Valve Manufacturer Spotlight: Kunkle Valve

Ask anyone in the industry what brands are synonymous with high-quality safety and relief valves and you are sure to hear the name Kunkle. Kunkle Valve has long been a top manufacturer of safety and relief valves and valve products for a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, and it all began with the building of the railroad.

Kunkle Valve History

Kunkle Valve’s history dates back to about 150 years ago in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was there that machinist and inventor Erastus B. Kunkle invented the first lock-up pop safety valve. He was working on locomotives for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and at that time, overpressure in the engines could cause serious problems. Kunkle’s invention of the safety valve to release engine pressure revolutionized the industry. In 1875, Kunkle patented the invention, and the following year he and his brother-in-law entered the valve manufacturing business.


Fun Fact: Erastus B. Kunkle also invented the water gauge, the steam gauge, the gauge-cock, and the egg beater.

The Fort Wayne Safety Valve Works operated as such until four years after Kunkle’s death. In 1917, local Fort Wayne businessman Oscar A. Fox purchased the firm and renamed it Kunkle Valve Company.

In the decades following World War II, Kunkle Valve made an even bigger name for itself providing relief valves for navy ships, nuclear submarines, and other large nautical vessels. In 1991, Kunkle Valve became a part of Anderson, Greenwood & Company, which was later acquired by Tyco Flow Control. In 2012, Tyco Flow Control merged with Pentair Inc. to form Pentair Ltd., which today provides industrial valves, pumps, and other water and fluid solutions on a global scale.

Kunkle Valve Today

Kunkle Valve continues to be a leading brand in the manufacture of safety and relief valves and valve products. Kunkle products are available for ASME Sections I, IV, and VIII services, and most Kunkle valves have their relief capacity certified by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Kunkle safety and pressure relief valves are set and tested in accordance with the API 527 standard for seat tightness of pressure relief valves as well as Kunkle Factory seat tightness standards for air/gas, steam, and liquid service. The company also offers non-code products, which are set and tested to the customer’s specifications. Refer to the Kunkle Safety and Relief Products Technical Reference for more information.

Kunkle safety and relief valve products come in a range of sizes and materials, suitable for use in a variety of services. Explore Allied’s full line of Kunkle Valve products.

Learn more about E.B. Kunkle and Kunkle Valve history from the Indiana Historical Society.

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