The valve is responsible for regulating the flow of water in your pipes. If your pipes didn’t have a regulator, then your water bills would have gone through the roof. There is a variation of materials available, as well as designs. Some can only turn on or off the water flow, or adjust the volume of it.
Here are five types of plumbing controls to know which is appropriate for the kind of pipes in your home.
The ball valves are known to be the most reliable plumbing control type. They are used mainly for main water shutoffs and branch line shutoffs. The ball valve can either allow full flow of water or stop it completely. Inside of it is a ball with a hole in the middle, which is attached to a lever-type outer switch. If the handle is parallel to the water supply pipe, then the valve is open; if it is perpendicular, then it is closed.
This type has a lever-type grip that opens and closes the valve. There’s a metal disc inside that revolves to adjust the flow of water. When the water revolves around it, the water flow is reduced to an extent, even when the valve is fully open. Unlike the ball valve, the butterfly type can accurately adjust the volume of flow. However, it has a gasket that can trouble you with maintenance issues after several years. The butterfly valve is primarily used in industrial applications.
Gate valves control the water flow by raising or lowering the gate inside by a twist-type knob located at the top of the valve. It would be best if you don’t use gate valves to control the volume of flow. It is designed to be fully opened or fully closed. It can easily wear out if you use it to adjust the water flow.
Its internal metal parts may get rusty, so it is common for a gate valve to get jammed in an on or off position. Gate valves should be used to shut off the water occasionally.
The check valve keeps water flowing in one direction only and prevents it from flowing in the opposite direction. Most of this type does not have control handles, making them less functional. Check valves use different types of inner mechanisms, including ball-check and diaphragm-check designs.
An example of an operational type is the stop-check that can completely stop all water flow in both directions.
This type of valve reduces the overall water pressure in a plumbing system. It features a spring and diaphragm that you can adjust to a specific limit, depending on the water supply’s load. You can also use it to throttle down the overall water pressure. It is common in homes that receive high-pressure water from the source that can damage house plumbing systems and appliances.
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