Did you know that an estimated 1 trillion gallons of water are wasted every year, just due to household leaks?
These leaks can happen due to a number of reasons, but the more you know about basic household plumbing, the more likely you are to notice and stop a leak sooner.
For example, how much do you know about plumbing valves?
You might know that they’re used to regulate water flow, but there are different types of plumbing valves all with different pros and cons.
If you’re ready to increase your plumbing knowledge, keep reading to learn about the most common plumbing valves.
At the center of a ball valve is a rotational ball with a hollow core. This helps control the flow of water, by allowing it to flow through the valve when the ball’s core lines up with the water inlet.
Ball valves are one of the most popular shut-off valves, thanks to their ability to turn water on and off without a loss in pressure. And, they are not prone to leaks, which is one of the reasons they’re often used in residential plumbing.
Additionally, electric and pneumatic valve actuators are a popular choice when looking for a power source for this type of valve.
Ball valves tend to be affordable and reliable, however, if anything gets caught in the ball’s hollow core, it can lead to clogging issues.
You’ve probably seen a globe valve more often than you realize. This valve is shaped like a sphere, with a wheel-shaped knob on the top.
When you turn the knob, it allows water to flow between chambers. If you only turn the knob partially, water will still flow, but with reduced pressure.
Globe valves are reliable, especially when you need to completely shut off water flow to isolate a leak. However, the flow through a globe valve is sometimes restricted because of its curved shape.
Gate valves are often found in older plumbing systems, though they were once widely used. They’re equipped with a gate that allows water to flow when it’s raised. If you need to stop water flow, you simply lower the gate.
Similar to a globe valve, it has a wheel-shaped knob at the top that gradually raises and lowers the gate.
Gate valves are low resistance, allowing water to flow easily, but they are prone to wear and tear over time, which is why they’re not used as much as they once were.
If you have a plumbing situation where water needs to flow in only one direction, you’ll want to use a check valve. They help to prevent backflow, particularly in the instance of sewage drain lines.
Thanks to a check valve, you won’t have to worry about contaminated water flowing back into your clean water.
Check valves are the best option for preventing backflow, but they aren’t as effective unless there’s a steady flow of water at all times.
Now You Know All About Plumbing Valves
After reading through this guide, we hope you have a better understanding of the most popular plumbing valves and how they work. Now, if you have a household leak, you can think back to what you learned here.
Want to further expand your knowledge of all things home improvement? Check out our other helpful articles!