A Comprehensive Guide to When Valve is Open or Closed Operations

In this blog post, you’ll read:Isn't it true that valves hold an industrial importance? The answer is Yes. If you want to have an efficient plumbing system for your home or workplace, valves are a must for it.  Valves work by following a simple mechanism. Some control the unidirectional flow of liquids, and some work well with the bidirectional flow of liquids and gasses. So you can say it effectively controls opening, closing, slightly cutting off, or adjusting fluid flow passing through pipelines. Valves are not only used in households. They are also an integral component of the commercials industry. For example, Chemical plants, water treatment centers, automobile production, and Pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on valves.
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Isn’t it true that valves hold an industrial importance? The answer is Yes. Valves are necessary if you want an efficient plumbing system for your home or workplace. Valves work by following a simple mechanism. Some control the unidirectional flow of liquids, and some work well with the bidirectional flow of liquids and gasses.

So, it effectively controls opening, closing, slightly cutting off, or adjusting fluid flow passing through pipelines. Valves are not only used in households. They are also an integral component of the commercials industry. For example, Chemical plants, water treatment centers, automobile production, and Pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on valves.

This blog will discuss precisely when the valve is open or closed. Let’s start with the composition of the valve.

What is a Valve Made Up of?

Before installing valves in your plumbing system, you should know their composition. Metals are integral components of valves. But some are metal-free and made of lead-free brass, plastic, stainless steel, cast iron, and galvanized pipe. Below is a list of all the main parts of a valve:

  • Body
  • Bonnet
  • Trim
  • Disk and seat
  • Actuator
  • Packing
  • Valve stem

Valves are of different types, each specific for its unique function. In addition, each one comes in a different style to fulfill specific plumbing needs. So, if you plan to install valves for particular appliances, you must understand their working pattern. We made this guide to provide you with overall insight into valves. If you want to stay tuned, then keep reading.

What are the Types of Valves?

Plumbing valves feature a range of characteristics and standards that give you an idea of their intended applications and performance. Here is a list of valves that are an excellent choice for a project or process.

Ball Valve

Ball valve tap
Ball valve tap

Ball valves are widely acceptable because of their highly adaptable properties. Some of them are given below:

  • High Working Efficiency
  • Tight Seals
  • Excellent Water Flow
  • Highly Durable
  • Speedy On and Off Approach

After discussing its features, let’s talk about its composition. They possess a spherical disc-like ball that controls the on and off position of the ball valve.

If the round ball is stationary at the center, it creates a tight seal that prevents water from escaping. In addition, under emergencies, if you need to cut off the water supply immediately, rotate the ball valve and fix your issues.

Types of Ball Valve

Three-way Ball Valve: As you get the point from its name, this valve works in three dimensions simultaneously. It contains two round balls. The motion of these balls is associated with valve opening and closing.

Trunnion-Mounted Ball Valve: It has a trunnion responsible for properly functioning the valve. The rest of the work is similar. The trunnion valve supports them effortlessly if you have heavy appliances that need high pressure and high temperature.

Side Entry or Split Body Valve: This valve gets its name from the side ball that occupies the sides of the valve. If you are searching for an economical option, this valve is better. It is highly compatible with high-pressure applications.

Floating Ball Valve: It does not have a trunnion to support the ball at the bottom. The floating ball valve is known for its better sealing and less wear on the seat. It is suitable for low-pressure applications.

Uses of Ball Valve

  • Ball valves are commonly used in refineries as isolation valves.
  • Chemical processing plants become non-functional without Ball valves.
  • Also, the gas and oil industry can not produce much without proper ball valve functionality.
  • You may also use Ball valves in boilers to control and shut off steam.
  • These efficient Ball valves are suitable for municipal water treatment plants for filtration, chlorination, and distribution.

Opening and Closing Position of Ball Valve

The ball valve has a lever handle. The lever handle controls the opening and closing of the ball valve. It turns the ball to control the water or other fluid’s flow. The valve is open if you turn it clockwise, showing a parallel state with the pipe. But the valve is closed when you move the handle in a counterclockwise direction. It shows a perpendicular state concerning the fitted pipe.

Gate Valve

Gate valves industrial works
Gate valves industrial works

Are you wondering about the wheel along your plumbing system? You will be surprised to know it’s a gate valve. And you can also call it a sluice valve.

