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About Stop Valves

The underlying mechanisms of the everyday objects in our lives might not be that simple. While it is easy to operate the faucets, it is the small stop valve inside it that controls the flow and pressure of water in the faucet.

For somebody who doesn’t know what is going inside a faucet, all faucets look the same. This is not surprising as whichever faucet you turn, water comes out. But those who really know about them will understand the major variations in the design and working each of them. Even though it is not necessary to know every minute detail, it is still helpful if you know at least the basic differences between them. Read this article to find out more about angle stop valves. Knowing about it will help you make the right choices when you are shopping.

Types of angle valves

Bathroom faucets come in a lot of different shapes, styles and sizes. There are wall-mounted faucets, single hole faucets, vessel faucets, centre-set faucets, and whatnot. But regardless of the type of faucets you use, it is the angle valve that is responsible for controlling the flow of water. While there aren’t as many different types of angle stop valves as there are faucets, there are still a few of them. This article will tell you about the major physical differences and the differences in the working of four common types of angle valves. You will also find some helpful tips in this article that you can use while buying a replacement valve for your faucet.

Compression valves

Compression valves are the oldest type of angle valves that are still in use. Because of this, the technology behind this valve has been tried and tested for over a century. This is also a great option if you are looking for an inexpensive and simple valve that works effectively. A compression valve has two main components. One of them is a screw that raises and lowers a screw stem. One end of this screw stem will have a rubber tip to seal off the opening of the water pipe to stop the water from flowing. This mechanism makes it possible to open the valve by turning the lever counterclockwise.

Copper sweat stop valves

“Sweat” is just another term for soldering, usually used by plumbers. This term refers to the ways that plumbers install this type of valve to the water pipe. The usual methods of installation of copper stop valves involve soldering to the main pipe. Because of this, copper stop valves only work with copper pipes. This involves tools for soldering, including a torch, flux, emery cloth, and solder. Sweat valves are not easy to remove after installation. They have to be heated to melt the solder so that you can take the valve off the shaft.

Iron pipe stop valves

You will find this type of valve is on galvanized or brass-threaded pipes. It uses a thread size that is compatible with the typical iron pipes. Iron pipe stop valves will have a female portion of this thread. So, you can connect this directly to pipes using a male iron pipe adapter. Because of the screwable threads, the connection is easy to undo as well. You only have to simply screw and unscrew the iron pipe valves from the end of the tube. All you will need is two pliers to do this. One of them to hold the pipe in place and the other to turn the pipe.

Ball valves

As you can probably tell from the name, the main part of a ball valve is a ball that contains a network of holes and grooves. If you want to turn on the valve, you will have to align these holes such that the whole network is complete. Some of these valves will have two separate inlets for hot and cold water. The benefit of this type of valve is that it is easy to operate single-handedly. Also, it is possible to combine two different water inlets with a single lever. However, the downside of this valve is that because of the presence of complex mechanisms, the longevity of the valve is less.

Tips on buying Faucet Valves

Finding the right type of angle stop valve can be harder than you might think. Because there are so many different types of these valves, it can be harder to pick the right one. This is especially true if you are new to this. So how do you make sure that you are buying the right one? Well, it becomes easier if you know what factors to consider in an angle valve. Here are some tips that you can follow while shopping for angle valves.

  • Compatibility with the pipe – While selecting an angle stop valve, you have to make sure that it is going to work with your pipe. However, it is not possible to use an angle valve other than the default valve in the system. If your basin or toilet uses a compression valve, then you can replace it with a ball valve or an iron stop valve.
  • Size – The size of the valve depends on the size of the main pipe. You cannot fit a valve that is larger than the main pipe itself. Secondly, the size of the valve also affects the flow rate of water. It is not surprising that larger valves allow more water to flow through the pipe.
  • Material – Constant contact with water can cause the valve to corrode over time. This effect will be worse if the salinity of the water is higher. But the material of the valve can also affect how fast it corrodes. Brass is more resistant to corrosion than stainless steel. Brass will form a green layer on the surface that protects the material from further deterioration.
  • Durability and cost – Valves are precision instruments. A slight imperfection in the construction can make it harder to use or cause the water to leak around the valve. This applies to both the metal part of the valve as well as the washers.

Faucets & bath taps are essential items for bathrooms. You can find all of these here on our shopping search engine. If you need other items to maintain the aesthetics and functionality of your toilet, then check out the bathroom fixtures category. Amongst the leading brands, you can choose from including Kohler, American Standard, Grohe, Gerber, Symmons, Mixet, and Hansgrohe.

Question & Answer

What are the functions of an angle valve?

Angle valves are useful in many ways. They regulate flow, control the flow of water and reduce or increase water pressure depending on the connection. Some of them can also control the temperature of the water. However, most of the time, the mechanisms for achieving these functions are very simple. Some of the benefits that angle valves have over other types of valves are that they decrease cavitation, friction, corrosion, and noise as they control the flow. The fluid or gas flows at a right angle in the direction it reaches the valve when the valve is engaged. Engaging the valve will separate flow and provide additional control for the overall operation and functioning of the machinery.

What is the faucet stem?

Basically, the stem or the cartridge is the moving part inside the valve. This item appears in one form or the other in all types of valves. In a compression valve, the stem is the cylindrical portion in the middle of the valve. The screw mechanism in the compression valve actually goes around the stem. In the case of a ball valve, the stem is what contains the complex network of grooves that let the water out. In short, it is the stem that helps the valve to actually function as a valve. The rest of the valve is simply a supporting mechanism for the stem.

How long does an angle stop valve last?

The complexity of the valve varies between models. There are simple compression valves to complex ball valves. The quality of the material and the precision of manufacturing also varies depending on the brand. Another factor that affects the longevity of a valve is the contaminants in the water. The presence of alkaline or acidic components in the water can speed up the corrosion of the valves. If the water contains tiny dust particles, it can settle around the moving parts of the valve and make it harder to operate the valve.