Are Manual Air Valves Suitable for Your Application?

Knowing how manual valves work and the benefits they provide for various industrial and clinical applications can help you determine which type suits your operational requirements.

What are Manual Air Valves?

A manual air valve, also referred to as a manual pneumatic valve, is controlled by an operator – typically using a lever, pedal or push button – to regulate the flow and pressure of compressed air to connected components in pneumatic systems.

While many pneumatic systems feature automated processes, it’s sometimes necessary for a human operator to directly control air flow and pressure. Manual pneumatic valves allow the human operator to reduce the pressure, completely choke the flow or open it at the right moment.

How are Manual Valves Used in Automated Pneumatic Systems?

Manual air valves work on an action-response principle, initiated by the operator. The action is to press a button, actuate a pedal or pull a lever. The response, which differs depending on the type of valve used, can be a pressure increase or decrease, a diversion, a release or a cut-off.

Some manual valves can be used in simple throttle applications. They’re best for operations in which the medium flows straight through the valve body and isn’t affected by pressure changes.

Benefits of Using Manual Valves

Some pneumatic systems aren’t designed for complex valves, making manual valves the perfect solution for simple flow control operations.

Manual valves are durable, reliable and provide backup functionality in the event of an automated system failure.

Humphrey Products Manual Valves

Humphrey Products offers a variety of 2-, 3- and 4-way manual valves that provide excellent performance in industrial applications. Many of our manual valves are available in miniature, lighter-duty models to suit your unique specifications.

Lever Operated: This type of manual valve features a heavy-duty lever that’s easy to operate with fingers, thumbs or knees – ideal for reducing operator fatigue.

Detented Lever Operated: This type of manual valve features a toggle handle or switch that “catches” to remain in its actuated position until it’s adjusted by an operator. High-flow poppet construction ensures a bubble-tight seal and reliable shifting, even in harsh conditions.

Foot Operated: Foot-operated manual valves have a pedal that allows the operator hands-free control. They’re specifically designed to prevent sticking in harsh environments.

Push Operated: These manual valves have a push button with a spring-operated mechanism to open and close a valve or change the direction of flow. With a compact design, these push button manual valves are ideal for high-production workstations.

Talk with our application and engineering staff to find the right manual valve for your job. Call 800-477-8707 or complete or technical service form for assistance.