Even though there are many types of valves, they can be used in similar applications. Take a look at residential plumbing for example. You can use your preferred type of valve for regulating the flow of water; however, each has a different design and manner of controlling the water flow. Thus, each has its pros and cons.
Let’s make a list of different types of valves and how they can be applicable to your household’s plumbing system.
1. Globe Valve
Globe valves are used to throttle or control the water flow in plumbing operations. They are known to have a bulgy valve figure, a shape that is unique and not found on other types. Another thing that you will notice is that the handle on globe valves is usually a twist knob.
Generally, globe valves are applied when the water flow requires regular management. The internal design has a stopper on the end of a valve stem, which is lowered and raised through the valve’s twist knob. When the stem pushes the stopper against the inner valve seat, the flow of water is blocked entirely. The stem can be incrementally reared away from the seat to regulate the volume of water flowing through the valve.
Since globe valves are good for controlling water flow, they are often used for outdoor faucets and other similar utility faucets.
2. Gate Valve
Gate valves are one of the most commonly used valves in residential plumbing. They regulate the water flow by lowering or raising an internal gate through the use of a twist-type knob situated at the top of the valve.
Gate valves are not recommended to be used in regulating water flow because they are merely designed to be opened and closed entirely. If gate valves are coercively used for adjusting water flow, they can be worn out. Also, since internal parts may develop corrosion, these valves may get stuck in an on and off position – to avoid this, better check them regularly.
Because gate valves are reliable for applications where the water requires an efficient stopper, they are commonly used as shutoff valves on main water supply lines.
3. Ball Valve
Ball valves are possibly the most dependable type of valves. Just like gate valves, they are designed as either fully open or closed valves.
Internally, these ball valves have a rotating sphere that has a hole in it. The hole in the ball is in line with the pipe when it is in the open position. On the contrary, the hole in the sphere is perpendicular to the pipe in closed mode. Note that the lever handle not only operates the ball valve, it also serves as an indicator whether the valve is open or closed.
Ball valves function similarly to gate valves, however, they are starting to get popular and replace gate valves since they are usually used for main water shutoffs and branch line shutoffs nowadays.
4. Butterfly Valve
Butterfly valves may resemble ball valves externally since both have a lever-type handle that switches the valve in a shut and open mode. However, the inner parts are far different from each other.
Internally, butterfly valves have a metal disk that rotates to control the water flow. Since the water flows around the disk, which is the center part of the valve, the flow of water is somewhat reduced –even if the valve is fully open. A high-pressure butterfly valve can be used for precise adjustment of water flow, unlike the ball valve that is intended for on-off purposes.
It is rare to see butterfly valves in household plumbing, but they are commonly used for industrial plumbing applications.
5. Check Valve
Check valves are found in many households. These valves are used to ensure that water flow is permitted in one direction only, regardless of any reverse flow or drop in pressure.
These valves work by using a pressure-controlled disk that permits water flow in one direction. When pressure from the incoming water is applied on the disk, it opens up and water flows through, then the disk returns to the seal. In the event of backflow, the possibly contaminated water is halted by the seal. Hence, the water cannot force to open the disk to prevent it from returning to the drain.
Check valves are found in several households’ waterlines, like in outdoor faucets and lawn sprinkler systems. Also, they are found on electrical well pumps.
6. Fixture Shutoff Valve
Often called as stop valves, fixture shutoff valves are a small regulating tool with twist knobs, used to control the flow of water into plumbing fixtures. They resemble small gate valves.
Some fixture shutoffs use a simple compression washer that opens and closes against the valve seat operated by the handle. While others use a diaphragm style where the valve stem controls a flexible diaphragm that pushes down against the seat opening to block the water flow.
Fixture shutoff valves can be seen in toilets and faucets sinks.
The valves you are using to your household plumbing must be requirement compatible. Weigh out the pros and cons, and you will surely reach the right preference. Was this article helpful? We would like to hear your thoughts. You may type in your comment and suggestions in the box below.