Double Block and Bleed Valve (DBB): Introduction, Working, Benefits, Applications (With PDF)

Double Block and Bleed Valve is a single assembly of two inline block valves and one bleed valve. The task of three separate valves is performed by this assembly while saving huge space, installation and maintenance time, weight, and cost. The main aim to use a double block and bleed valve system is to ensure that the fluid from upstream and downstream do not reach other components of the system. So, engineers can easily bleed off or drain the remaining fluid from the intermediate section and execute maintenance, repair, or replacement work. In a double block and bleed system, isolation is achieved both from upstream and downstream flow or pressure. The bleed valve is used to drain the cavity created between two block valves.

An NPS 3/4-inch or 1-inch bleed valve is installed between two block valves for venting or draining as shown in Fig. 1.

Schematic of Double block and Bleed valve
Fig. 1: Schematic of Double block and Bleed valve

Working of a Double Block and Bleed Valve

Two block valves provide isolation from the upstream and downstream flows. A set of gate, ball, needle, or globe valves is normally used as the block valves that are placed back to back. In the center cavity of the two-block valves, a third valve known as the bleed valve is positioned.

Typical Double Block and Bleed valve
Fig. 2: Typical Double Block and Bleed valve

The same double block and bleed arrangement can be obtained using three separate valves. But the single unit double block and bleed valve saves huge space, weight, installation time, and cost. Also, from the operation and maintenance viewpoint, single-unit double block and bleed valves are better as potential leak paths are significantly reduced in a single unit. Pressure drop is also minimized.

The main function of the bleed valve is

  • to drain/vent the cavity created between two isolation valves.
  • flow diversion
  • sampling and injection point connection
  • integrity or maintenance check connection to monitor leakage

Bleed valves can be vented to the atmosphere directly or a hose connection/piping system can be used for a closed disposal system.

Codes and Standards for Double Block and Bleed valves

Double Block and Bleed Valves or a DBBVs are designed and manufactured based on any of the governing codes

  • API 6D
  • API 607
  • API 6FA
  • BS6755-Part 2
  • ASME B16.34
  • EEMUA 182
  • API 598
  • BS EN ISO 17292
  • ISO 14313

Benefits of Double Block and Bleed Valve

The advantages of double block and bleed valve can be summarised as follows:

  • Compact design
  • Provides sealing against pressure from both the upstream and downstream ends of the valve.
  • The capability of venting the cavity in between the block valves.
  • Around 60% savings in weight and 70% savings in installation time.
  • High reduction of leak paths, ensuring low probability of hazard. Improved safety in operation.
  • Great savings in space as compared to a conventional arrangement using separate valves.
  • Can be used as chemical injections and sample points.
  • Prevent product contamination.
  • Remove equipment from service for cleaning or repair
  • Reduced Stresses from load and vibration
  • Uninterrupted flow for negligible pressure drop

Applications of Double Block and Bleed Valve

Double Block and Bleed Valve or DBB is widely used in systems requiring critical isolation. The major uses of DBB Valve include

  • Oil & Gas, Chemical, and Petrochemical industries.
  • LNG and Natural Gas industrial processes.
  • Isolate instrumentation such as level gauges, pressure indicators, etc.
  • Liquid pipelines and manifolds.
  • Prevent product contamination.
  • Transmission and storage, refined products transmission lines.
  • Meter Calibration.
  • Chemical injection and sampling.
  • Liquid service near waterways or municipalities.
  • Instrument drain connections.
  • Remove equipment from service for repair or cleaning.

Factors affecting Double block and Bleed Valve (DBB) Selection

The parameters that affect the selection of a double block and bleed valve are

  • Process Media and Application
  • Temperature and Pressure
  • Toxicity and Operating Environment
  • The material of Valve Parts

Depending on requirement various types of DBB Valve configuration is available in the market. In general, three types of double block and bleed valves are available; Single unit DBB, Cartridge Type Standard Length DBB, and Three Piece Non-Standard Length DBB.


Double isolation and bleed valve or DIB is a single valve with two seating surfaces. In a closed position, each of these seating surfaces provides a positive seal against pressure from a single source. There is a means of draining/venting from the cavity between seating surfaces. So, DIB looks almost similar to DBB and is quite confusing among many. The main differences between DBB and DIB valves are listed below:

Double Block and Bleed Valve (DBB)Double Isolation and bleed valve (DIB)
A DBB Valve provides sealing against pressures from both sides of the valve.A DIB provides an additional sealing against pressure from one side of the valve.
A DBB Valve has two unidirectional self-relieving seats which are independent of outside mechanisms for pressure relieving.A DIB uses one or two bi-directional seats which are not self-relieving requiring an external pressure-relieving mechanism.
In a DBB, if the first seal leaks, the second will not provide sealing in the same direction.DIB provides an additional pressure barrier from the main pressure barrier.
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Anup Kumar Dey

I am a Mechanical Engineer turned into a Piping Engineer. Currently, I work in a reputed MNC as a Senior Piping Stress Engineer. I am very much passionate about blogging and always tried to do unique things. This website is my first venture into the world of blogging with the aim of connecting with other piping engineers around the world.

One thought on “Double Block and Bleed Valve (DBB): Introduction, Working, Benefits, Applications (With PDF)

  1. Hi, Anup .

    It is good initiative , that you open this blog. Iwould like to understand, from your many experienced of hands on experienced, how do differentiate the lethal service and toxicity service.? May i know what is the criteria for one to conlclude whether this liquid is lethal / toxic. Hope you can enlighten me.

    thank you

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