What Is a Three-ball Valve

In this blog post, you’ll read:Three-way ball valves are a much more cost-effective kind of multiport valve and are very common. This design of valve frequently uses in applications to redirect media in two distinct ways. A three-way ball valve is frequently used because it is economical and straightforward to command shutoffs and flow ways in a sole valve body.
Table of Contents

1. What is a 3-Way Ball Valve?

Three-way ball valves are a much more cost-effective multiport valve and are very common. This valve design is frequently used in applications to redirect media in two distinct ways. A three-way ball valve is commonly used because it is economical and straightforward to command shutoffs and flow methods in a sole valve body.

There are various methods a three-way ball valve can use to assist and command the flow based on different necessities. Thus utilizing the proper valve arrangement and kind. Here are some requirements that a 3-way ball valve can achieve:

  • Limit the flow.
  • From one end to another, flow can distract.
  • From diverse sources, blend two different liquids.
  • A Three-way ball valve can hinder one opening while letting flow carry on in another path.

Three ports are allotted on the flow path, whether two inlets or one.

A three-way ball valve is a valve kind that has three ports, also known as openings. The link among the ports has a metallic ball with doors to command the media’s flow pathway.

Through the valve, gas (media) or fluid runs. However, a device leads the flow from one place to another to rotate the ball.

2. How does The Way Ball Valve Work?

3 way valve works
3-way valve works

Two kinds of three-way ball valves are a minor change from the standard ball valve functioning. Gas or fluid will go through diverse sources and cut off from one another or co-mix.

The valve functions by starting an actuator (electric ball valves) or rotating a handle (mechanical valves). The inlets and outlets of the valve to straight flow due to this rotatory act line up the channels.

rotatory act line up the channels.
Rotatory act lines up the channels.

The diverter or L-style valve shifts flow from one port to another by spinning the actuator or handle to 90 degrees. Assume the first site is open by the left port and bottom port.

The valve switches the media flow to the proper outlet with a quarter turn in the opposite direction of clockwise rotation. The passage of the media block by a further quarter turn in the opposite direction permits a full rotation of 180 degrees. A 270-turn will also impede the media movement. However, having a 360 rotation allows the valves to return to their native location. In a method, at a single time, two of three ports are accessible. Due to this, the valve has three flow adaptations and two shutoff sites.

The T-pattern is also called a mixer valve; meanwhile, the media of two inlet flows can blend inside the valve. On another end, it is the leaving valve. Hence, at a single time, all three ports can open.

The T-designed ball valve would also perform as a diverter to function like the L-kind valve. With a quarter-spinning of the handle, it can be attained. T-pattern cannot have a bubble-firm shutoff, but they can ease the pathway to the three ports or oppose the flow to two ports. As a mixer, a T-style ball valve will isolate the media in two ways.

Similar to a two-way ball valve, its style aids the T-pattern to distribute the flow or make a direct-by flow pattern. The standard port is still open for vertically attached T-pattern ball valves. Turning the flow a quarter turn is the only possible method to change its direction. The media’s flow won’t change if you do a 180.

specifications of three way ball valve
Specifications of three-way ball valve
  • Specifications of Three-way ball valve:
Size¼ 3/8 ½ ¾ 1”1-1/4 1-1/2 1″2-1/2
3-way ball valve sizes and dimensions

3. Applications of Three-Way Ball Valve:

Three-way ball valves distract media in two diverse pathways or with numerous media sources. Three-way ball valves are utilized in applications. The three ports allot as whether two inlets, two outlets, or one inlet and one outlet, liable on the flow pathway.

Three-way ball valves can be automatic with a pneumatic actuator or can be intuitive and can be manually operated. The bore through the ball comes in two variants.

“T” and “L” ports. Three-way ball valves can:

  • Divide the flow upcoming from one origin among two destinations.
  • Change the direction of flow originating from one source to another.
  • Change the direction of flow between two sources
  • Streamline the flow coming from two sources.
  • Alternate movement between two distinct locations.
Series BLS – 3-way L port 316 Stainless Steel Ball Valve from Process Systems

4. Uses of Three-Way Ball Valve:

A Three-way ball valve is utilized to avert the water flow. They can be either T or L kind, and they come in flange end and screwed end formations. They can provide either a standard lever or a handle. Electively a pressure stabilization. Such valves can be combined with a usual lever to function instantaneously and are called a double 3-way or 3-way double valve. A 3-way ball valve offers the capability to:

  • Combine two dissimilar kinds of media (selector media)
  • Avert the flow of media (diverter valve)

5. Which Kind of 3-Way Ball Valve Is Best?

The ideal 3-way ball valve for your purpose will depend on whether you expect the requirement to combine all three flows at any point during operation or to shut off all ports at once. You should select an L-port if closing the valve is necessary. A T-port should be used if it is essential to combine all three flows.

best 3 way valve
best 3-way valve

6. Selection Guide:

Always keep these considerations in mind when choosing a 3-way ball valve. Be sure to communicate your needs to 3-way ball valve suppliers or manufacturers. Choose the right and corresponding valve seal by determining the fluid used in the system.

Establish the pressure rating of the system and the location of the valve. The system’s average operating temperature should be understood.

flow way
Flow way

By examining the connection type, you may determine whether the valve can be attached to the pipe. L-Port valves could only shut off the flow-through completely or direct it in a 90-degree direction. T-Port valves can control the flow however you like, but they can’t completely stop it. A valve with flanges or unions on each port makes servicing much simpler.

When using a T-Port valve to combine flows, the dynamic head of the two connecting streams needs to be constant. The substance used for the valve body must be appropriate for the procedure pressure and temperature and compatible with the current process lines. Find out how the valve operates and whether it can be incorporated into the current system.

Do I Need Unions or Flanges on a 3-Way Valve?

A valve is likely to wear out or become blocked at some point. The valve body may be removed via unions or bolted flanges for maintenance or replacement. Without the capacity to accomplish this, the pipe must be cut on at least two of the valve’s three sides. However, this will cause your plastic pipe system to be offline.

Working Pressure of Three-Way Ball Valve:

½ – 11000 psi
1 ½ – 21000 psi
2 ½ – 4800 psi
3-way ball valve work pressure

What are the benefits of handles for three-way ball valves?

Handle stops of some form strict boundaries on how far a ball valve handle can rotate. These often extend the top and the handle of the valve body. They work by obstructing handle rotation. These stops block the handle from moving past a predetermined distance.


 If the valve is not frequently used, cycle it once a month or more.

• Release system pressure before keeping the valve closed.

• Reverse the installation order to remove a pipe.

• By eliminating the end plates, swap out the valve seats and seals. When the ball is closed, carefully push the end chairs and the ball out of the way. Use a soft, clean towel to grasp the ball to prevent scratching the polished surface.

Push the drive stem up from the hollow to reveal the stem seals. Replace the end plates, seats, stem, ball, and seals. On the seals, use only authorized lubricant. Test it out and reinstall it according to the installation order.


Flow patterns, handle orientation, and the extent of 90-degree revolutions of the handle can be used to categorize three-way ball valves depending on how the valve ball is bored, and the pipe layout, gas, and liquid flow can be switched between, combined, blocked in one direction, or completely stopped. Multiport valves reduce room by replacing the requirement for a second tee and a valve. Selecting the best three-way valve and planning its installation is easier if you know the basic three-way ball valve design options.

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