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Plumbing Valves: Which Type to Choose For Your Next Plumbing Project

Valves are crucial to virtually any kind of plumbing activity, as they control the flow of fluid and other substances from one place to another. But not all valves are created equal – or at least, the same – which means you need to choose the right kind for the particular application you’re undertaking. This will ensure the most effective and durable end result.

Here are some of the most common plumbing valves and when to use them.

Ball valves

Recently we gave you an introduction to ball valves, their uses and their benefits. These types of plumbing valves are used to regulate the amount of fluid or gas that flows through a pipe, and are controlled by a simple lever. They’re highly versatile and can be used for liquids, gases and slurries. Read the post to learn more about ball valves.

Butterfly valves

These kinds of plumbing valves are also operated via a lever, but offer more precise flow control than other types of valves. That said, there may be a loss of pressure when using butterfly valves. This is because the lever is attached to a disc inside the pipe, which will always obstruct the flow to some extent, even when open. These valves can be used for a range of applications, from air, gas, steam and liquid to some dry materials.

Check valves

There are three primary types of check valves, two of which are non-operational (meaning that they can’t be turned on and off). These two are diaphragm check valves and ball check valves. Once installed, they’ll always be activated when liquid attempts to flow in the wrong direction. The third kind – stop check valves – enables users to decide whether they’d like to restrict the flow of liquid in both directions or only in a backwards direction.

Gate valves

As the name implies, gate valves use gates, controlled by wheels, to enable fluid to flow through a pipe, or to prevent it from doing so. When the gate is up, fluid can flow freely; when it’s down, the flow is stemmed. It’s important to know that gate valves aren’t incredibly effective at regulating the amount of fluid that flows, so they’re best used in applications where liquid simply needs to be turned off or on, rather than carefully controlled. Additionally, if they’re not used for long periods of time, they may seize up, so keep this in mind when choosing plumbing valves for your project.

Plastic ball valves

As mentioned earlier in this post, ball valves are multipurpose components, and those made from plastic are often more affordable and durable than their metal counterparts, which are heavy, prone to rusting, and costly.

If you’re interested in using plastic ball valves for your next project, discover our SABS-approved ball valve range now. You can also get in touch with us to learn more about their benefits, or for customised pricing.

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