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About Float Valves

While most people don’t know what a float value is, it is present in a lot of everyday devices that we use in our homes. It is these valves that control the working of water tanks, toilet cisterns, water coolers, and refrigerators. 

Valves are necessary for the working of quite a lot of things that we use. These include kitchen faucets, bathroom faucets, water coolers, and much other equipment. But not all of them use the same type of valves. In fact, there are so many different types of valves. It might even be really hard for a layperson to remember the names of all of them. Even bathroom faucets use half a dozen different types of valves. But float valves are a bit different from all of these. Read this article to know more about them. Having a better understanding of these valves will help you make the right choices when you are making the purchase.  

Different types of float valves 

Not all float valves are created equal. The design and working of these valves change depending on the pressure of the liquid, the temperature of the liquid, and also the way the container is oriented. It is important to know these distinctions because the type of replacement valve you buy should be suitable for the purpose you want to use it for. A wrong valve can be just as useless as a chocolate teapot. Thus, it’s important to make the right choice from the get-go. Below is a list of four different types of float valves and how they work. We will also unveil some useful tips that will help you achieve a fantastic shopping experience.  

Isolating valves 

These types of float valves are basically mechanical liquid level controllers. An isolating valve maintains the level of liquid in a container or a tank. If the valve detects a drop in the level of liquid, the valve opens up and let in more water and brings back the water level to the way it was. These valves are present in equipment like toilet cisterns and water coolers. Depending on the pressure level of the water inlet, you have to either use a low-pressure isolating valve or a high-pressure isolating valve. The size of the isolating valve also changes depending on the pressure rating.    

High-pressure valves 

As the name indicates, high-pressure valves are used for high-pressure applications. These valves are necessary for the proper working of power plants. But they are also used for high-pressure water supply systems. High-pressure valves use the expansion and compression of the floating ball for the working of the valve. When the pressure gets too high in a container, the floating ball shrinks and lets the water out. While an isolating valve maintains a constant level of liquid in a container, a high-pressure valve maintains a constant pressure inside a container.  

Low-pressure valves 

The major difference between a high-pressure float valve and a low-pressure float valve is that the first one is useful for high-temperature applications while the second one is useful for low-temperature fluids. Because of this reason, low-pressure valves are present in refrigerators and water coolers. This float valve also detects the difference in pressure. But instead of opening up the valve when the pressure goes higher than the limit, this valve opens when the pressure goes under. When the pressure on one side of the valve decreases, the valve lets in more fluid to the other side of the valve and equalises it.  

Hydrostatic control valves 

A hydrostatic valve is different from all three above valves. Basically, hydrostatic valves do not control the flow of water or other liquids between two containers. Rather, this valve is useful as a pressure release mechanism. So, you will see these valves in sewage tanks and sewage pipelines. A hydrostatic control valve uses the weight of the valve to control the pressure. Therefore, these valves are mostly vertical valves. When the pressure gets above the threshold level, the weight of the valve rises and opens up the valve to release the pressure. In fact, the safety valve on a pressure cooker is a hydrostatic float valve.

Tips on how to buy Float Valves

We are oblivious to a lot of important things that we use in our everyday lives. When it comes to floating valves, most people might not even know that such a thing exists until they stop working. This is one of the reasons why finding the right replacement valves can be really hard. Also, it is always important to use the right type of valve with the correct ratings. To do that, you need to know what criteria to consider in a valve. Here are some tips that you can follow while shopping for them.

  • Type – You have to use the right type of float valves for the right applications. Because of the nature of float valves, they are designed to work for very specific applications. For example, an isolating valve works to maintain a constant water level while a pressure valve maintains a constant pressure level. None of these valves is cross-compatible.
  • Size – It is not enough to just use the right type of valve. The valve should also be compatible with that specific application. You have to look at the thread size of the float valve to make sure that the valve is compatible with the type of plumbing you are dealing with.
  • Rating – Each model of float valve has some specifications. Apart from the size of the pipe thread, these include pressure rating and the flow rate. The valve you are using should correspond to the amount of pressure in the pipes. If you use a valve with a low-pressure rating with high-pressure plumbing, the valve will not hold up very long or might not even work in the first place.
  • Price and durability – Although a float valve might not seem like much, they are precision instruments. While you will be able to buy a poor-quality valve for a low price, they can easily go wrong even with the slightest changes in stress levels. If reliability is important for you, then always go for the best float valves.

Besides float valves, there are many other essential items that you will need for the maintenance of plumbing systems in your home. These include faucet handles, faucet bases, p-traps, faucet drains, and many more faucet parts. The best part is that you can find all of them here using our shopping search engine. That way, you can compare the prices and features of different products and pick the best one among them. Finally, don’t forget to check out other amazing products from the bathroom fixtures category.

Question & Answer

What are the float valves?

Just like any other valve, float valves also control the flow of fluids. This can be through a pipe or in and out of a container. But these valves are called float valves because, unlike regular valves, float valves will make use of a floatation device to control the opening and closing of the valve. This can be a ballcock, floating flaps, or anything else. So, most flat valves are automatic devices. Once you set the threshold for the opening and closing of the valve, the floatation device will control the working of the valve. You will find these valves inside toilet cisterns.

How does a float valve work?

The working of a float valve depends on what type of valve it is. If it is an isolating valve, its function is to maintain the water level inside a container at a particular level. Isolating valves use a ballcock for this. If the ballcock drops below a particular level, the lever pulls the valve along with it and let the water in. A pressure valve works differently from this. A pressure valve uses the expansion or compression of a floatation device to control the opening and closing of the valve. Hydrostatic control valves make use of the weight of the material.

How to replace the float valve in a toilet cistern?

Float valves come as a complete unit. So, this will include the floatation device, which is often a ballcock, a lever, and the valve itself. Because of this, if you want to replace an existing valve and replace it with a new one, you have to replace the entire valve. However, this makes it easy to replace the valve. All you need will be the replacement valve and an adjustable wrench. First of all, you should close the main valve. Then remove the existing valve using the wrench and install the new one using the wrench. After that, you can turn on the main valve and check the new valve for leaks.