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Ball Valves

A ball valve is a valve with a spherical disc (or ball) that works to control the flow through it. The ball (sphere) has a hole (known as a port) that when "in line" or "open" allows flow to occur. When the valve is closed the hole is perpendicular to the ends of the valve thus stopping flow.

Ball valves are typically operated with a lever, gear, or an actuator. They are part of the quarter turn family meaning that the opening mechanism needs to be turned a quarter (or 90 degrees) to open or close the valve.

They are en excellent choice for shutoff applications; however typically do not offer fine control necessary for throttling applications.

There are five general body styles of ball valves: single body, three piece body, split body, top entry, and welded. The difference is based on how the pieces of the valve—especially the casing that contains the ball itself—are manufactured and assembled. The valve operation is the same in each case.

In addition there are different styles related to the bore of the ball mechanism:



Ball valves can also be made in a three-way or four-way design. These designs are usually L or T shaped with a hole in the middle. Such valves are used to divert flow to multiple ports at the same time.


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Valve Tip:
You can send a valve to a machine shop to change some end connections and trim material. This usually adds cost to the valve and requires a new hydro test but it can save weeks on delivery.