Selecting the right valve in plumbing

Valves act to stop and regulate the flow of water in a variety of applications, and each type of valve has pros and cons for different applications. Most valves in the pipe system are part of the water supply system and used to control the flow of pressurized water from water utilities or private wells. Depending on the design of the valve, they may be most suitable for a simple ON-OFF control of the flow of water, or they can be designed not to adjust the volume of water flow. Most valves are available in a variety of materials, including bronze, brass, plastic and PVC. Be sure to choose the right material with the type of pipe used in the pipe system.

Gate valve

This type of valve is one of the most common found in plumbing. They control flow by lifting or closing an inside gate via a handle or button sitting at the top. Gate valves are no good for adjusting volume – they should only be used for applications that require a fully open flow or fully closed to stop flow completely. They are reliable valves that can shut off the water supply, and they are typically used as the shutoff valve on the main supply lines and branch water, although the ball valve is gradually becoming more popular in this application.

Image credit

Because the internal metal parts to corrode, it is not uncommon for gate valves to get stuck in the ON position or OFF. They are most often used in applications where water must be shut off only rarely. For Industrial Valves, visit a site like

The ball valve

Ball valves are probably the most dependable types of valves and are used for water shutoffs on main and branch lines. Such as gate valve, this valve is designed to be a purely ON/OFF device-they must either be completely open or completely shut to stop all flow. Inside, the valves have a ball with a hole in the middle, which is connected to a lever handle outside. As the handle becomes parallel to the supply pipe, the valve opens; when upright, the valve closes. This handrail serves as a useful visual aid so you know at a glance whether the water is ON or OFF.

Butterfly valve

On the outside, this valve looks a lot like a ball valve as it has a similar lever handle that opens and shuts the valve. Inside, the valve features a rotating metal disc to regulate the flow of water. Because water flows around the disc, which is at the middle of the valve, the water flow is reduced slightly, even when the valve is fully open. Unlike ball valves, which are intended as an ON-OFF valve, a butterfly valve can adjust the volume of the flow. One important drawback of this type of valve is the wear that can occur after several years.

Butterfly valves are mainly used in industrial applications and are not commonly found in household plumbing systems

Image credit

Pressure-Reducing Valve

This valve is installed to reduce overall water pressure in the system to a desired or acceptable limit. They usually have a spring and diaphragm and can be adapted to a certain extent, depending on the water supply pressure. They are no good for opening or closing the water flow, but to lower the overall pressure and are commonly found in homes that have water from their supplier at too high a pressure, with that pressure sometimes being enough to damage residential plumbing systems and appliances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.