Plumbing Valve


Plumbing, especially residential plumbing services, has been more efficient, convenient, but maybe a bit complicated as well. 

A home-run set up can help you save more water and energy as it quickly delivers hot water to all taps. However, it may require you more pipes than the traditional trunk and branch system. 

Other designs have specific types of maintenance, which makes plumbing system designs to study. However, knowing what these designs are is deemed necessary, especially when you are planning to buy appliances and plumbing fixtures. 

As mundane as it sounds, knowing the specifics of plumbing, such as shut-off valves, is not simple. You will have to get yourself acquainted with the right valves for your plumbing needs.

What Are Shut-off  Valves?

With shut-off valves, plumbing work gets quickly done for an individual appliance or a specific area. Shut-off valves are highly recommended as you do not need to shut the water off in the entire house. 

The most common ones are ball valves, but globe valves and gate valves are widely used, too. If you are thinking of installing new valves and changing the old ones, it would be best to know some information about the ball, globe, and gate valves.

Ball valves

One thing that people love about ball valves is the longevity of their use. Even if ball valves have not been used for years, they can still work perfectly for various applications. A sphere that is commonly made from stainless steel, chrome-plated brass, or brass is found inside a ball valve, which has been drilled from one end to the other.

A level is found on top of the sphere with a quarter turn for its range of movement. When the lever is moved in parallel to the pipe, the water flow is aligned with the sphere’s opening. The section of the sphere stops the fluid flow when the lever is moved perpendicularly to the pipe. 

Moving the lever from 0° to 90° allows you to control the flow of fluid that passes through the ball valve. When a ball valve is left partially open, it may leave the silicone seats on either end of the ball, which may deform when the pressure is uneven. 

The great thing about quarter-turn valves like ball valves, such as a trunnion mounted ball valve, is that they can easily be shut off. To avoid creating a water hammer, make sure to turn the lever on the valve slowly.

Globe Valves

Globe valves, compared to gate and ball valves, are primarily designed to limit the flow of fluid. 

Just like gate valves, a wheel and stem are used to operate the globe valves. However, the stem of the globe valve is linked to a stopper that is responsible for forcing the fluid flowing in a Z-pattern.

Globe valves do not produce water hammer as they close and open slowly. With the presence of a baffle, the water in the valve does not flow freely inside. 

So, even if a globe valve is fully open, it still reduces water pressure. Because of the reduction in the pressure inside the valve, the stopper, and seat of the globe valve become less susceptible to damage.

To acquire an efficient flow of water through a globe valve, the valve should be installed to let the water encounter the top hall-wall first. Globe valves are not to be used for the water heater, and the main shut-off as these locations need full-open valves like gate or ball valves.

Gate Valves

Gate valves are operated by a wheel, which is responsible for the gate’s up and down movement.

The flow of fluid is blocked when the gate is in the lowest position, while the water moves freely if the position is at the highest. Gate valves have either non-rising or rising stems.

Rising stems allow you to tell if the gate valve is open or closed by just looking at it. Non-rising stems, on the other hand, will not give you the capacity to know if the gate valves are open by using your eyes.

Gate valves cannot withstand corrosion as it may prevent the valves from being fully open or closed. The valve is useless once the heavily corroded stem breaks. 

Water hammer is not created as gate valves open and close slowly. Gate valves must either be fully open or fully closed. It is not recommended to leave gate valves partially open as it may damage the valves.


When you know what type of valve would you need for specific applications, it would not be hard for you to find what you needed. Getting an idea of what certain valves are for gives you an insight into what you should get for your plumbing requirements.


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