Ball valves are the most common type used today, but stainless steel gate and globe valves can be used in any era of the house. Whether you are installing a new valve, replacing an old one, or just want to learn more about your home's plumbing, it is important to understand the differences between ball, gate, and Globe Valves.
Ball valves are valued for their long life and excellent performance even after years of use. Inside a ball valve, the ball is usually drilled from one end to the other and is usually made of brass, chrome brass or stainless steel. A lever is attached to the top of the ball, which has a range of motion of only a quarter turn. By moving the lever parallel to the pipe, the opening of the ball is aligned with the flow of water. By moving it perpendicular to the pipe, the solid part of the sphere stops the flow. You can control the flow by moving the lever between 0° and 90°. However, a partially open ball valve leaves silicone or PTFE seats at the ends of the ball and is prone to deformation from uneven pressure.
Stainless Steel Ball Valves
A Gate Valve is operated by a wheel that moves the gate up and down. When the lock is in its lowest position, it stops the flow of water; in its highest position, water flows freely. A gate valve has a rising stem or a non-rising stem. Gate valves are prone to corrosion, which may prevent them from opening or closing completely. Severely corroded stems can even break off, rendering the valve inoperable. Because gate valves open and close slowly, there is no water hammer. They can only be used in the fully open and fully closed positions. If the valve is partially opened, the gate will vibrate and may be damaged.
Unlike ball and gate valves, threaded globe valves are designed to restrict the flow of water. They are operated by a wheel and a stem similar to a gate valve, but the stem is attached to a plug that seals the stopper, essentially in two halves, and forces the water to flow in a Z shape. Like gate valves, globe valves close slowly and do not create water hammer. A globe valve reduces water pressure because the baffle prevents water from flowing freely through the valve, even in the fully open position. However, this reduction makes the valve plug and seat less susceptible to damage than the gate in a gate valve. In order for water to flow efficiently through a globe valve, the valve must be installed so that the water first encounters the upper wall.
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