Vacuum Relief Valves
Vacuum relief valves are protection devices which are typically mounted on a nozzle opening on the top of a fixed roof atmospheric storage tank.
Their primary purpose is to protect the tank against rupturing or imploding.
Without an opening or a controlled opening, a fixed roof atmospheric tank would rupture under increasing pressure caused by pumping liquid into the tank or as a result of vapor pressure changes caused by severe thermal changes. Imploding, or the collapsing of a tank, occurs during the pumping out procedure or thermal changes.
As the liquid level lowers, the vapor space pressure is reduced to below atmospheric pressure.
This vacuum condition must be controlled by allowing atmospheric air to flow into the tank. In short, the tank needs to breathe in order to eliminate the possibility of rupturing or imploding.
Because of its primary function, a pressure/vacuum valve is commonly referred to as a “breather valve.”