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Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Which Is Best For Your Application?

Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Which Is Best For Your Application?
May 23, 2024

When talking about ball valves and gate valves, consumers often get confused as to which one should be used for which application. There are a few factors that you should consider before choosing one type over the other. 

The first difference between ball valves and gate valves is how they operate. Gate valves are easier to operate than ball valves and are cheaper to purchase. Both ball valves and gate valves serve specific functions in plumbing systems, and some advanced systems use both types.

When choosing between ball valves and gate valves, it is important to understand the difference between the two. Both types work by using pressure to control flow. While gate valves can open and close fluid flow, ball valves have a bidirectional function. 

If you want to know more about the ball valve vs gate valve, continue reading this article. 

What is Ball Valve?

A ball valve is a mechanical device that is used to control fluid flow in a closed system. A ball valve is generally operated manually or electrically. Ball valves are characterized by their flattened handle and thrust washer. They are also equipped with a round ball to maintain a tight water seal. 

A ball valve is the most common type of valve. The benefits of these valves make them a popular choice amongst many people. They come in various shapes and sizes and have numerous applications. To make them last as long as possible, they must be properly maintained. Regular cleaning and lubrication are the keys to maximizing their life. 

Ball valves are composed of 5 main parts. A valve stem connects the ball to an external control mechanism. They can either be manually or electrically operated. The valve stem, which is typically connected to a lever or handle, rotates the ball. Seats between the ball and body provide a seal between the two. A stem connects the stem to the operating mechanism, which controls the flow. The cross-section of the bore must be perpendicular to the area of flow for the fluid to pass through the valve.

What is Gate Valve?

A gate valve is a simple type of mechanical valve that is designed for flow control. The wedge that opens and closes the valve moves perpendicular to the direction of flow. Its height is high, and its large opening and closing stroke mean that the valve is easy to operate, even in small spaces. The valve’s small size and symmetrical design make it highly versatile in its applications. 

Gate valves are usually operated by hand wheels, a T-key, or an actuator. The handwheel attaches to the valve stem and transfers rotational energy to the stem, which moves the wedge and turns the threads. The extension spindle makes it easier to operate.

A gate valve’s flow direction does not change, so its sealing performance is better than that of a shutoff valve. And unlike the shutoff valve, the gate valve is designed to handle high-viscosity and granular solid. A gate valve also works as a venting valve. There are many uses for a gate valve.

Ball Valve Vs Gate Valve: Which Is Best For Your Application?

If you’re in the market for a new valve for your application, you should know the pros and cons of both ball valves and gate valves. Ball valves offer a tighter seal and tend to be more durable and reliable. Ball valves are also more expensive than gate valves. 

They are typically used in shutoff and control applications but can also be prone to water hammers. Gate valves can be a better choice for higher flow rates, fewer ports, and smaller installation spaces.

Ball valves offer fast shutoff. You just need to turn the handle at 90 degrees to control the flow. On the other hand, the gate valve handle needs to be turned to 360 degrees to control the flow. However, there is a risk of water hammer in ball valve compared to gate valve. 

It is easy to install a gate valve as the ball valve needs more space. Ball valves are not prone to leakage, whereas gate valves can cause leakages. Ball valves are more durable the gate valves. 

Ball valves are more expensive than gate valves, but they last for a long time and don’t experience frequent problems. These valves are faster and easy to use. They also offer tight shutoff without any leakages, so they are best for your application.

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