water supply valves

Types of Valves Used in Water Supply

Valves are a vital part of the water distribution system. They are mechanical devices used to control, regulate and direct water flow by completely or partially restricting it. They come in a variety of ranges with different styles for every need. Water valves can be made of brass, stainless steel, bronze, copper, and other materials.

The different types of valves can be a bit difficult to differentiate from one another, but learning the key plumbing units attached to the valve helps in understanding the use and style of each type.

Most Common Types of Valves Used in Water Supply

This article will highlight the types of valves used in the water supply.

Ball Valve

Ball valves are one of the most reliable and common valves used to control the water flow. It includes a rotating sphere with a hole in the centre that controls the water flow.

industrial ball valves factory

Water can flow through the valve and move towards the pipes when the ball’s hole is parallel to the water inlet. Water cannot flow through the valve when the hole is rotated 90 degrees to the pipe through a handle

Ball valves are mainly used to shut off valves. These valves are greatly used in residential and industrial applications due to their dependability, speed, and durability to start and stop the water flow without a pressure drop.

The ball creates a strong, leak-proof seal within the valve that prevents the water from leaking out. Ball valves are also great for emergency conditions where water flow needs to be stopped immediately.

Butterfly Valve


industrial butterfly valve manufacturer

The butterfly valve is typically used to both control and isolate water flow. Like a ball valve, it consists of a movable disc that rotates in the middle, controlled by turning the handle a quarter turn. Turning the handle causes the disc to burst open, allowing the water to pass through the valve. The flow of water is prevented when the disc is closed.

It is called the butterfly valve due to the rotating metal disc that creates an image similar to a butterfly. It is included in the ‘rotary motion’ family of valves. They control water discharge by operating a revolving mechanism that stops the water flow.

Check Valve

Forged Check Valve manufacturer

In industrial settings, the most common type of water distribution valve found is a check valve used only when the water flow is maintained from one side. The flow inside the pipe is controlled by using a ball. The ball will stop the water from flowing in the wrong direction. Check valves are the most convenient option for supply lines with a backflow risk.

Check valves are extremely useful in commercial locations and households because they prevent sewage or drainage water from entering the clean water supply. Check valves are used with sump pumps throughout a house to circulate the water flow.

Diaphragm Valve

 Diaphragm valve

A diaphragm valve is one type of water valve that can limit the water flow in a piping system. A Diaphragm valve can control water flow by a knob or wheel. This design is quite similar to the gate valve’s design. In the diaphragm, the diaphragm valve rests on the saddle to seal the path.

Faucet Valve

Faucet valves specifically control the water flow in kitchen and bathroom faucets. Various types of faucet valves are designed for this reason, such as ceramic disc valves, ball valves, cartridges valves, and compression valves. Several of them are used as shower and tub valves.

The structure of the cartridge valve consists of a movable stem that regulates the flow. The hot and cold water cartridge valves on two-handle faucets are often separate. Ceramic disc valves regulate flow by stacking two discs on top of one another in cartridge housings.

Compared to rubber washers that crack, hardened ceramic is more resistant to corrosion. The ceramic discs create an airtight seal that prevents leaking by moving back and forth. A compression valve uses a compression stem to press against the valve seat, commonly found in older faucets. They may be less expensive, but the washers made of plastic and rubber can crack and cause leaking.

Gate Valve

industrial Gate Valves Manufacturer

A gate valve is one of the most common water valves used in the plumbing system. It is quite popular and widely used for general and residential plumbing. It consists of a wedge-shaped metal gate that can be lowered with the help of a knob. The movements of the gate can be controlled by rotating the knob.

The gate valve is designed so that it can only be fully opened or closed. It can not control the water flow. If it is used to control the water flow, it will cause the valves to wear out. Gate valves are great for straight-line flow, like in big water supply lines.

It can be used to circulate different fluids like air, feed water, hydrocarbons, fuel water, lube oil, and steam.

Globe Valve

Flange Globe Valve

A globe valve is a good option when the water flow needs to be adjusted daily. It includes a stopper on the end of a valve stem raised and lowered by the valve’s twist knob.

The knob can be opened and closed completely or partially. When the knob is twisted, a disc-shaped device opens up a Z-shaped path that allows water to flow from one section into another. The globe valve got its name from its globe-like or ball-like shape.

Due to the curved Z-shaped passage inside the valve, its water flow is more restrictive than ball and gate valves, which makes it ideal for controlling water flow at low pressures. Globe valves avoid water hammers because they open and close gradually.

Needle Plug

Needle valve

Needle valves offer more precise control of flow than any other valves. A threaded, conical spindle is lifted and lowered to control the water flow. The spindle’s sharp tip sits perfectly on the valve seat at the valve’s bottom.

A rotating stem activates the needle valves. When the stem turns, the spindle slowly slides out of its valve seat, allowing water to flow through the valve’s narrow path gradually. Needle valves isolate, control, and throttle the water flow.

The flow increases in a controlled manner with each twirl of the stem. Due to this, the operator can have precise control over the water flow. Most systems use needle valves where flow needs to be adjusted carefully to protect equipment.

Plug Valve

plug valves for sale

A cylindrical valve, known as a plug valve, can be used for isolation or redirection reasons. A cone-shaped “plug” inside the fitting valve has a hole in the middle. When the lever is turned a quarter, the plug rotates to allow the water to flow through.

When closed, the hole turns flush with the valve’s walls and prevents the flow. Another use for plug valves is to restrict flow across multiple channels and have multiple ports.

Plug valves can have diamond, round, or rectangular ports. Round and rectangular ports allow water flow, whereas Diamond ports prevent water flow.

However, using these valves, flow can not be slowed down. The structure of the plug valve is very simple. Moreover, their working principle is similar to ball valves.

Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure relief values do not function in the same way as a regular water valve. They protect equipment or piping systems from bursting and reduce the water pressure to the desired limit. The valve’s structure includes a spring and diaphragm that is adjusted to a specific limit depending on the water supply’s pressure.

These values are commonly used on hot water tanks to help prevent overheating, rupturing, and deformation due to excessive pressure. The pressure relief valves are also called pressure-reducing valves, pressure safety valves, and pressure balance valves.


So far, I have discussed different valves used in the water supply. I have also explained the major features and functions of commonly used valves. For example, the well-known water supply valves are the ball and gate valves. Other important valves are also discussed in detail.

Grab this article to understand better the types of valves used in the water supply. Share if you have any further queries related to this article.

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