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Solenoids, Gates, and Ball Valves – Oh My!

Posted by: Irrigation Outlet

Solenoids, Gates, and Ball Valves - Oh My!

Let’s face it. The average homeowner is not a plumber. So what’s with all the different valve types? Whether it’s solenoid-operated, float, gate or ball valve, we’ll discuss the differences, the pros ,and the cons of these different valve types.

Solenoid Valve

A solenoid valve is controlled using electricity. When certain conditions are met, the solenoid provides power to the valve, either opening or closing it, depending on the type, allowing water to flow through until interrupted or to keep it from passing through until the solenoid opens the valve. This is helpful in automated systems like greenhouse and lawn irrigation systems.

Float Valve

Float valves are used in water features, tanks and similar aqueous applications. One of the simplest valves, this type uses a float to close the valve. When the water level drops, the float sinks and the valve opens. A common use of this type of valve is to maintain water levels in water features such as fountains, reflecting pools and similar setups.

Gate Valve

A gate valve is one of the most common valve types and is used in common hose faucets. Turning the valve in one direction tightens the gate against the surrounding fitting, while loosening it in the other direction pulls the gate away from the fitting, allowing water to flow through. Gate valves can be problematic if you have water that carries sediment or in installations where they aren’t opened or closed regularly, as buildup can make the valve stop working.

Ball Valve

A ball valve is another very simple and reliable valve. Its name is just what it sounds like, a ball in the valve with a hole drilled through the middle. Turning the ball 90 degrees will either allow the water to flow through the hole in the middle or will turn the ball to block the water flow.

Check Valve/Backflow Prevention

A check valve allows liquid to flow in only one direction. When you have an injection system or other setup that you don’t want contaminating other systems, a check valve prevents the treated water from flowing back into your water supply.

Now that we’ve helped solve some of the confusion, we hope we’ve given you a clearer picture of what the different valve types do. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us! Our experts are more than happy to help answer your questions.