6 Chief Types of Plumbing Valves
Plumbing basically controls and regulates the water supply and valves are the essential devices in order to achieve this. One may easily assume that these plumbing valves have basic premises, but that is not the case. They have a wide range of applications that are anything but plain and easy.
Here is a general overview of these chief types of plumbing valve on their functions and uses:
Multi-turn Valves or Linear Motion Valves
1. Globe valves
- A globe valve is suitable for regulating the flow of water in the pipeline and may serve as a control valve. It is composed of a disk-type plug and a stationary ring seat in its globe-like and spherical body. When the plug is raised, it seals into a baffle and restricts the flow of water. However, globe valves are not usually chosen for shut-off purposes alone since the baffle inside the valve block the flow even when the valve is in an open position.
2. Diaphragm Valve
- The diaphragm valve, also referred to as membrane valves, generally operates as a shut off or stop valve. It is composed of a diaphragm, a “saddle” or seat and a valve body with two or more ports. The diaphragm restricts the flow of fluid when it settles down over a saddle (weir-typed) or seat (straight-way).
3. Angle Valve or Stop
- An angle valve is a type of globe valve design whose pipe openings are positioned at right angles to each other. It is typically used as a shutoff valve for fixtures and appliances. However, it is not appropriate for high pressure applications.
Quarter Turn Valves or Rotary Valves
4. Ball Valve
- The ball valve is made up of a sphere with a hole in it. The position of the hole in the sphere depends whether the valve is open or close. In a close position, the hole is pivoted 90-degrees to the pipe. Otherwise, the hole is in line with the pipe. The valve is operated by a lever handle, and also marks whether the valve is in open or close position. Although it can sustain an excellent seal in case of plumbing emergencies such as leaky pipes, it does not give us a precise flow control necessary in throttling applications.
5. Butterfly Valve
- A Butterfly valve is commonly used as a shutoff valve that isolates or controls the flow of water. It only needs a quarter turn to achieve its fully open position. This valve contains a disc connected to a lever handle that rotates it, enabling it to adjust the flow of water.
Butterfly valves are commonly preferred because they are cheaper to other valve designs for they have less support required due to their lighter weight. However, its primary disadvantage is the presence of the control disc even in a fully open position – making pressure drop inevitable when using them.
6. Check Valve / Non Return Valve
- To prevent backflow, the check valve, which has only one inlet and one outlet, keeps the water in only one direction. Typically, they are used before and after pumps to make sure that they do not dry after they have been prepared. A stop-check valve is an operational device that the user can choose whether to restrict the water flow in both directions or just keep it from flowing backward, while the other two prevent backflow from happening by utilizing a ball or piece of rubber to block off water.