Let’s talk about its manufacturing units. A wedge-shaped metal gate and a wheel-shaped knob are its main components. Additionally, its functioning is very simple. So the good news is you can handle it very quickly.

Mainly, it has a stem system to control water flow, and the stems are moveable. Using these stems, you can lower the halt gate to restrict water flow and raise it to allow water to flow regularly.

Another fantastic feature is its size. Gate valves are available in a tiny size of 12mm. But if you want a big valve for your system or any other appliance, you can choose as big as 300mm. It’s the maximum size available for a gate valve.

Types of Gate Valve

Gate valves consist of two main types:

Parallel Gate Valve: It is made up of two discs that are connected through a stem. Specifically, they are used in oil and gas applications. Apart from fluid or gas regulation, you can easily clean, repair, and separate them from your system in an emergency.

Wedge-shaped Valve: As the name indicates, they have a wedge-shaped shut-off element. Due to the design, wedge gate valves can flow in both directions. So, it’s the best option if you need bi-directional flow.

Uses of Gate Valve

  • Gate valves are used to regularly supply oil, gas, slurries, steam, and corrosive liquids.
  • Gate valves regulate pressure and temperature in big electric applications.
  • Gate valves play an essential role in steam circuits in ships.

Opening and Closing Position of Gate Valve

The valve is open if the wheel or handle is straight, with the pipeline at 180 degrees. But, if the handle, wheel, or handle is 90 degrees perpendicular to the fitted system, the valve is closed.

Butterfly Valve

Industrial butterfly valve
Industrial butterfly valve

A butterfly, quarter-turn rotational motion valve is used in pipelines to shut off flow. It has a spring-loaded handle that locks the valve into the open position. These valves have a symbol that consists of two vertical parallel lines. Then, a diagonal line extends from the top left line to the bottom of the right line. Also, there is a solid circle in the center.

Types of Butterfly Valves

Let’s dive in to read about two main types of butterfly valves.

Soft-Seated Butterfly Valves: In composition, they resemble an alloy (mixture of metal and nonmetal). The operating handle that controls water flow is metallic. In contrast, the rest of the valve body is non-metallic. But it has a drawback: you must know they are not resistant to high temperatures.

Metal Seated Butterfly Valve: They are made of metal or hard material. The best part is they resist high temperatures, abrasion, and mechanical properties.

Uses of Butterfly Valve

  • Butterfly valves are used where the space is limited.
  • Butterfly valves are most specific in their action. Either functional in an open or closed position. It never works if it is partially open or partially closed.

Opening and Closing Position of Butterfly Valve

  • The valve lever parallel to the fitted pipeline indicates the valve is open.
  • The valve lever perpendicular to the fitted pipeline indicates the valve is closed.

Globe Valve

Industrial gate valve and globe valve
Industrial gate valve and globe valve

If you ever visit a water refinery, you must know Globe Valve. They are specific to control water movement and the unidirectional flow of gasses in pipelines. It has a spherical-shaped body with an internal baffle, making it unique from other valves.

Baffle is responsible for directing the flow in the globe valves. Plus, it controls the opening and closing of the valve, too. Globe valves are well-known worldwide for their unique ability to provide precise flow control.

Types of Globe Valve

There are several types of globe valves, which we discussed below.

Angle Globe Valve: They got their name from their angled body, which makes this valve fit for installation at every place. If you have a thin space, you can opt for this valve.

Needle Globe Valve has a pointed, needle-like disc that controls flow in associated pipelines. If you have high-precision devices, go and get this one for yourself.

Bellows-Sealed Globe Valve: As indicated by the name, this valve has a bellows element at one end. Its main operation is to seal the valve stem and the bonnet. Resultantly,  you will get a leakage-free supply of fluids in your applications.

Y-Pattern Globe Valve: A Y-shaped body provides full pressure to liquids and gasses in linked pipelines. As a result, you will get a hassle-free supply of fluids in your plumbing system.

Uses of Globe Valve

  • Provide full liquid or gas pressure when in open state.
  • Highly recommended for use in the oil and gas industry.
  • In the chemical industry, if you are dealing with toxic fluids, always choose a globe valve to deliver toxins in pipelines safely.

