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8 Different Types of Water Valves Used in Home Plumbing

Author: Ingrid

Sep. 08, 2023

122 0

Tags: Hardware


Water valves are an essential component of any plumbing system. They control the flow and pressure of water, making it possible to shut off the water supply to specific areas or fixtures when necessary. When it comes to plumbing systems, valves are essential components that control the flow of water in different parts of the system. There are various types of water valves used in home plumbing, each with its unique features and applications. Here are the eight most common types of water valves used in home plumbing:



1. Gate valve. Gate valves are primarily used to control the flow of water in larger pipes. They work by lifting a gate or wedge out of the path of the water flow. When the gate is raised, water can flow freely, and when it is lowered, the flow is shut off completely. Gate valves are durable and reliable, but they are not ideal for regulating water flow, as they can cause turbulence and pressure fluctuations.


Best for: Gate valves are one of the most popular styles of residential water valves and can be used as main shut-off valves, isolation valves, hot water tank valves, etc.




2. Ball valve. Water valve is the ball valve. Ball valves are commonly used in residential plumbing systems because they are easy to operate and require minimal maintenance. They feature a ball-shaped disc with a hole in the middle that rotates to control the flow of water. When the ball is turned so that the hole is aligned with the pipe, water can flow freely. When the ball is rotated 90 degrees, the hole is perpendicular to the pipe, and the flow is shut off completely.


Best for: Ball valves are often used in residential piping because they are more reliable and user-friendly than gate valves.




3. Bibcock: Bibcocks, also known as hose bibs or garden taps, are commonly used to provide an outdoor water supply. They are typically installed on the exterior of the house and are designed to be used with a garden hose. Bibcocks usually have a handle that turns to open or close the valve, allowing water to flow or stop.




4. Check valve. Check valves are used to prevent backflow in plumbing systems. They allow water to flow in one direction only, preventing contaminated water from flowing back into the supply system. Check valves are often used in sump pump discharge lines and other applications where backflow prevention is essential.


Best for: Using check valves to prevent backflow in pumps, safety applications, sprinkler systems and any other residential piping where there may be a risk of continuous or intermittent backflow.




5. Angle Valve: Angle valves, also known as corner valves, are typically used to connect the water supply to fixtures like toilets, faucets, and sinks. They are designed to be installed at a 90-degree angle to the water supply line, making them perfect for tight spaces where there is limited room to maneuver.




6. Stop valve. Stop valves are used for regulating the flow of water in smaller pipes. They feature a disc that moves up and down to control the water flow, creating a more gradual change in pressure than gate valves. Globe valves are often used in applications where precise control of water flow is required, such as irrigation systems.




7. Float Valve: Float valves are commonly used in water tanks, cisterns, and other water storage systems. They control the water level in the tank by opening and closing based on the water level. When the water level rises, the float rises with it and activates the valve, allowing water to enter the tank. Conversely, when the water level drops, the float lowers, closing the valve and stopping the flow of water.


8. Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure relief valves are another type of plumbing device known as valves that function differently than regular water valves. Rather than restricting or stopping the flow of water through the system, pressure relief valves protect the water system by releasing steam and hot water when the pressure in the system becomes too high.


These valves are commonly used in hot water tanks to prevent overheating, rupture, and deformation due to excessive pressure. The valves contain a spring mechanism that responds to pressure and compresses when the pressure becomes too high. The compression of the spring opens the valve to release steam and water, thereby reducing or relieving system pressure.


Best for: Designed to protect home plumbing systems, users can reduce pressure in the hot water tank by installing a pressure relief valve.




Water valves are an essential component of any plumbing system. The type of valve used will depend on the specific needs of the system, such as controlling the flow and pressure of water and preventing backflow. Gate valves, ball valves, globe valves, check valves, and pressure-reducing valves are just a few of the types of water valves available, each with its unique features and applications. Understanding the different types of water valves and their uses can help ensure the proper functioning and longevity of a plumbing system.



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