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Air Piloted Valves for Dummies

May 23, 2014 | written by twg

When you hear ‘Air Piloted Valves,’ the first thing that should come to mind is one simple word: control. Essentially, the force output of an air pilot valve is significantly more impactful and more powerful than that produced in electrical solenoids or actuators. That makes the Air Pilot the perfect choice for remote and miniature applications where you have to make sure you’re getting more airflow and or less power.

Pilot valves are fairly simple beasts. The valve itself is more or less designed to act as an automatic on or off switch, except the switch is air. When the valve is in the ‘on position,’ it lets air flow from it’s origin to it’s destination by allowing air flow. When the switch is ‘off’, the valve stops the flow of air through a given system and releases the pressure that builds up in the line to the device.


Air pilot valves – specifically – differ a little bit from their Pilot Valve ancestors. Tank air pressure acts up at the bottom and when the pressure gets to a point where it’s enough to overcome the force holding the valve down in the lower seat, it lifts off and allows air to distribute itself throughout the valve and through a side opening in the Pilot Valve. Both the upper and lower seats work together to help regulate the pressure within the valve.

Air Pilot Valves are popular – large in part because they can be adjusted well after factory production. While the spring is installed when the valve is being manufactured, users can adjust the spring between the two seats to cater to varying degrees of pressure any time they want – making it an attractive piece to users – especially those with relatively complex applications.