What Are the Different Types of Plumbing Valves That Exist Today?

What Are the Different Types of Plumbing Valves That Exist Today?

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by

Projections show that the global industrial valves market will reach a value of $93.66 billion by 2028.

One of the core components of plumbing is controlling the flow of water, and this is only possible using valves. Plumbing valves vary in design as there are several applications they are suited for. Finding the right type is important, as implementing the incorrect type into your system can lead to major issues.

For a rundown of the different types of valves on the market, keep reading.

Gate Valve

These use a gate (also known as a wedge or disc) which seals off the flow when lowered. The wheel handle of gate valves can be either non-rising or open stem and yoke.

The most common uses of gate valves include industrial, institutional, and commercial applications. While these are the most widely used plumbing valves available, finding the best type for your project means looking for the ones most suited for your specific needs.

Ball Valve

Perhaps the most common type, ball valves are simple but effective. They use a cored, rotating ball to control the water flow, which you can operate with a lever.

They are long-lasting and are best suited for full-flow applications. Ball valves are available in a wide range of materials such as stainless steel, brass, and PVC.

Globe Valve

Globe valves have a wheel similar to gate valves, but instead use a stopper that lowers onto a baffle, rather than a gate.

The baffle takes up some space inside the valve, so these are less suitable for full-flow applications. They are best for throttling and are very long-lasting.

Check Valve

Check valves ensure that water only flows in one direction through a system. When water is flowing the right way the valve will be open, but it will automatically close if the flow changes direction.

Valves that work like this are known as “non-operational” as they do not need a person to activate them, and they simply function using physics.

Stop Valve

While all valves can stop the flow of water in a system, stop valves are specifically designed for this. They are an easy way to shut off a water supply and are often located under sinks or behind toilets.

Internally stop valves can vary, being ball, globe, or gate mechanisms, and are usually a 1/4 turn valve making shut-off quick and convenient.

Butterfly Valve

These are named for the internal disc they use to control the flow. The disc rotates from the center, allowing the valve to be fully or partially opened.

Butterfly valves are often quite large, so are most common in commercial or industrial settings, and rarely used for residential plumbing.

Other Plumbing Valves

While these are some of the most common plumbing valves there are many other types, such as faucet valves, supply stop valves, or pressure relief valves. The best valves for you will depend on the application they are needed for.

If you’re interested in more home improvement articles check out some of our other blogs.

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