What Is a Gas Control Valve, and What Is Its Purpose?


Quick Answer

A gas control valve is a safety device that is installed on any gas appliance, such as a water heater. The main purpose of a gas control valve is to regulate pressure and the amount of gas flowing through the unit without allowing any gas leaks.

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Full Answer

Gas control valves are mostly found on heating systems and stoves that use gas. In the U.S., the most common gas appliance is the water heater, as of 2015. A gas control valve on a water heater controls the pilot light and water temperature.

A gas control valve also has a safety limit that cuts off the gas supply when the gas being heated reaches a certain temperature. This prevents potentially deadly gas from accumulating in the unit and escaping to the environment. A gas control valve also regulates the level of pressurization inside the device. Pressure is important for the efficient working of any gas appliance, but if pressure levels are too high, a device can explode.

For optimal performance, a gas control valve should be inspected and maintained regularly. If gas is leaking, the system should be tested, and the cause of the leaking identified and fixed. A malfunctioning control valve cannot be repaired and must be replaced.

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