Ball Valve Vs Check Valve: Knowing Their Functions

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Valves are a vital part of a lot of commercial and industrial applications. People use them to control gas or liquid flow in a system. You can find them in everything, from sprinklers to cars.

Valves regulate the flow of fluid, enabling it to start and stop. To avoid leaks and other issues, you have to properly maintain valves.

Today, there are a couple of various types of valves. However, the two most common types are the ball valve and the check valve.

So, what are the differences between the two? Here’s what you should know.


What Is A Ball Valve?

If you want to decide between ball valve vs check valve, you need to know how each of them works.

A ball valve is a shut-off valve that regulates, blocks, or enables the flow of vapors, gasses, and liquids in a piping system.

Ball valves use a rotating ball inside with a hole in the center. The ball is attached to two seats and has a shaft that links it to the control and operating mechanism that rotates the ball.

Whenever the cross-section of the hole is perpendicular to the area of the flow, the valve blocks the flow of the fluid so it won’t pass through it.

If the hole of the ball is parallel to the area of the flow, the valve allows the fluid to flow freely. The flow rate of the fluid also varies on the area of the hole of the ball exposed.

How Does A Ball Valve Function?

Just like butterfly valves and plug valves, ball valves are a type of quarter-turn valve. An operator can operate it manually. However, they can also use an actuator to operate it automatically.

To close or open the valve, an operator must apply torque to rotate the lever arm by 90° by either a counterclockwise or clockwise position.

If the handle of the valve is parallel to the pipe, it signifies that the valve is open. If the handle of the valve is perpendicular to the pipe, it signifies that the valve is closed.

To satisfy the different needs of various industries, ball valves come in a lot of features and designs. The specifications and standards for ball valves differ depending on the application.

For example, ball valves used for manufacturing cheap PTZ camera for live streaming will have different features compared to ball valves used for manufacturing beverages.

When To Use A Ball Valve

Today, almost all industries and companies use ball valves in their operations. You can find ball valves in almost any machine that regulates fluid.

Usually, manufacturers use ball valves in systems that don’t require accurate regulation of the fluid flow.

In addition to that, ball valves are also extremely cost-effective. That is why a lot of companies are using them to save on operating expenses. These companies include food and beverage, micro injection moulding, and more.

What Is A Check Valve?

A one-way valve, commonly known as a check valve, is a type of valve that enables the flow of fluids to only move in a single direction.

The main job of a check valve is to avoid backflow in the system. Check valves are easy, effective, and affordable solutions to a possible problem.

Keep in mind that backflow can result in an issue if the flow is contaminated. Thus, it can contaminate the media upstream.

For instance, a sewer line will have a check valve to guarantee that waste can leave but not re-enter the system it came from.

How Does A Check Valve Function?

A check valve is a vital component in many different kinds of machinery. It is a simple device that allows fluid to flow in only one direction, preventing it from flowing back or “checking.”

This unidirectional flow is essential in ensuring the proper operation of many types of equipment, from pumps to engines. Check valves are often used in conjunction with other valves, such as relief valves, to regulate the flow of fluid within a system.

Depending on the application, check valves can be made from a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites.

When choosing a check valve, it is important to consider the type of fluid that will be flowing through it as well as the operating conditions of the system.

Check valves are relatively simple devices, but they perform an essential function in many different kinds of systems.

Without them, many important pieces of equipment would not be able to operate properly. As a result, check valves play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of many different kinds of machinery.Ball Valve Vs Check

When To Use A Check Valve

Because of its function, people usually use check valves for various reasons in a range of applications. These reasons include:

  • To maintain a vacuum seal
  • To avoid siphoning
  • To avoid contamination due to reverse flow
  • To protect equipment downstream from backflow damage

Nowadays, almost all industries use check valves. Manufacturers commonly use them when creating household products like washing machines, dishwashers, and more.


As you can see, there’s a huge difference between check valves and ball valves. Check valves are designed to only allow flow in a single direction. On the other hand, ball valves are designed to simply regulate the flow of fluid.

When choosing the right type of valve for your application, make sure you consider the information mentioned above.


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