Why Do We Use Gauge Snubbers and Valves?

Pressure GaugeWhen designing a hydraulic system, it is important to consider the type(s) of monitoring components you require. While a variety of factors can be monitored including oil flow, oil pressure, oil level, oil temperature and oil cleanliness, the most common factor to consider is oil pressure. The most simple and cost-effective way to monitor oil pressure is to use a round face gauge.

Within normal hydraulic system operation, gauges can observe large fluctuations and pressure spikes. For example, every time a cylinder bottoms out, your system is shocked. Over time, this constant hammering results in a loss of gauge accuracy and eventually leads to failure. Because of the potential for inaccuracy and failures associated with these system shocks, we recommend that you either use a gauge snubber or isolate the gauge altogether when it is not being viewed for monitoring.

A gauge snubber has a small orifice that reduces the rate at which oil reaches your pressure gauge. This device dampens the spikes, resulting in less wear and tear on your gauge.

By isolating the gauge from the system when it’s not being observed, you will increase the life of your gauge immensely, as it is not continually subjected to system spikes. It will only be experiencing spikes when you are actually reading the gauge during short periods of time. To isolate the gauge from the system, install a push-to-read valve, which connects system pressure to the gauge only while the button is held. You can also employ the use of a needle valve, which is fully closed when the gauge is not read, thereby isolating the gauge from the system pressure.

Regardless of which method you choose, reducing the number of spikes that your pressure gauges endure will prolong their life and result in fewer headaches down the road.

To learn more, contact your local Kaman Fluid Power to speak with a product specialist today.

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Aaron Stewart

Account Manager at Kaman Fluid Power
With over 20 years of experience in the fluid power industry, Aaron Stewart has extensive knowledge of hydraulics, motion control, engineering, and manufacturing. He has not only designed systems based on customer specifications but also established standards to utilize best practices and maintain the highest level of quality.
Aaron Stewart
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2 thoughts on “Why Do We Use Gauge Snubbers and Valves?

  1. I didn’t realize that a gauge could be damaged by pressure spikes. Is it more cost effective to install a valve or to replace the gauge when it wears out? Will a valve isolate the gauge completely or does it just restrict the flow? Thanks for the information!

    • Hi April,
      A basic pressure gauge and isolator valve have similar component costs. However, the real cost is in machine downtime and maintenance labor.
      Because of the total cost, I prefer to use a pressure gauge and isolator valve (another added benefit is less items are going into a landfill – we have to think green).
      I suggest that the isolator valve be completely closed when not reading the gauge. This separates the gauge from system pressure and spikes.
      Most pressure gauges come equipped with an internal orifice to dampen pressure spikes.
      Hopefully this answers your questions.
      Thank you for your interest.

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