Quarter Turn Valve Vs Ball Valve: Which One Is Best?

Home Quarter Turn Valve Vs Ball Valve: Which One Is Best?

A quarter turn valve and a ball valve are completely different valves that often confuse one another because they look similar at first glance. Some people even have used the terms interchangeably. A quarter turn valve and ball valve are designed to perform the same function: to shut off or open a flow of liquids or gasses in a pipe or pipeline, but they go about it in very different ways. Both types have pros and cons, depending on the situation and preferences.

Understanding the difference between these two dombor valve and how each type works will help to decide which one will work best for specific application, whether it’s an indoor plumbing project or an industrial pipeline outdoors.

What is a Quarter Turn Valve?

Globe Valves
Source: Dombor

The quarter turn valve also known as globe valve that rotates a full 180 degrees and has two or more valves nested inside one another, depending on the application. This allows for quicker regulation of water flow. The maximum pressure is 125 psi with a pipe thread. It also prevents air from entering the system, as it doesn’t rely on an O-ring seal to operate as other valves do. Quarter turn valves are typically used for residential and commercial purposes where water supply needs to be regulated more carefully and quickly (e.g., car washing facilities). 

When using this type of valve, a large enough box is needed to accommodate the extra threads. For example, if anyone wants to install a 1/2 MIP (Male Iron Pipe) connection, they will need a 1/2 MPT fitting. Installation may require some modification of the piping layout so that the fittings can line up correctly. If the pipes don’t line up properly during installation, the quarter-turn valve may not function properly once installed.

The quarter turn valve operates similarly to the ball valve, with one exception. Turning the handle depends only on 90 degrees instead of 180 degrees. This design makes it easier to use than the ball valve; therefore, the quarter turn valve is sometimes used when space is limited, or precision is needed. A smaller area of contact between the stopping surfaces on a Quarter Turn Valve creates a tighter seal and better protection against leaks than other valves.

What is a Ball Valve?

dombor Ball Valve
Source: Dombor

A ball valve is a type of valve that controls the flow of fluid by using a sphere-shaped device that contains three to twelve holes in its surface. When the ball slides through one of these holes, it blocks or unblocks the hole, either allowing or preventing fluid flow. Industrial ball valves are widely used in various industries and known as oil and gas valves because they are very versatile and can be used for both on/off and throttling applications. Ball valves are also very durable and can withstand high pressures, making them ideal for many systems. They can be found in many different types of plumbing and engineering applications. Some common uses are washing machines, water heaters, irrigation systems, dishwashers, and septic tanks. 

Quarter Turn Valve Vs Ball Valve

Quarter Turn Valve Vs. Ball Valve
Source: istock

The difference between quarter-turn valves and ball valves is pretty straightforward. Quarter turn valves need an outside turning motion to open or close them (like a door). On the other hand, with ball valves, it is needed to push down on the top with the hand – no turning required! The reason for this difference is that they have entirely different purposes. Quarter turn valves are used as faucets, so their shape needs to allow the user’s hands to reach them from any angle. In contrast, ball valves are mainly used for controlling pressure and flow in mechanical devices like home heating systems, washing machines, and sprinkler systems.

Quarter turn and ball valves are frequently used in plumbing and piping applications. But what are the differences between these two types of valves? Here are some key differences to keep in mind:

  • Quarter turn valves can be opened and closed with a quarter turn of the handle, while ball valves require a complete turn to open and close.
  • Quarter turn valves are typically used for on/off applications, while ball valves are better suited for regulating flow.
  • Quarter turn valves are less likely to leak than ball valves.
  • Quarter turn valves come in various materials, including brass, bronze, and stainless steel, while ball valves are usually made of brass or stainless steel.
  • Quarter turn valves are available in threaded and socket weld configurations, while ball valves are usually only available in threaded designs.
  • Quarter turn valves are available in a wide range of sizes, from 1/4″ to 4″, while ball valves are usually only available in sizes up to 2″.
  • Quarter turn valves can have either a latching or non-latching handle, while ball valves always have a non-latching handle.
  • Quarter turn valves can be actuated manually or with an automated device, while ball valves must be actuated manually.
  •  Quarter turn valves typically cost more than ball valves.

How To Choose: Quarter Turn Valve Vs. Ball Valve

man is checking the valve
Source: istock

Both valves have their pros and cons. They both serve a purpose when it comes to valves. Depending on the function of the system and how much traffic can anticipate through the valve, One may find one of these two best suits the needs. Industrial ball valve manufacturer break down their pros and cons so that anyone can make an informed decision! 

  • Size/Space Available– A quarter-turn valve takes up less space than a ball valve, making them more desirable if space is limited. However, this means they cannot be used with larger pipe diameters. For example, a one-size pipe would not be able to use a quarter-turn valve because there would not be enough room between the inner diameter of the pipe and the outer diameter of the plug stem assembly. 
  • Maintenance– Both valves will require maintenance over time depending on where they are located (i.e., at higher or lower elevations). The quarter turn will require less work than cleaning scrub around a ball’s seal head yearly. 
  • Temperature– If the location of the system contains high temperatures, then go with a ball valve with a metal seal head. Conversely, if the temperature is lower than average, then choose a quarter-turn valve that does not contain any metal material inside. 
  • Strainer Required– Ball valves typically require an inline filter before installation due to its tendency to trap particles within its tight closure surface. 
  • Operating Style– When using either type of valve, what operating style is preferred? want something quick and simple or something more precise? A quarter turn requires no tools, while a ball requires special tools. 
  • Connection Location– want the connection point closer to the top or bottom? Regarding a quarter turn, the outlet connection is near the top of the valve. 
  • Pipe Conditioning Required– Is it necessary to condition pipes to accommodate a particular type of valve? Ball valves are better suited for older pipes with corrosion and corrosion build-up. 
  • Backflow Prevention Required– Are backflows from broken water lines possible? Will backflows occur from burst supply lines? 
  • Price Range– Does price matter? It might be wise to consider costs before choosing one based on other factors. This way, one can be sure to get the correct valve without paying too much. There are many factors to consider when looking at a valve and selecting the right one for needs.


Both quarter turn and ball valves are used in various applications. Quarter turn valves are more durable and can be used in high-pressure applications. Ball valves are less expensive and are easier to maintain. When choosing a valve for application, consider the type of material, the desired flow rate, and the maximum operating pressure. Also, contact us to purchase the high-quality industrial valves for commercial and residential use at very affordable prices.