How to Select the Right Pipe Valves and Fittings

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It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

The right pipe valves and fittings are what make your plumbing system work smoothly and efficiently, no matter how complex it may be. However, there are many different types of pipe valves and fittings, each designed to fulfill a specific purpose. While you can use any type of pipe fitting or valve in an emergency, if you want to save money over time, it’s important to select the right ones the first time around and understand how they’re used. Here’s everything you need to know about pipe valves and fittings to get started in your search today!

Straight Valves

The straight valve is an extremely important plumbing fixture. Whether you are building a new home or remodelling an old one, a reliable supply of water is essential. Straight valves are what help you get your water from point A to point B; they come in two types: gate valves and ball valves. 

Gate valves are more common because they are easier to install. The valve has two hinged flaps that move past each other when turned on; these flaps can be pushed open manually using levers if necessary. Gate valves come in many sizes, including 1⁄4 inch, 1⁄2 inch, 3⁄4 inch and 1 inch. They also come in many different materials – brass or steel – so it’s important that you select a material that will work best for your specific situation. Brass offers a lower cost but requires more frequent maintenance than stainless steel. Steel offers greater durability but may corrode over time with exposure to water.

Ball valves are used mostly by those with higher water pressure requirements. It features only one moving part which makes it easier to maintain than gate valves (which have two). If you’re looking for something durable and easy to use, then this is the product for you! These typically come in 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch sizes and again offer brass or stainless steel options.

Expanders

Pipe expander fittings are what you’ll need when you’re working with pipes that have an inner diameter (ID) of 12 inches or larger. The expander fitting is a type of union that has a female thread on one side, and a pipe thread on the other. This allows for pipe in-line expansion. These are typically used in gas distribution systems, as well as water distribution.  In some cases, they can also be used for drainage. 

They’re available in various sizes: 1⁄2 inch through 8 inches. They come with a variety of wall thicknesses too; from standard to heavy-duty thicknesses. You should take this into account if you want a longer service life.

Crosses

Choosing the right pipe valves and fittings for your project can be a daunting task. There are many different types of pipe valves, each with different benefits, but when it comes down to it, they all serve one main purpose: shutting off a flow of water. The type of valve you need depends on where in the plumbing system you need the shutoff point to be and how much pressure is going through that line. For example, if you’re installing a faucet in your kitchen sink, you would need an under-the-counter style faucet with an aerator. If you have high water pressure in your home (above 50 pounds per square inch), then you’ll want to install ball valves for the best control.

main photo: unsplash.com/Vladyslav Cherkasenko

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