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Plastic Valves vs Metal Valves: When to Substitute Plastic for Metal

There are several kinds of plumbing valves out there, and two of the most popular are plastic valves and metal valves. While metal has long been relied up for its strength and relative durability, plastic is becoming increasingly popular in a number of common applications. Why? Because plastic is cheaper, it doesn’t corrode, and it’s lighter to handle, which can make installation a lot easier. There’s also minimal maintenance cost (if any), and plastic tends to last longer than other materials.

Given all these great benefits, you may be wondering why anyone would choose any other types of valves besides plastic! It’s because plastic is suited to specific types of systems and conditions, and it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right material for the job. If not, your valve could become damaged and disrupt the whole system. That said, there are many instances in which plastic can be successfully substituted for metal. Let’s explore these.

Under what conditions can I use plastic valves instead of metal valves?

Before diving right in and picking plastic over metal plumbing valves, think carefully about the following points:

  • What temperatures and pressures will the valve be exposed to? Metal is often chosen because of its high heat resistance. Some types of plastic valves are also very heat-resistant, so ensure that the plastic you choose will be able to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure.
  • What is the potential for shock pressure generation? Make sure that things like water hammers won’t damage the plastic. You can circumnavigate this issue by opting for high quality plastic valves, which can take a beating!
  • Check chemical resistance. Will plastic be able to withstand any chemical compounds it comes into contact with? Most plastic valves manufactured today are sturdy enough to incur zero damage when exposed to chemicals.
  • Are you wanting a mid to long-term solution? Generally, plastic valves won’t rust, corrode or pit like metal. They also have a beautifully smooth interior lining, which creates a high flow coefficient and provides even flow rates over time.
  • Will there be any stress on the plastic component? This is the greatest contributor to a failed installation, so be doubly sure that there’ll be no stress to the component at any time, including during operation. Red flags to watch out for include things like misalignment of the valve inside the metal system and misalignment of the flanges.

Plastic valves are perfect for my application. What now?

Now comes the easy part! Chat to us about your requirements and we’ll be able to recommend the ideal plastic valves for your project. Our SABS-approved EzeeFlow plastic valves are suitable for high pressure applications, won’t rust or deteriorate over time and, because they have no resell value, aren’t tempting to criminals.

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