Despite sounding incredibly similar, ball and gate valves differ in a few key ways. Consumers often get confused as to what the actual difference is between the two and which is a better fit for their unique needs. Here we will discuss both, what they are and what needs they best serve.
Also called “shut off valves,” ball valves are the only way to immediately shut off the flow of water. Gate valves are incapable of immediate redirection. With the exception of 3-way ball valves, machined stops prevent most ball valves from moving more than 90 degrees. Ball valves come in a number of configurations. DirectMaterial.com offers everything from 3-way ball valves to mini ball valves to flanged ball valves.
Gate valves usually have a round knob that you turn to control the water flow. This raises or lowers an internal gate to stop or start the water. Garden hoses with a spigot are an example of this. Gate valves give uses control over the pressure of the flow, rather than simply turning it off or on. Gate valves offer users significantly more control over the flow and pressure of the water than ball valves but do not afford users the option of an immediate stop of flow. For those looking to use gate valves but worried about corrosion, stainless steel gate valves are incredibly resilient and no more prone to corrosion than ball valves.