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Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

Posted by skeeter_ca (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 16, 12 at 13:27

I was wondering which is a better valve to use for house water lines. It seems everytime i shut off a gate valve to work on a water line either the valve is siezed, wont close all the way, or breaks inside and can't reopen all the way. Is a gate valve or a ball valve most likely to operate properly when not used for ten plus years?

[IMG]http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h221/skeeter_ca/ballvalve_zps6eb53de1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h221/skeeter_ca/gatevalve_zps50755629.jpg[/IMG]

skeeter


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

I much prefer using ball valves in applications where they are to be in either the fully on or fully off position. In in-between positions, they tend to 'sing' (and I don't favor their taste in music).
I haven't tried to turn one off that hasn't been cycled in 'ten plus years', but I believe the results would be as bad as a multi-turn valve.
JMHO


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

It seems alot of valves in a house don't ever get turned off until something starts to leak. Toilet valve, sink valve, water heater. All these never get used for years until there is a problem and then they don't work as stated above. When was the last time you turned off the water to your water heater. Most only when you replace it. I like the ball valves and am wondering if they will fair better when not used for many years.

skeeter


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

OOPS
I meant to say:
"I haven't tried to turn one off that hasn't been cycled in 'ten plus years', but I believe the results would NOT be NEAR as bad as a multi-turn valve. "

So much for my proofreading.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

Quote;"I much prefer using ball valves in applications where they are to be in either the fully on or fully off position. In in-between positions, they tend to 'sing' (and I don't favor their taste in music)."

Gate valves & ball valves are defined as "Full Bore Valves" and they should never be left partially closed. They are intended to be either fully open or fully closed at all times, no exceptions. Leaving a full bore valve partially closed can and will lead to a number of other problems on the line including an increased risk of pin-holes on the downstream side of the valve.

I prefer ball valves for 3 reasons.

1. A ball valve is constructed of a round ball with a hole drilled through it equal to the diameter of the pipe.
When the valve is open the interior of the valve is almost equal to the interior of the pipe so there is no associated turbulance or friction as the liquid flows through.

2.Generally the ball is suspended in a nylon or teflon bearing pad between the ball and the valve body that primarily serves as a seal but it also serves as a bearing to make turning the ball easier.

3. The handle should be attached so that it is in the same direction as the hole through the ball. When installed in that manner you have a good visual indicator of when the valve is open or closed. When the handle of the valve is parallel to the pipe, the valve is open, and when the handle is at right angle to the pipe, the valve is closed.

It is almost impossible to look at a gate valve and tell if its open or closed, unless or course, you elect to use OS&Y(outside stem & yoke) gate valves, but I doubt if you will ever see an OS&Y gate valve in a residential structure because they are typically only used on lines that are 3" and greater, and OS&Y valves are extremely expensive.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but in the last post, lazypup stated that gate and ball valves should never be used in applications where they will be partially open. I have ball valves that are used as throttle valves in my geothermal open loop water lines and they are VERY noisy. What is the best kind of valve to use to replace them in this throttling application that will be as quiet as possible?


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

I suggest a butterfly valve. They are designed for throttling or shutoff so should not be noisy, and they are quarter-turn valves, like ball valves, so it is easy to tell how far open they are.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

I suggest a butterfly valve. They are designed for throttling or shutoff so should not be noisy, and they are quarter-turn valves, like ball valves, so it is easy to tell how far open they are.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

In commercial and marine settings, globe valves are preferred for the task of throttling flow because the opening is always proportional to the handle turns and the control is fairly precise. Gate valves offer pretty good control but tend to stick if left partially open. Butterfly and ball valves are worst for throttling; flow is not at all proportional to the handle travel. And they have the highest losses when partially open.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

Due to two seized gate valves, I asked for ball valve substitution to water pipes servicing my washing machine. Concomitantly installed a needed main water pressure reducer. Now I note worse water hammering during running of my washing machine.

I recently read ball valves can worsen water hammer. Had I known that or been told, I would have stuck with gate valves. How does a homeowner know this stuff?


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

" Now I note worse water hammering during running of my washing machine. "

"How does a homeowner know this stuff?"

If you had fixed the water hammer instead of ignoring it you likely would have had no problem changing valves.

Washing machines use fast acting valves and area common source of water hammer.

A full bore valve will have less affect on attenuating the hammer from the washer valves then a globe valve might.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

"If you had fixed the water hammer instead of ignoring it you likely would have had no problem changing valves."

Thanks brickeyee for your help. I discussed at length "water hammering" pre-install of both the new ball valves and the new washing machine (which have their own water valves) at length with the plumbing company. In fact, I had two new Sioux Chiefs arresters waiting for them (declined), and I insisted they check the whole house water pressure on their second visit, which was too high, so I purchased a water main pressure adjustor which they installed. But it was up to them to recommend the best valves off the main appropriate for water hammer minimizing for the washing machine and feeder pipes, yes? As advertised, very knowledgeable plumbing company professionals?

At this point, does anyone have a suggestion what to do? I guess pull the entire stackable machine out, check their new water valves (forget type), install new hammer arresters close to the machine, change back the new basement machine feeder pipe ball valves to globe valves? All to minimize damaging effect of worse water hammering on our pipes? I did crawl under the house crawl spaces to check each visible water pipe last week (took pics), particularly leading to the washing machine area. I found an area in the pipe where the metal points down, is thinned out and slightly oxidized. Is this a precursor to pin point leak that needs to be addressed? The pipes could be snugged up somehow to the beams: long, narrow, with old ties-could do better, maybe insulate too.

What do you think brickeyee and others? Sorry if O/T some OP. :( Still don't know which valve is best as you see.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

" I had two new Sioux Chiefs arresters waiting for them (declined)"

Hire anther plumber next time.
Fast acting valves are a well known cause of water hammer.
The arrestors should have been installed as you requested.

Sioux Chief makes units on a threaded stub that go on the hose outlet and then the washing machine attaches to them.


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RE: Gate valve or ball valve for water lines

Globe valves are most always used for balancing. You may just be over pumping the geothermal system. The problem is likely not the valve, but the valve may be to close to a 90, tee, etc. If it is the noise of the tumbling water then trying to get through the ball valve will create a lot of turbulence. I'd look for at least 10 diameters of the pipe away from the last fitting, at least.

In todays world, I would never install a gate vale


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