleaning the valve periodically is essential to prevent this. It is recommended to use a mild detergent and a soft brush to clean the valve.
  • Lubrication: Air release valves require lubrication to ensure smooth operation. Lubrication should be done periodically using a lubricant that is compatible with the materials used in the valve.
  • Repair or replacement: If a valve is found to be damaged beyond repair or is not functioning correctly, it should be replaced or repaired immediately to prevent damage to the system.
  • Regular testing: Air release valves should be tested regularly to ensure they are working correctly. This includes testing the valve’s automatic or manual release function, checking the valve’s ability to release air under pressure, and checking the valve’s ability to seal when the pressure reaches the specified limit.


Av-Tek Valves: Your Reliable Partner for Air Release Valves


Air release valves play a crucial role in ensuring the efficient operation of piping systems by regulating the flow of air and preventing potential damage. When selecting an air valve, it is essential to consider the specific requirements of the application to ensure optimal performance.


If you need assistance in selecting the right air release valve or need help with installation or maintenance, our team of experts is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our products and services and how we can help you keep your piping system in top working condition.

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