Gate Valve Vs. Stopcock

Home Gate Valve Vs. Stopcock

Gate valves and stopcocks are two very different types of valves. A stopcock, in general, finds use in residential or small-scale systems, whereas a gate valve is often used on an industrial scale. Both stopcocks and gate valves are used to regulate the flow of fluids.

Although leading valve manufacturers supply high-quality valves, it is important to know and understand both these valves thoroughly to optimize processes and boost efficiency. Stopcocks and gate valves are manufactured adhering to various standards for efficiency and durability. A detailed comparison between these two types of valves is given below.

What Is A Stopcock?

Industrial stopcock valve
Source: Unsplash

Stopcocks are a type of valve that is operated externally and mainly used to regulate the flow of liquid or gas in a pipe. Stopcocks are commonly used in residences for plumbing purposes. A stopcock looks similar to a tap but has an outlet spout. They are used as connectors between two lengths of pipes to regulate flow.

Various types of stopcocks are available in the market. In terms of materials, stopcocks can be made from plastic and metal. They can also be categorized based on the direction of flow and include one-way, two-way, three-way and even four-way stopcocks. 

Stopcocks find various uses at home, in petrochemical industries and even in medical services. During emergencies and maintenance procedures, stopcocks play an important role in regulating the flow of liquids and gasses. Operating a stopcock is super simple and straightforward, which is why they are commonly used. To operate one, special skills or knowledge are not required. 


Generally, stopcocks are very simple to use. In most cases, it works like a tap which can be operated by rotating a lever or knob clockwise to stop the flow of the fluid. The lever or knob can then be rotated in the anti-clockwise direction to start the flow of the fluid. Some stopcocks come with special keys, which are provided to avoid misuse of the stopcock. To operate this type of stopcock, a key can be accessed using which the valve can be operated To automate its operation; it can be fixed with an electric actuator, which allows remote operation as well. 


For Water Services

A stopcock is a very important component of a plumbing pipeline system for any type of establishment. It is used at the main junction of supply outside the structure, and for extra precaution, a secondary stopcock may even be used within the industrial structure.

It is important to know the location of the secondary stopcock, as it will prove useful in the case of an emergency such as a burst pipe which may be quite troublesome. The stopcock can prevent extreme damage and can help reduce the cost of repair without disrupting the entire water supply system. They can be very handy during maintenance or repair work as well.

For Gas Supply Systems

Stopcocks are also considered among gas valve types as they can be used for gas lines in residences, petrochemical industries, hospitals, and more, to regulate flow. In this case, the stopcock should be made from high-quality, durable materials so as to avoid any type of leakage, which may be fatal in certain situations.

Stopcocks are also used along with control metres to understand flow pressure and quantity used. This instrument is very simple but plays a major role in regulating flow in pipes. Multiple stopcocks are also used to ensure safety, as they can block flow at different levels for extra reassurance.


Stopcock valves offer simplicity of operation and can be used by anyone without any special skills or knowledge. Additionally, it does not require too much maintenance. If not used regularly, greasing it once in a few months keeps it running. It is quite effective in regulating the flow of liquid and gases and is durable in the long run. 

What Is A Gate Valve?

Wedge Gate Valve
Source: Dombor

A gate valve is a simple and easy-to-use industrial valve. As the name suggests, this type of valve is used to stop or start the flow of a liquid or gas using a gate or plate. Gate valves are mainly used to completely stop or start the flow and are not used to regulate the amount of flow. This is because the amount of flow is uneven when not fully open or closed and cannot be quantified or regulated.

Its easy and simple mechanism makes it a very popular choice. The valve operates by simply moving or lifting up the barrier along the way of a flowing fluid. It is used along the pipe in a one-directional or bi-directional flow. When open, it provides minimal obstruction to the flow, thus maintaining constant pressure.


Although a gate valve is easy to operate, it consists of numerous components. This type of valve consists of the body, a gate, a seat, a bonnet, and an actuator. Cast iron, cast carbon steel, stainless steel, and gunmetal are used to manufacture gate valves. The mechanism of the gate valve and its vital components are described below:

The Gate

This is the most important part of the valve as this is the component that stops and starts the flow of liquid. Different types of gates are available based on design, and gate valves can be classified into parallel gates and wedge-shaped gate valves based on this aspect. 


The seats ensure that the gate is sealed so that no liquid or gas can flow through it. Seats in gate valves are either integrated into the body or are found as seat rings. Seat rings are fixed either by pressing and welding or by threading them into position. This is selected based on the usage of the valve.

The Stem

The stem is a very important component in a gate valve. There are two types of stems based on design and operation. Rising stem gate valves and non-rising stem gate valves are the two variants available. The stem is usually operated by an actuator or by a manual rotating wheel. 


Gate valves have numerous applications in various industries such as oil, gas industry, pharmaceutical, chemical, automotive, and marine industries. Gate valves also find their use in fire safety systems.


Gate valves are extremely easy and simple to operate without any complex skills. Their simple structure and mechanism facilitate easy maintenance and they have a smooth shut-off feature which makes them very efficient.

The most significant advantage is that they offer minimal pressure drop due to almost zero obstruction when fully open. Stainless steel gate valves are bi-directional that is, they can be used to shut off flow from both directions.

There are several types of gate valves available which makes them suitable for various applications in different industries and locations. Gate valves or sluice valves are capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions. 

Final Words

One of the most important parts of selecting a gate valve is understanding its purpose or application and also having good knowledge about the valves. Both gate valves and stopcocks have simple and easy operations. The quality and material of the valves should be carefully assessed for optimal performance from reliable gate valve supplier

Dombor Valve is one of the best valve manufacturers in the world and has a collection of high-quality, durable valves. The required valve can be selected based on the industry. Contact them today to access the finest valves.