Types of Valves Used in Plumbing



All plumbing systems have valves. They are an essential part of any system. Valves allow fluids to stop flowing inside pipes and regulate pressure and flow. Many valves can also be used to alter flow direction or split flow in multiple directions.

Although we take valves for granted in our daily lives, they are essential parts of any plumbing system. There would be very little or no pressure control and overflow without valves. If one component of a plumbing system fails, the whole system will be rendered useless.

Without valves, plumbing would be chaotic. We need to be able to identify the various types of valves that are used in plumbing systems, and how they work.

For all of your plumbing needs in Florida, make sure you consult Clog Kings Plumbing.

Types of valves used in plumbing

These are the most common types of valves that you will find in plumbing systems. They can be found in buildings and homes as well as in industrial settings.

To help you understand their purpose and their application, we will talk about their mechanism, pros, and cons.

Gate Valves

The most common type of valve used in plumbing systems is the gate valve. The top has a twisting knob or hand wheel that is used to open or close the valve. The inside mechanism uses a disk-shaped, wedge-shaped gate made of metal that raises or lowers the water flow to allow it to stop.

Gate valves are often used to regulate water flow. However, many people do not use them for this purpose. It was designed to completely shut off liquid flow. The wedge mechanism can cause the gate valve to fail when it is used to control flow.

Gate valves can be used to control a wide range of fluids, including water, oil, and many other hydrocarbons.


Because the wedge within a gate valve can fully retract, it does not hinder water flow.

Because gate valves are slow to open and close, water can flow slowly or stop gradually. This results in less pressure on the empty pipes below.


The manual operation of the hand wheel is slow and takes a lot of time.

The valve’s integrity and performance are affected by repeated use over time, which can lead to inefficiency.

Ball Valves

Ball valves are very common and have a simple design. The name comes from the lever at the top that connects to the sphere-shaped pipe mechanism. The valve’s rotating ball is equipped with a hole that allows flow through the openings.

The valve is considered open if the openings line up with the pipe. This allows water to flow freely. The valve closes and the hole is perpendicular to the pipe. This causes the water to flow obstructed. The ball valve’s status can be determined by the lever.

The ball valve will open if the lever is parallel to the pipe. The ball valve will be closed if it is perpendicular or parallel to the pipe.


It is simple to use

Water flow is effectively sealed when the ball valve closes

Ball valves are smaller, lighter, and more compact than similar-sized gate valves.


The typical stop interval of the ball valve at 45 degrees can cause imprecise flow control.

Butterfly Valves

Quarter-turn valves are a type of valve that includes butterfly valves. These valves use quarter turns of the rotating disk mechanism to open and close the valve completely. The name butterfly valves come from the beautiful image of a butterfly they create when in use to regulate flow.

They are compact and very small, making them an affordable and lighter option for valves.


Valves that are relatively lighter and less expensive than other types

Butterfly valves are ideal for industrial use because of their compact design.


It is not very durable, and the operation is slow.

Because the disk is submerged within the flow, there is a slight pressure drop.

Overtime, gasket replacement is necessary

Globe Valves

Because of the shape of their valve bodies or housings, globe valves are called such because they look like a globe. These valves are used most often in plumbing to regulate flow. To raise or lower the plug-like stopper at its stem, rotate the twist knob or hand wheel.

The stopper controls the water flow by pressing down against a stationary seat or opening within the housing. Globe valves are often used to regulate water flow in hose bibs or other utility or outdoor faucets.


This is great for plumbing systems that require flow regulation and not total openness.

For complete shut-off, use effective sealing

Low maintenance


Because of their ring-seat design, globe valves limit the flow of water. This restricts the fully open flow of water.

Pressure Relief Valves

These pressure relief valves are also known as pressure balance or pressure-reducing.

They accomplish exactly what they name: they reduce, balance, or relieve the pressure in pipes to prevent them from bursting. You can also set the desired water pressure limit for your pipes or plumbing system.

This is done by setting the spring and diaphragm mechanisms inside the pressure relief valves to reduce water pressure. A disk holder surrounds the disc, which sits inside a ring.

The spring exerts pressure on the disk holder and its disk. This regulates the water pressure through the ring seat. These valves can be used in many applications such as high-rise structures, water tanks, firefighting hoses, and water towers.


Multipurpose applications

Reliable functionality

Safety benefits


High back pressure may cause high-pitched sounds

This post was written by Joey Denick. Joey is the Owner and Operator of Clog Kings. At Clog Kings, LLC, we pride ourselves on our dedication and efficiency. We know you don’t have time to waste. That’s why we work fast to get your home or commercial building back up and running in no time. If you are looking for Hillsborough county plumbing then look no further because we got you covered!

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