Standard Plumbing Valves and How They Work

Water Hammer Repair 317-784-1870

Plumbing Repair 317-784-1870

There are three basic styles of plumbing valves: gate valves, stop valves, and ball valves. Each valve-type has its own individual characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and purposes. However, they can only be used for oil, water, and airflow control if the castings are labeled with the acronym, “WOG”, which stands for water, oil, and gas. Continue reading the learn more about stop, gate, and ball valves, how they work, and how they differ from one another.

Stop Valves

Stop valves operate with the aid of a rubber gasket that shuts off water flow in a pipe. To close off water flow, the rubber gasket is screwed onto a seat located in the middle of the valve. Appliances like sinks, toilets, and outdoor faucets commonly use smaller versions of stop valves. In order for stop valves to work properly, they must be installed in the right direction, in the way of the arrow, so that water flows against the bottom of the rubber gasket. If installed in the wrong direction, the water flow will force the gasket away from the valve.

Gate Valves

Also referred to as, “full-flow” valves, gate valves are commonly used in commercial and industrial pipe and plumbing applications. They are multipurpose bi-directional shutoff valves that are manufactured in a variety of metals, including cast iron, brass, and bronze. They retain a gate-like component inside that either raises or lowers, allowing or discontinuing water flow in a pipe. This gate is controlled by a knob at the top of the valve that twists right and left to open and close the metal gate component. Gate valves are not intended to customize water flow and pressure by adjusting the gate height. They are only intended to be opened all the way, or closed all the way. One downside to gate valves is their vulnerability to corrosion, which overtime, can cause the gate component to stick in the up or down position.

Ball Valves

Ball valves use a stainless steel (or sometimes brass, bronze, copper iron, and more) rotating ball with a hole drilled in its center that pivots in plastic bushings. The ball is generally controlled by a lever that is directly connected to it. It is similar to a gate valve because it also a full-flow type valve. The position of the lever indicates whether the valve is open or closed. The valve is closed if the hole in the ball is perpendicular to the flow of water. If the hole is parallel to the pipe and water flow, the valve is open. Ball valves differ from full-flow gate valves because the flow of water can somewhat be controlled by adjusting the opening of the valve. However, ball valves are not the best option for controlling water flow.

Additional Types of Valves:

• Check Valves
• Diaphragm Valves
• Globe Valves
• Butterfly Valves
• Pressure Balanced Valves
• Knife Valves
• Ball-Check Valves
• Ball-Diaphragm Valves
• Zone Valves
• Locking Valves
• Solenoid Valves
• Sluice Valves (another name for gate valves)

Contact a local master plumber for expert advice regarding plumbing repair, plumbing parts, products, advice, and more. In most cases, water flow issues are best addressed by a trained professional that retains proper tools and resources to effectively undertake a plumbing issue or repair that could possibly lead to indoor flooding.

Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc.

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Weilhammer Plumbing Company 317-784-1870

Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for emergency plumbing repair in Indianapolis, Indiana. Owner, Mark Weilhammer, is a state licensed master plumber with more than 40 years of experience in the plumbing industry. Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. has been a family owned and operated Indianapolis plumbing company since 1901, and continues to provide proficient plumbing services to all Hoosier communities at the fairest prices in town. Call 317-784-1870 to learn more about all our plumbing repair services in Indianapolis, IN today.

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