A Beginners Guide To Types Of Basic Valves

A basic valves is a mechanical device that opens and closes to regulate the flow of a medium (gas or liquid). Valves are considered fittings since they join two distinct parts together.

They’re used in everything from chemical manufacturing, in medical plastic injection molding companies, electrical generating firms, car accessories distributors, and domestic water management. 

Simply put, a valve regulates the circulation of a medium inside a system. It could be an intermittent process in which the media is required but not at a continuous flow. In this case, control valves or regulating valves would be necessary to maintain the desired flow rate (shut-off valves).

Some of the most common kinds of valves are described below:

Shut Off Valves

When the fluid flow becomes uncontrollable, shut-off valves are utilized to prevent potentially hazardous situations. Emergency shutoff valves are standard at most gas stations. 

If a hose is damaged and leaks, gasoline can spray out unchecked and cause the system to fail. The emergency cut-off valve turns off the gas supply to all of the pumps, ending the crisis.

Control Valves

These valves are the regulators in a control loop. Most control valves are automated. However, some can be handled manually. Ball and plug valves, butterfly valves, needle valves, and check valves are just a few of the many types of valves that can be used.

Pressure Relief Valves

Pressure relief valves are installed to prevent damage to other devices from vacuum or pressure buildup.

Needle Valves

Needle valves regulate fluid flow in pipework with a very small inside diameter.

Pinch Valves

The pinch valve, also known as the clamp valve, is a valve that restricts the flow of fluid by use of a rubber tube and a clamp. A pinch valve is your best bet when trying to regulate a fluid that contains suspended solids.

Plug Valves

As its name suggests, a plug valve is used to halt the flow of fluids via a pipe by means of a cylindrical plug. It happens with a rotating motion, just like the ball valve.

Plug valves provide a leak-proof seal even under extreme conditions like vacuum or intense heat.

Butterfly Valves

Although gate valves are simple in design, butterfly valves have the added complexity of being able to start, stop, and regulate flow. Their portability and moderate weight make them ideal for use in large-scale valve applications.

Check Valves

Check valves to prevent backflow in plumbing systems. Activating the valve requires a fluid of sufficient pressure. If fluid starts to flow backward, the check valve will automatically shut.

Ball Valves

Ball valves respond quickly. A ball-shaped disk blocks or permits fluid flow when the fluid valve is spun 90 degrees.

The ball-shaped disk inside the rotary motion valve rotates to open and close the valve and allow or restrict fluid passage with a quarter turn.

Gate Valves

Their name implies that gate valves are the standard in industrial processing facilities. To effectively shut off, a linear gate valve is necessary. In terms of butterfly vs gate valve, they either keep both eyes open or don’t move at all.

Globe Valves

In most cases, globe valves are used for modulating control processes. There are three common shapes to choose from: the T-body (shown above), the Y-pattern, and the angle body.

Safety Valves

As a standard practice, valves are installed to regulate the release of potentially harmful substances. In this way, the valve keeps potentially dangerous liquids or gases from escaping the system. A single valve, however, would have to be completely trustworthy to accomplish that.

A valve’s eventual failure is to be expected; in fact, there are situations where this is actively sought to protect other components’ reliability. When the pressure in a system increases beyond a safe threshold, a safety valve is activated to prevent further damage.

A few examples of typical functional labels and the types of designs they correspond to are:

  • Ball, butterfly,  pinch, piston, diaphragm, gate, and plug valves are all examples of isolation valves.
  • Ball, butterfly,  needle, pinch, diaphragm, globe, plug, and siphon valves are all examples of regulation valves.
  • Pressure-relief valves and vacuum-seal valves are two types of safety relief valves.
  • Two types of non-return valves are the swing check and the lift check.
  • Multi-port valves, float valves, foot valves, knife gate valves, and line blind valves are all examples of specialized valves.


It can be difficult to choose which valve is ideal for your application. The ideal valves for your needs can be easily narrowed down by starting with generic criteria like valve design, valve size, and actuation mechanism.

Even though valves may take up a negligible amount of physical space in your pipe process or system, they can consume a sizable chunk of your budget. They also significantly affect the overall system performance and the system’s long-term cost.

If you follow this guide, even a novice will be able to operate valves with ease. You’ll be an expert before you know it!

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