How Ball Valves Work In Plumbing

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How Ball Valves Work In Plumbing

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There are many different types of valves used in plumbing, but ball valves are among the most useful and versatile. Unlike many types of valves, ball valves can be adjusted by hand, which makes them easy to use and ideal for low-pressure situations. 

Ball valves can be installed on almost any type of piping, including copper and PVC, but they should not be used with a plastic pipe because the plastic fittings aren’t compatible with brass or steel ball valves. Understanding how ball valves work can help you choose the right valve for your home’s plumbing needs. Read on to learn more about how ball valves work in plumbing.

What Is A Ball Valve?

How Ball Valves Work In Plumbing


A ball valve is a type of quarter-turn valve that uses a spherical float, also known as a ball, to control and direct water flow. They’re one of three main types of valves used in residential applications; each serves different purposes and has varying degrees of functionality. 

They’re called quarter-turn valves because they only need to be rotated slightly usually less than half a turn to completely shut off or fully open flow. Since they are so easy to use, ball valves are generally considered ideal for use by people with reduced mobility, such as children or older adults.

How Ball Valves Work

How Ball Valves Work In Plumbing


A ball valve is a type of shut-off valve that regulates the flow of a liquid or gas by utilizing a rotatable ball that has a bore in it. The medium can be allowed to flow through or restricted depending on whether the ball is rotated one-quarter of the way around its axis. They have a long service life and continue to offer effective sealing throughout the entire life of the valve, even when the valve is not being used.

The use of a wrench or lever that requires the user to manually turn is the most straightforward way to operate a ball valve. To open and close the valve, provide torque to move the lever arm 90 degrees in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direction, respectively. 

When the lever arm of the valve is parallel to the pipe, it indicates that the valve is open. On the other hand, the valve is considered to be in the closed position if the lever arm is positioned so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.

The only two functions that can be performed with the ball valve are turning it on and off. Because of the ball valve’s inability to provide precise control over the flow of air or fuel, its usage as throttle is not recommended. 

In certain circumstances, ball valves can also serve the function of a control valve in the system. This application is used much less frequently than others since the flow rate control precision is not as accurate as it is with other kinds of control valves.

Ball valve Installation 

How Ball Valves Work In Plumbing


Ball valves require careful installation and maintenance in order to prevent future fluid leakages that could have potentially fatal consequences. The steps necessary to install a ball valve correctly are listed below.

  • Make sure that the ports, seating surfaces, and threads of the ball valve are clean and free of any extraneous dirt by inspecting them carefully.
  • Ensure the valve is entirely closed rather than fully open.
  • Make certain that the threaded pipe connection that is screwed into the valve is properly screwed in, that it is clean, and that it is free of debris and metal debris.
  • To ensure that the pipe joint does not develop a leak, apply PTFE thread sealing tape or pipe thread sealant of a high grade according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer’s application.
  • To prevent thread crosses, valves and pipes need to have their alignment checked. It is imperative that the male thread be oriented in the same direction as the thread axis.
  • When installing two-piece frame ball valves, it is imperative to make use of wrenches at all times while assembling the pipe joints leading to the valves. 
  • Turn the wrench clockwise until the joint starts to feel resistance and the fitting is almost in the correct position. The following step is to slightly ratchet up the amount of force being applied. 
  • It will move less with each effort, so it will continue to pull until it is properly aligned and successfully linked. Eventually, it will become connected.


Plumbing is a very important system in any building. Ball valves being one of the major valves used in plumbing it is important to know how they work.  After reading this piece, we believe you know what a ball valve is, how they work and how to install them. At TUBOMART, we offer many kinds of plumbing valves you may need. Quality is guaranteed for all products. Kindly contact us in case you need plumbing valves that will match your needs.


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