Residential plumbing systems rely on valves to control water flow. Valves come in many different forms and materials. When engineers consider changing a plumbing system or concocting a new one, it’s important that they establish what type of valve they’ll be using.
In the event of a shutoff, a ball valve is very reliable. The handle is attached to an internal ball that determines whether the valve is open or closed. One of the main benefits of ball valves is that the handle’s position allows plumbers to see whether the water is running or not.
A butterfly valve’s handle is similar to that of a ball valve, as it is designed like a lever and controls whether the valve is open or closed. However, instead of using a ball inside, it uses a rotating disc. The handle doesn’t completely shut the water off or turn it on, but it controls the flow’s volume. Because the internal gasket may be prone to damage over time, it helps to have a valve maintenance system set up.
Globe valves are named for the unique, round bulge inside of the pipe. The external twist knob adjusts the stopper inside, which regulates the water flow’s volume. Utility and outdoor faucets benefit greatly from globe valves because they are so efficient in controlling water flow. When needed, the stopper can throttle the flow altogether.
When a developer wants to specify different plumbing fixtures when controlling water flow, a stop valve might be the best option. These valves are rather small and can be controlled with knobs or twist handles. Stop valves are great when a person doesn’t want to completely shut off a house’s water when working on a toilet, faucet or other fixture.
One of the most popular types of valves in plumbing is the gate valve. A knob or handle controls a gate inside, which lets the water flow through or stops it. Gate valves are great for shutoffs, but when plumbers use them to adjust flow volume, the piping is prone to wear and tear. These valves are most helpful when a shutoff is only needed here and there.
Some materials work with specific valves better than others, and controls often depend on the overall design of the pipes. Understanding how different valve systems function can help engineers regulate an area’s water supply.