Different Types of Water Valves Found in Plumbing Systems, and What They Do

A lot of northern Utah home and business owners know a lot about their plumbing system, but not too many people know about water valves!

butterfly water valve in a residential plumbing system

A lot of homeowners throughout northern Utah simply aren’t aware about the many types of water valves that are connected into our residential plumbing and commercial plumbing systems.

The truth is that these valves are absolutely vital for regulating the flow of water throughout a home, and they also regulate, stop and change water flow as needed. Below we’ll be delving deeper into the different types of water valves that are commonly found in plumbing systems like yours!

Ball Valves

Ball valves are commonly found in your home’s water main line, and they get their name from the ball-like feature that’s connected to the valve’s handles. These valves also generally feature a lever handle, which makes it easy for homeowners to turn on and shut off the pipe’s water supply.

Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are often mistaken for ball valves, but they’re actually much different when you examine the valve’s internal structure. These valves have rotating discs that help manage water flow, so they can control flow and water pressure as water circulates around the discs.

And unlike ball valves, butterfly valves can make more intricate adjustments to water flow — as opposed to simply being turned on or off. One thing to keep in mind about butterfly valves is that the internal gasket sometimes needs routine maintenance in order to keep optimal efficiency.

But butterfly valves are often a go-to option for plumbing teams when existing water valves need to be replaced!

Gate Valves

Gate valves are meant to either allow water to flow freely in an unrestricted fashion, or to shut off water flow completely. It’s ill-advised to use gate valves in any other way, because this could potentially lead to premature wear and tear. These valves feature a circular handle that opens and closes a metal gate.

These valves are often found in main water line pipes, as well as in pipes leading to a property’s boiler. Gate valves are sometimes susceptible to adverse effects like corrosion, and they can sometimes get jammed. When these types of issues arise with the valve itself, plumbing systems can potentially experience blockages or restricted water flow.

This is why regular maintenance is recommended for gate valves, which can include routinely lubricating the valve’s stem and gate to prevent rust development.

Pressure-Reducing Valves

These valves are specifically designed to control water pressure within a residential plumbing system, and they can be customized to create a desired water pressure for any household’s unique needs. These valves entail a diaphragm and spring, which makes it easy to adjust water pressure as needed.

These valves are also unique because their main purpose is to decrease water flow in an attempt to decrease water pressure throughout an entire plumbing system, and they’re often needed in northern Utah households experiencing abnormally high water pressure.

Globe Valves

Globe valves feature a large bulge within the valve body, which distinguishes them from the rest of the valves on this list. These valves are controlled via twisting knobs, and they help to regulate water flow in homes where water flow adjustments are needed on a frequent basis.

Globe valves are also well-designed for outdoor plumbing usage, which can include all sorts of different utility faucets.

Fixture Shutoff Valves

These valves are also referred to as stop valves, because they help control water flow to individual plumbing fixtures throughout your home. This can include your faucets, laundry machines and toilets. There are two types of fixture shutoff valves, including a straight version and a 90-degree-angle model.

What’s great about these valves is that they make it a lot easier to repair a damaged fixture, because you’ll of course need to remove water flow while conducting complex plumbing repairs.

Contact Beehive Plumbing To Learn More About Your Plumbing System’s Water Valves!

Beehive Plumbing has supported northern Utah households and businesses with all sorts of plumbing services throughout the past 20+ years, so we’ve seen plenty of scenarios in which residential plumbing systems have needed water valve repairs, replacements and installations.

You can learn more about your plumbing system’s water valves by reaching out to us online or giving us a call at 801-661-8155 today to speak with our Master Plumbers about your system’s current valves!

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