5 Types of Valves in Plumbing You Should Know

There are many types of valves in plumbing system.

But, how to choose a perfect valve for your dish washer faucet, tank or shower can be a difficult task.

A reason, this guide explores all the 5 main types of valves for your plumbing. You will know how the valve looks like, its sub categories, possible application areas, pros and cons.

1. Ball Valve

A ball valve consists of a ball with a hole that has a proper connection with the lever handle. When the lever follows in line position, it opens the ball valve. On the other hand, when the lever is perpendicular to the pipe, it keeps the valve closed.

You can get any size when it comes to ball valves. The size is available from anywhere between ¼ inches up to 60 inches.

Materials used to make ball valves include cast iron, stainless steel, PVC plastic, copper, brass, CPVC, and bronze.

Ball Valve for Plumbing System
Ball Valve for Plumbing System

Applications of Ball Valves in Plumbing Systems

  • Dishwashing valve
  • Floor drains,
  • Washing machine
  • For showers

Types Of Ball Valves In Plumbing Systems

The types of ball valves are as follows:

  • Trunnion mounted ball valve
  • Side entry/ split body
  • Three-piece body
  • Floating ball valve
  • Top entry ball valve
  • Three-way ball valve

Advantages Of Ball Valves

  • Offers excellent sealing
  • The ball valves are light and small in rating and size than other valves

Disadvantages Of Ball Valves

  • It does not offer precision control of the flow

More Resources:

Ball Valve System

Ball Valve

2. Globe Valve

Globe Valve Structure
Globe Valve Structure

A Globe valve is a type of plumbing valve with a stopper on the valve end. You can raise it or lower it by twisting the knob. The name globe valve is because these valves in plumbing have a globe-like structure.

You can get globe valves in any size ranging from 5 inches to 48 inches. The materials used in making them include bronze, cast iron, and brass for lower-pressure applications.

For higher-pressure applications, they feature stainless steel and carbon steel.

Applications of Globe Valve in Pumping System

Some plumbing applications of globe valves are as follows:

  • Central heating system
  • Plant piping
  • Water cooling systems

Types of Globe Valve

  • Angle Type
  • Y Type
  • Z Type

Advantages Of Globe Valves

  • Best fit for applications that need regular or periodic flow adjustment
  • Very easy at maintenance
  • Highly efficient shutoff and throttling abilities

Limitations Of Globe Valve

  • Not suitable for entirely open conditions

More Resources:

Globe Valve

Globe Valve Types And Parts

3. Gate Valve

Gate Valve
Gate Valve

A gate valve is a type of plumbing valve that features a wedge shape gate that you can raise or lower. This will lead you to start or stop the flow.

Comprehensive materials adaptability makes it suitable for various applications. The primary materials include ductile iron, stainless steel, forged steel, cast iron, gunmetal, alloy steel, and cast carbon steel.

They are available in many sizes, from 2 to 48 inches. You can select anyone as per your requirement.

Applications of Gate Valves in Plumbing Systems

  • In the plumbing system, a water shutoff valve
  • On outdoor water spigot

Types Gate Valves

  • Solid Wedge type
  • Flexible Wedge type
  • Non-rising stem
  • Split wedge

Advantages Of Gate Valves

  • Zero impeding of water flow
  • You can modify the water pressure

Disadvantages Of Gate Valves

  • Quick wear and tear of the valve seat
  • You can lower or raise the valve slowly

More Resources:

Gate Valve

Gate Valve Types

4. Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure Relief Valve
Pressure Relief Valve


Pressure relief valves are those valves that control or maintain particular water pressure.

These valves consist of a diaphragm and spring that you can adjust to the desired limit. Other names of these valves in plumbing are pressure balancing, pressure reducing, or pressure safety valves.

You can select these valves in any material, including aluminum, brass or even plastic. The most common size of these pressure relief valves is from 2 inches to 12 inches.

Applications of Pressure Relief Valves

  • The option exists to use a pressure relief valve in the water tank when it comes to plumbing
  • You can control the direction of flow in piping
  • In plumbing systems with this valve, you can prevent backflow
  • Utilize this valve to remove vacuum or pressure relieving

Types of Plumbing Valves

  • Reclosing valve
  • Vacuum relief valve
  • Pressure vacuum relief valve
  • Non-reclosing valve
  • Safety relief valve

Advantages Of Pressure Relief Valve

  • Extremely reliable
  • Dynamic Usability

Disadvantages Of Pressure Relief Valve

  • Relieve stress by causing back pressure
  • This leads to chattering when back pressure is very high

More Resources:

Pressure Relief Valve

Understanding Pressure Relief Valve

5. Butterfly Valve

Butterfly Valve
Butterfly Valve

A butterfly valve is a type of valve in plumbing that features a metal disc capable of rotating. You can start or stop the water flow with this valve.

You can get a butterfly valve in aluminum, exotic metals, cast iron, stainless steel, ductile iron, and carbon steel. The size of the butterfly valve can be anywhere between 2 inches to 60 inches.

Applications of Butterfly Valve in Plumbing Systems

  • Water cooling systems
  • Residential Plumbing systems
  • In pipelines to shutoff flow

Types Butterfly Valves

  • Flanged ends type
  • Double offset type
  • Lug type
  • Zero offset type
  • Butt welded type
  • Wafer type
  • Triple offset type

Advantages Of Butterfly Valves

  • Compact size
  • Lightweight
  • Short as compared to other valves
  • Less expensive

Disadvantages Of Butterfly Valves

  • Frequent gasket replacement
  • Pressure drop when flow opening increases
  • Slower to operate

More Resources:

Butterfly Valve: What Is It?

Butterfly Valve


In short, these are some of the main types of valves in plumbing systems. As a general rule, never use any valve for a wrong purpose.

Additionally, choose the valve according to material type, specification, and recommended standard rating.

More Questions You May Have

Rovitar is committed to providing affordable brass parts without sacrificing high precision and quality.

We will help you boost your business by providing durability and high performance.

As an expert manufacturer, our expertise is guaranteed reliable. We offer a one-stop solution according to your requirements.

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