7 Valves Used in Residential Plumbing

types of water valves

Valves are employed to regulate and stop the water flow and every type of valve has pros and cons, as well as situations for which it’s most suitable. The majority of valves used in a residential plumbing system form integral to the supply of water and are used to regulate the flow of water that is pressurized coming from the water utility or private well. Based on the style of the valve, it could be ideal for the simple control of water flow or it could be made to be used for adjusting the amount of water flow.

Most valves are made of various materials, such as brass, bronze, and PVC plastic. Be sure to select the right materials that are suitable for the kind of pipe that is used in the plumbing system.

Gate Valve

They are one of the widely employed valves in plumbing. Gate valves regulate a water flow by raising or lowering an internal gate by using a twist-type handle or knob on the high-up of the valve. Gate valves shouldn’t be used to regulate the flow rate. They are designed to be completely open (allowing the flow to be complete) or completely closed (stopping the flow completely). Utilizing them to regulate the flow of water could wear out the valves. Gate valves are highly efficient in shutting off the water supply and are often utilized as shutoff valves for branch and main water lines, however, ball valves are increasing in popularity in these types of applications. Since internal metal components can get corroded, it’s unusual for a gate valve to become stuck in the off or on position. They are typically employed in situations where water has to be shut off, but only occasionally.

Ball Valve

Ball valves may be the most reliable form of valve. They are often employed for main water shutoffs as well as branch shutoffs of lines. Similar to gate valves, a ball valve was designed to function as an all-or-nothing valve. They are either completely open to allow for full flow or completely shut to shut off all flow. They are internally an open ball with a hole in its middle that connects to an outer handle that is lever-type. If the handle is in line with the pipe for the water supply the valve is opened and when it is perpendicular, it’s closed.

The handle is an excellent visual aid to help you can see in a flash when the water is on or off.

Globe Valve

Globe valves serve to control or limit to control the amount of water flowing through the plumbing industry. The globe valve is named after the bulge that is present in the body of the valve. It is a form that is not present in other types of valves. The handle of globe valves is typically the form of a twist knob.

Globe valves are generally used to regulate they are used when the water flow requires to be controlled or they need to be adjusted often. The inside design has a stopper at the end of the stem which can be lowered or raised through the valve’s twist knob. When the stem presses the stopper to the seat of the valve and the water flow ceases completely. Stems can be moved slowly away from the seat of the valve to precisely regulate the amount of water flowing into the valve.

Because globe valves work well to regulate flow, they are commonly employed for outside taps (hose bibs) as well as similar faucets for utility use.

Butterfly Valve

Externally, butterfly valves are similar to ball valves in that they come with a lever that opens and closes the valve. Inside, the design utilizes the disc of metal that rotates to control how much water flows. Since the water flows around the disc that is situated in the center of the valve, water flow is slowed however the valve is completely open. In contrast to a ball valve that is designed to function to function as an ON-OFF valve, butterfly valves can be used to precisely alter the volume of flow. The main drawback with the butterfly valve is that the gasket within the valve could cause problems with maintenance after a couple of years.

Butterfly valves are primarily used in industrial settings and are not often used in the plumbing systems of homes.

Fixture Shutoff Valve (Stop Valve)

The shutoff valves for fixtures are small valves with tiny knobs or twist handles that regulate water flow to particular plumbing fixtures, like toilets and faucets. There are straight and 90-degree-angle models (also called angle valves or angle stoppers). Shutoff valves permit you to use fixtures or faucets without shutting off the water supply to the entire house via the primary shutoff valve.

Externally they resemble smaller gate valves because they typically have a tiny knob or wheel which turns to close and open the valve. In the interior fixtures, shutoff valves may utilize a variety of types. Some models use an ordinary compression washer that opens and closes the valve seat controlled by the handle on the valve. Other designs use diaphragms that have the stem of the valve controlled by an adjustable diaphragm that presses against the valve seat to stop the water flow.

Pressure-Reducing Valve

The valves for reducing water pressure are used to lower the total pressure of water in the plumbing system to desired or acceptable levels. They usually contain a diaphragm or spring which is set to a certain limit, based on how much pressure is supplied by the supply. Pressure-reducing valves do not serve to shut or open the flow of water however, rather they throttle it down to decrease the pressure in the water overall. They are typically employed in homes that are receiving fairly high-pressure drinking water coming from the city water supply, and where the pressure may be enough to damage the plumbing systems of the house and other appliances.

Check Valve

Check valves are types of valves designed to ensure that water flows only in one direction, and to stop flowing in the reverse direction. The majority of them aren’t functional, therefore they do not come with control handles. A back-flow stopper, of the kind that is typically used in outdoor taps (hose bibbs) as well as on lawn sprinkler systems, is one illustration of the check valve. Check valves can use various kinds of inner mechanisms. Such as ball-check designs or diaphragm checks.

A functional type of check valve, referred to as a stop-check, may be used to stop the flow of water in either direction.


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