How to tell if your valve is open or closed?
"Is my valve open or closed?" This question often plagues people. The most important part of knowing whether a valve is open or closed is knowing what type of valve you have.
How to know if a gate valve is open
A gate valve is an isolation (or shut-off) valve that is located on a pipeline that needs to be completely shut off or open to flow. A gate valve has a knob at the top that raises and lowers the gate inside when turned, hence the name. To open the gate valve, turn the knob counterclockwise and turn clockwise to close the valve.
There is no visual indicator to see if the gate valve is open or closed. Therefore, it is important to remember that when you turn the knob, you must stop when you encounter resistance; continuing to try to turn the valve may damage the gate and render your gate valve ineffective.
The most common use of a gate valve around the house is for shutting off the main water supply, or as you may see more often, for a faucet outside the house.
How to determine if your butterfly valve is open
Butterfly valves can be used not only as shut-off valves, but also as regulating valves. Inside the butterfly valve is a disc that rotates as you turn the handle. A butterfly valve regulates flow by partially opening the valve flap.
The butterfly valve has a lever handle on top. This handle either indicates whether the flow is open or closed, or can be used to open the valve midway by locking the flap in place. The handle is closed when it is parallel to the valve and open when it is perpendicular to the valve.
Butterfly valves are suitable for garden irrigation and are also commonly used in space-constrained applications. They feature a slim design that is ideal for tight spaces. Because of the internal flap, these valves are not the best choice for use in high pressure applications because there will always be something partially blocking the flow.
Is my ball valve open or closed?
Ball valves are named for the ball that sits inside the housing unit. The ball has a hole in the center. When the valve is open, the hole faces the flow of water. When the valve is closed, the solid side of the ball faces the flow, effectively preventing further forward movement of the liquid. Because of this design, ball valves are a shut-off valve, which means they can only be used to stop and start the flow; they do not regulate the flow.
Ball valves are probably the easiest valve to see if they are open or closed. If the handle at the top is parallel to the valve, it is open. Likewise, if the handle is perpendicular to the top, the valve is closed.
Common places you may find ball valves are irrigation and sites that need to control the water supply from one area to another.