Residential plumbing uses a wide range of parts and components. When it comes to valves, the focus is to help control the water running through your piping system. Varying types of valves provide associated benefits drawbacks. 

Managing on-off flow, pressure, and volume, and direction are some of their key functions, and types may vary depending on the intended function. They also differ in materials, such as PVC, plastic, bronze, brass, and stainless steel, which can be important for different applications in the home. 

That’s why it is important to understand the differences between valves as they enable plumbers to choose the right part for the system. For property owners, here’s what you need to know about residential plumbing valves.

1. Gate valve

One of the most common valves around, gate valves feature an internal gate that lifts and lowers to manage volume. By operating a twist handle or knob, you can either slow or limit the water or shut it off completely. 

However, these ideally should not be relied on to manage flow but rather to shut off or turn on the supply only. This is because they can become damaged quickly when they’re used for volume control. These are often employed for closing off or turning on supply at main or branch lines. 

2. Ball valve

Ball valves are also used for on-off purposes at main and branch lines. The interior has a hollow ball-shaped gate. Using a lever-design handle, you can turn the handle so it’s parallel to the pipe to the open position. 

Alternatively, shift it to the perpendicular position to close off supply. As such, it’s relatively straightforward to check the status with a glance. Again, this variety should not be utilized to regulate speed but only for open-shut requirements.

3. Globe valve

Globe valves are installed to throttle speed, unlike the previous two types mentioned above. The name comes from the sphere or lump at the center of the body, which makes it distinct from other designs. 

When you turn the twist knob, you can adjust the speed to a precise degree, so these are often seen in outdoor faucets and other utility faucets. Its interior has a stopper that’s elevated or brought down as required. When the stopper is low enough, it creates a complete block. 

4. Butterfly valve

The butterfly valve tends to be used more in industrial applications than residential. It looks much like its ball-design counterpart with a lever for control, but their inner components are dissimilar in most cases. These rely on a metal disc, which rotates to accurately restrict movement. 

However, as the disc is always present in the middle of the part, it acts as an impediment to flow no matter the disc position. Additionally, one potential limitation of these is the gasket in the interior can wear down and require maintenance or replacement after just a few years.

5. Stop valve

The stop (or fixture shutoff) valve is smaller in size than the others. With a twist handle, it’s frequently employed for individual items, such as a toilet, faucet, or washing machine. Within the category, you can have the straight or 90-degree-angle variants. 

An advantage of this particular variety is being able to fix the toilet or a leaking faucet without having to turn off the supply to the whole property. These can have a compression washer for open-close operations or a diaphragm structure for the on-off function.

Summing up

Valves might not look like much, but they play a crucial role in the household. From the total shutdown of mains to targeted stops to individual fixtures, these simple components facilitate the management, repairs, maintenance, and appliance upgrades

Failures can be quickly limited and controlled, and shutdowns can be isolated to minimize inconvenience to other sections of the property. Mineral deposits leading to lock-ups are a potential issue, but regular checks and exercise can prevent these. As with any part, they need regular checks and upkeep and should be replaced when worn so as to lower the risk of costly faults such as water damage.