Valves are used to control and stop the flow of water. Each type of valve has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, as well as applications. They are used to control the flow of pressurized water from a public water supply or a private well.
Water valves are required in a number of places around the house. Showers and bathtubs, sinks, water heaters, and outdoor faucets all include valves that control water flow. It’s critical to utilize the correct type of valve in each of these situations.
Types of Water Valves
Despite the fact that valves are a sort of fitting, they are normally addressed as a separate, distinct category. Each valve works differently and is available in a variety of styles to meet specific plumbing requirements.
Materials like plastic, brass, cast iron, stainless steel, and galvanized tubing are used to make valves. Let’s have a look at different categories of valves used in a house plumbing system.
This is the most reliable form of valve. Popular products like SIO ball valve are often used for main water shutoffs and branch line shutoffs. A ball valve is an all-or-nothing valve, meaning it can only be fully open to allow full flow or fully closed to halt all water flow. These valves have an internal ball with a hole in the middle that is attached to a lever-type exterior handle.
The valve is open when the handle is parallel to the water supply line, and closed when it is perpendicular. This handle acts as a convenient visual aid as it lets you know whether the water is on or off at a glance.
Gate valves are one of the most frequent types of valves used in house plumbing. Gate valves regulate the flow of water by raising or lowering an internal gate. The gate is controlled by a twist-type handle or knob present at top of the valve.
Gate valves should never be used to control flow volume; they are either designed to be fully open (allowing full flow) or fully closed (stopping the flow entirely). Just like ball valves, these are also all-or-nothing valves.
These valves can be worn out if they are used to alter water flow. Although ball valves are increasingly becoming more popular in these applications, gate valves are very reliable for shutting off the water supply and are often employed as shutoff valves on main and branch water supply lines.
It’s not uncommon for a gate valve to become stuck in an ON or OFF position due to corroded internal metal parts. They’re most usually employed in situations when the water is only turned off once in a while.
Butterfly valves have a lever-type handle that opens and closes the valve, which makes them look like ball valves from the outside. The concept uses a rotating metal disc to control the flow of water on the inside. Even though the valve is fully open, the water flow is limited because the water flows around the disc in the middle of the valve.
Other valves are designed to be an ON-OFF valve. Unlike those valves, a butterfly valve can accurately change the volume of flow. One significant disadvantage of a butterfly valve is that after a few years, the gasket inside the valve can cause maintenance concerns.
With time, butterfly valves are becoming rare in house plumbing systems.
Globe valves play a major role in plumbing applications. They are typically used when the flow of water needs to be regulated or modified on a regular basis. A stopper on the end of a valve stem, which is raised and lowered by the valve’s twist knob, is one of the internal design characteristics.
Water flow is completely stopped when the stem presses the stopper on the inside valve seat. To accurately manage the volume of water flowing through the valve, the stem can be lifted progressively away from the valve seat.
Globe valves are commonly used for outdoor faucets and other utility faucets because they are good at regulating flow.
A check valve is a type of valve that only allows water to flow in one direction and prevents it from flowing in the opposite direction. These valves do not have control handles. Since a check valve is a device that prevents water from flowing backward, it can be found on outdoor faucets and lawn sprinkler systems.
A stop-check valve is an operational type variation of a check valve. It is used to completely stop water flow in both directions.
Water pressure-reducing valves are used to lower the overall water pressure in a plumbing system to acceptable levels. Depending on the pressure of the water supply, they usually contain a spring and diaphragm that are regulated to a certain limit. The purpose of pressure-reducing valves in a household is to reduce total water pressure rather than to open or restrict the water flow.
They’re typically installed in residences that get relatively high-pressure water from the municipal water supply, where the pressure could damage pipes and appliances.
Stop valves are small valves with twist handles or knobs and are used to control the flow of water to specific plumbing devices like faucets and toilets. There are some stop valve variations that are straight and other variations are at a 90-degree angle (also known as angle valves or angle stops). With the help of shutoff valves, you can repair various fixtures without shutting off the water of the entire house.
Valves are an important component of a plumbing system. They have various water control and safety applications in both industrial and household levels. Types of valves discussed in this article are commonly found in households. They play a major role at various chores and repair works by letting us control the water pressure, speed and volume.