Types of Valves Use in Plumbing

There are different valves used in plumbing applications so you might want to understand when and where to use it. Valves are used to control and regulate the flow of water so here you will have the pros and cons of each valve type.


[1] Gate Valve

Gate valves could possibly be the most used valve in plumbing applications. Gate valves control water flow by raising or lowering an internal gate preventing the water from flowing into the other side.

Gate valves usually have a know at the top of a gate that raises or lowers the gate. Gate valves should never be used to reduce the pressure flowing into the pipe. They are very reliable and easy to install.


[2] Ball Valve

Ball valves are another reliable valve used widely in plumbing applications. Ball valves have a ball with a hole, that once open allows water flowing into the pipe. When the ball valve is closed, the hole is perpendicular to the pipe, preventing water from entering the pipe.

Ball valves are operated through a lever handle, that when parallel to pipe indicates that the valve is open, so the handle will serve as a visual aid so you know that the water is flowing in the direction of the handle. When the ball valve is closed it forms an excellent seal, although no water control can be obtained when using ball valves.


[3] Globe Valve

Globe valves are used to regulate flow in plumbing applications.

Globe valves are usually installed when the flow of water needs to be regulated or when it needs to be adjusted regularly. They contain a stopper that is raised and lowered by a knob on a shaft, that seals into a baffle to stop the flow. Globe valves get their name from the globe-like or ball-like appearance that the body of the valve has. A globe valve can be used to regulate flow in a plumbing line.

They are the best choice when the flow needs to be regulated or when the flow doesn’t have to be fully open.


[4] Check Valve

Check valves are used normally in water tanks and other water storage applications. This type of valve has one inlet, where water comes in, and the outlet or the side where the water goes out. allowing the water to travel in only one direction. Check valves normally will prevent water flowing in the opposite direction as water would normally move. Back-flow preventers are also considered as check valves.


[5] Pressure Reducing Valves

Water pressure reducing valves are installed to reduce the water pressure to the desired or accepted limits. They normally have a spring and diaphragm that is adjusted to certain limits depending on the pressure of the water being served. They can be installed in copper, PVC and other different pipe types. They could normally last more than 10 years when maintained properly.


[6] Butterfly Valve

Butterfly valves have a disc allowing the flow of water to be regulated. Butterfly valves, by the way they are manufactured, will normally reduce the pressure after the valve. Water flow can be precisely adjusted through butterfly valves. One of the most important drawbacks is that the gasket inside the valve can present maintenance issue after a couple of years.

When the butterfly valve is open, you will notice that the disc is parallel to the pipe and when closed the disc is perpendicular to the pipe.​


[7] Air Release Valve

Air release valves are installed at each high point of a pressure pipeline. Air release valves are installed to eliminate or mitigate the water hammer issues, as they protect the pipelines against internal pressure. Air pockets will be released when the internal pressure exceeds specify limits, protecting the pipeline from pressure damages. The can be installed in copper and ductile iron pipes through a small penetration and fitting installed on the pipe.


[8] Angle Valve

Angle valves are typically installed at the water intake of plumbing fixtures or appliances. Angle valves could fail when high pressure is detected on the line. They are used to shut off water


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Types of Valves Use in Plumbing

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