Opening and Closing Position of Globe Valve

Globe valves require a bit more effort to open or close. Turning the handle wheel entirely clockwise indicates that the globe valve is open. Turning the handle wheel fully counterclockwise suggests the globe valve is closed.

Check Valve

swing check valve
swing check valve

A check valve is sophisticated, allowing only unidirectional flow in linked pipes. It typically follows a lock and key model that opens to permit flow in the desired direction and closes to prevent backflow. So, if you plan to install a one-way regulator on your appliances, grab one of the most demanding check valves for you.

Types of Check Valves

Here are the types of check valves:

Swing Check Valve:

  • An open hinged disc or flap swing indicates that the valve is open.
  • If the disc is closed, the valve is also closed.

Ball Check Valve:

  • The moving ball represents the valve is open.
  • The stationary ball means the valve is closed.

Diaphragm Check Valve:

  • The open diaphragm shows the valve is open.
  • The sealed diaphragm gives you an indication of valve closure.

Dual Plate Check Valve:

  • If semicircular plates are open, it means the valve is open.
  • Accordingly, if plates are closed, the valve is also closed.

Uses of Check Valves

The following are the uses of check valves:

  • Check valves are highly recommended over sewage systems, ensuring flow in the forward direction only.
  • Check valves control flow efficiently, especially in heating systems, ventilation, and air conditions. And in return, you get the comfort that you need.

Opening and Closing Position of Check Valve

The valve is open if the disc is away from the lock seal. But the valve is also closed if the disc is closed inside the lock. High pressure results in valve opening, while low pressure reverts the valve to the closed position. Furthermore, check valves are difficult to turn on and off by hand. They automatically shut on and off in response to fluid flow in the associated pipes.

What are the Safety Measures to Keep Your Valves Up to Date?

Pipe fitting system cast iron
Pipe fitting system cast iron.

Proper maintenance and checkups are necessary to run your plumbing valves smoothly. Regular maintenance is cheaper than dealing with the valve’s damages or issues. The solutions can be expensive at worst.

Luckily, it’s easy to take care of your valves. You can avoid severe outages by just applying these essential checks.

Take a look below


Are you disturbed by sudden leaks in your valves? First of all, you should know the important positions that can be an immediate trouble for your plumbing system, and these are

  • Valve joints
  • Connections
  • Seals

But some appliances can be destroyed completely by slight negligence of your valve leaking. Below is a list of such appliances

  • Garbage disposals
  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Water heaters
  • Washing machines

So, to avoid a huge mess, go for valve repair if you observe a little slip or dip from your water system or plumbing equipment. Otherwise, you may have to go through structural damage and low working life of your electronics.


Do you know the biggest enemy of your valves? It’s rust. If you observe any signs of rust, pitting, or deterioration, you need a deep cleaning of your system. Rust layers ultimately cause corrosion. Rust or corrosion is unhygienic as it contaminates the drinking water and causes many diseases in infants and old age persons.

But no worries, we have an immediate solution to your problem. Have a look below

  • Coat thick polish
  • Apply water-insoluble paint

We hope it will help you to have long-lasting functional valves.

Mineral Deposits

Apart from other natural problems, water hardness is also a threat to your valves. If you do not follow proper precautions, your valves or pipelines are clogged by deposited salts in water. Thus, it restricts fluid flow in pipes.

Suddenly appearing, layers of salt around valve openings, seats, or internals indicate that your valve is near to damage. Important Note: Do not use this for a temporary relief against salt depositions. It will damage all of your plumbing systems.

Wear and Tear

Below is a list of valve parts sensitive to wear and tear.

  • Valve stem
  • Valve cavity
  • Seals and springs

All the rotatable parts often suffer from damage if you handle them rudely.

It would be best if you always remembered that valves are very delicate. Regularly clean seals, bent stems, or weakened springs to maintain the good performance of your valves. We know it’s quite tiring, but it protects your home machinery from death and damage.

Final Thought

Valves are open when they are parallel to fitted pipes and closed when in a perpendicular position. In the case of a rotational valve, you can go for clockwise motion in case of opening and anti-clock for the closing of the valve.

After reading this blog, we hope you learn all about when your valve is open or closed. Also, we try to make you aware of the functionality of different valves and their parts. If you have questions regarding your valves’ operative principle and regular maintenance, hit the Contact Us button. Plumberstar is here to serve you. Stay happy with a happy plumbing system!

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