We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Plumbing Valve?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A plumbing valve is a device used to control the flow of liquid or gas through a plumbing pipe. Some of these valves may be hidden from view, while others are located in easy-to-access areas. Each type of plumbing valve features some form of control system, which allows a plumber or repair person to operate the valve and control the contents of the pipe. Plumbing valves play an important role in everyday safety and operation of basic water and sewage systems, as well as emergency repairs or modifications.

Depending on the application, a plumbing valve may be made of metal or thermoplastic. Common materials for these valves include PVC, steel, or copper. The plumber must choose the size of each valve to fit the adjacent pipes, and some valves require special connectors that allow them to fit pipes of a larger or smaller diameter. The size, features, and materials of a plumbing valve are typically regulated by local building codes in most areas.

Plumbers join pipes and valves using a variety of different techniques. Many of these plumbing supplies feature threaded ends that allow them to be screwed together to form a tight bond. Some valves subject to high pressure or force may be designed with flanges at the ends that allow the user to add screws or bolts for a more secure connection. Others may require welding to ensure a watertight seal.

The gate or stop valve represents one of the most common types of plumbing valves. It consists of a thin metal flap roughly the same diameter as the pipe. Using a wheel located outside the pipe, users can spin the flap to cover the entire inside of the pipe to block the flow of water. By rotating the control wheel the opposite way, users can open the flap and allow water or gas to flow freely.

Globe or ball valves are also commonly used in basic plumbing systems. These units include a handle or similar operating device on the outside of the pipe. When the handle is turned, it forces a metal ball into position within the pipe to either block or unblock the flow of water or gas. This type of device is often referred to as a quarter-turn plumbing valve.

Many valves contain additional devices that perform special functions to control and regulate flow. For example, a check valve not only controls how much liquid flows through a pipe, but also keeps the liquid flowing in only one direction. This type of valve is commonly used in sewage systems to prevent raw sewage from re-entering a building. Other specialty valves include devices to reduce pressure in pipes that carry steam or volatile materials.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.