Plumbing Valves – Types, Uses, And Advantages

What Are Plumbing Valves?

Plumbing valves are mechanical devices that are used to stop and regulate the flow of water. There are different types of plumbing valves used based on their functions and requirements.

These are used in residential and commercial buildings, water treatment plants, chemical plants, automobile production, and water supply systems.


Valves are made of different materials like PVC, bronze, brass, etc. These are considered to be one of the main components of plumbing. As they control the water or any liquid supply in the plumbing system.

Each type of valve has its own unique function which can be an advantage or disadvantage based on one’s requirement. 

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Different Types Of Plumbing Valves

There are 5 major types of plumbing valves are present in the plumbing system

  1. Ball valve
  2. Gate valve
  3. Butterfly valve
  4. Globe valve
  5. Pressure reducing valve

1. Ball Valve

Ball valves are most widely used in plumbing. internally, these valves involve a ball with a hole in the middle, which is connected to a lever-type outer handle at the top to control the water flow.

Ball Valve
Ball Valve

When the handle is parallel to the fluid supply pipe then the valve is open; when it is perpendicular to the supply pipe then the valve is closed. 

Types Of Ball Valves

Ball valves are further classified into different types as mentioned below.

  1. Three-way ball valve
  2. Three-piece body
  3. Trunnion mounted ball valve
  4. Side entry or split body
  5. Floating ball valve

Advantages Of Ball Valves

  • Ball valves are not prone to any leakage or failures.
  • These are the most reliable and durable among other shut-off valves.
  • These valves create powerful watertight seals in the valves preventing any fluid from leakage.
  • Ball valves are affordable, as their cost is cheaper than the other type of valves.

Disadvantages of Ball Valves

  • These valves are only suited for the open and closed plumbing system, as they can’t control the liquid flow.
  • Chances of clogging are more if it is not used for the right fluids.

2. Gate Valve

Gate valve is also the most widely used valve in the plumbing system. gate valves control the water or liquid flow by lowering or raising the internal gate with help of a wedge shape metal handle or a knob present at the top.

These valves have a similar function as of ball valve which can’t control the liquid flow, the flow is either fully open or fully closed. Gate valves are suitable for different types of fluids circulation such as fuel gas, steam, lube oil, and hydrocarbon, etc.

Gate Valve

Types Of Gate Valves

Gate valves are classified into 5 different types as mentioned below:

  1. Non-rising stem gate valve or insider screw valve
  2. Split wedge or parallel disks gate valve
  3. Solid wedge gate valve
  4. Flexible wedge gate valve
  5. OS&Y gate valve or rising stem valve

Advantages Of Gate Valve 

1. The gate is entirely into the body of the valve so the flow of fluids is not impeded by the valve.

2. Since the gate valve involves slow opening and closing, the water pressure is modified gradually, which protects the pipe from the banging sound of the water hammer.

Disadvantages Of Gate Valves

1. These types of plumbing valves are likely to be damaged, due to repeated usage resulting in the wearing of the valve seat. and weakness the valve seal and reduces its efficiency.

2. Opening and closing of the valve requires manual raising and lowering which is a time-consuming process.

3. Butterfly Valve

Butterfly valves are used to stop and regulate the flow of fluid with help of a small circular knob placed along the side. It consists of a rotating metal disc inside the valve that stops or regulates the fluid flow. These types of valves are comparatively lighter and compact when compared to other types of valves.

 Butterfly Valve
Butterfly Valve

Types Of Butterfly Valve

Butterfly valves are further classified into 7 different types as mentioned below:

  1. Flanged ends valve
  2. Wafer type ends valve
  3. Lug type ends valve
  4. Double offset butterfly valve
  5. Triple offset butterfly valve
  6. Butt-welded types end
  7. Zero offset butterfly valve

Advantages Of Butterfly valve

  • These valves are cost-effective and much lighter.
  • Best suited for industries and commercial applications as they come in a compact size.

Disadvantages Of Butterfly Valve

  • These valves are less durable and consume more time to operate.
  • Pressure drop can be observed as the disc remains in the valve even when the flow is open.

4. Globe Valve

Globe valves are the most suitable plumbing valves where the flow is required in a precise control manner. These valves are designed with a stopper inside the valve which is raised and lowered to control the fluid flow. Raising and lowering of the stopper are done with a circular knob at the top. 

 Globe Valve
Globe Valve

Types Of Globe Valves

Globe valves are further classified into different types as follows:

  1. Z types
  2. Y types
  3. Angle types

Advantages Of Globe Valve

  • Globe valve helps to control the fluid flow without fully opening the valve.
  • Maintenance of these valves is easy and provides effective throttling and shutoff abilities.

Disadvantages Of Globe Valves

  • These valves have high-pressure drops when compared to other valves.
  • Due to baffle restriction, the valves cannot be operated in fully open conditions.

5. Pressure Reducing Valve

A pressure-reducing valve is used to control or reduce the water or fluid pressure to the desired limit and prevent the damage of the piping system from bursting.

These valves are commonly used in households to receive relatively high-pressured water from the municipal water supply.

Pressure Reducing Valve
Pressure Reducing Valve

Types Of Pressure Reducing Valves

Pressure-reducing valves are further dived into different types as mentioned below.

  • Pressure relief valve
  • Vacuum relief valve
  • Pressure vacuum relief valve
  • Reclosing-type pressure relief devices
  • Non-reclosing type pressure relief devices
  • Safety relief valves

Advantages Of Pressure Reducing Valves

1. Pressure-reducing valves protect the plumbing system.

2. These valves are best suited where desired pressure regulation is required such as firefighting, water towers, drinking water applications, high-rise buildings, and water tanks.

Disadvantages Of Pressure Reducing Valves

1. Pressured is reviled in the pipeline, which is caused due to back pressure.

2. Chances of pipeline bursting if the built-up back pressure is too high.


So, these were some major types of plumbing valves used widely. I hope you now have enough knowledge about it. If you have any questions, ask me in the comments.

Also Read

System Of Plumbing In Buildings
Types Of Pipe Joints Used In Plumbing

Types Of Sewerage Systems

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