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What is an Unloader Valve?
An unloader valve is the component that allows the pump to bypass the flow of water while the gun is closed. It is a safety device designed to protect the pump in the event of over pressurization.
In essence, an unloader bypasses water in a high- pressure pump to prevent the unit from over- pressurizing!
What is the K1 Unloader?
But this article isn’t about unloaders in general, it is about the K1. So, what is it?
The K1 is a zero- pressure, 41l/min, 250 bar, unloader valve that can withstand temperatures up to 60°C. A normal unloader is flow sensitive, therefore, closing the gun opens the unloader’s bypass aperture. This allows the water to discharge at a low pressure.
The K1 is different in the sense that it maintains a constant, low pressure in the delivery & bypass lines. Thus permitting a lower pressure in both the pump & delivery line under bypass conditions. Hence line hammer when using the K1 is significantly reduced.
When Would I Use the K1?
With the K1 being a little more pricey than your typical unloader, you would only use it where necessary. The K1 makes it significantly easier to handle higher pressure units since there is less hammer when opening the gun. It also improves on safety when it comes to fixed applications.
For example, a mine using a high- pressure trailer with 100 metres of hosing would make use of the K1. In the event of the line being damaged (as a result of it being so long) the K1 would prevent any serious damage and/or injury from occurring. This is because it maintains a constant low pressure in both the delivery and bypass line.