Are relief and safety valves the same thing?

A noisy industrial facility can lead to a lot of complications. Some are more troublesome than others. What you need to do is equip your premises with the right measures to address the sound. We are referring to our safety valve silencer products, in addition to things like acoustic guards. With them by your side, you will have a far more pleasant workspace.

If you don’t know already, there are all kinds of pressure relief products out there. People often use the terms relief valve and safety valve interchangeably for these items. It is easy to see why this is because they do a similar thing. However, if you are curious as to whether there is actually a difference between the pair, we will be discussing it here.

Technical differences

Both terms do refer to valves we use to release pressure from pressurised systems. But, the technical definitions are very different.

In general terms, a relief valve is a feature inside a pressurised system. Its purpose is to manage pressure. This works for the system’s optimal functionality. Relief valves help to maintain levels to prevent failures and safeguard our equipment from over-pressurised conditions.

As for the safety valve, the term refers to pressure valves that should protect people. They do the same for properties and processes. It is a failsafe basically, a last resort that can prevent danger. Normally, you would use these when your relief valves all fail to do their job.


In addition to technical definitions, there are differences with functionality too. Because relief valves control pressure, they open in proportion to increases. They won’t fly open completely when your systems are slightly overpressure. Instead, they will open gradually, letting the system go back to the normal level slowly.

With safety valves, they release pressure immediately during system failures and emergencies. The full, instant opening releases as much pressure as possible to prevent serious problems like explosions. Typically a safety valve will open automatically without any assistance or direction from an operator. This is to avoid any potential delay in taking action.

Talk to us if you need a safety valve silencer

After reading the information above you should be able to see that both relief and safety valve silencers are vital. However, there is a risk with using the latter. The instant opening and release of pressure can produce very loud noises if you vent to the atmosphere. This is because the system can be far above the atmospheric pressure. The noise could be a major hazard to people on and near the site. It could also harm wildlife and the environment.

With safety in mind, it is a good idea to choose a safety valve silencer. When you have one, if a valve ever needs to open to de-pressurise a system, the noise won’t be as harmful.

We would be happy to provide silencers that will work for you. Simply contact us and give us some more information about your facility and systems. We may need to arrange a site visit, but ultimately we will give you the right design solutions.