Why Shouldn’t a Shuttle Valve Be Used as a Pressure Selector?
In this Tech Tip video, Product Manager Scott Lamb explains how shuttle valves work and why they should not be used as pressure selectors.
Video filmed at Clippard in Cincinnati, Ohio
I know—mechanically, it should work just fine. And, because of the cost of other solutions, it’s tempting to use. I get it. But you have to understand what it’s not intended to do. It is not intended to be a pressure selector, or a selector of any kind. A shuttle valve is commonly called an “or” valve. It’s intended to have one input at a time—not two inputs at the same time. So, why won’t it work?
A shuttle valve has no mechanical advantage. It must have one input on one side or an input on the other side. Yes, at some point, you get a higher pressure to overcome the lower pressure, but you do risk the poppet hanging up in the middle and allowing both pressures to enter the outlet port.
If you want a well-designed system, use a manual or a mechanical valve that is intended to select pressures and be repeatable every time.
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