Shut Off Valve vs Gate Valve: Which One To Choose?

Home Shut Off Valve vs Gate Valve: Which One To Choose?

In industrial pipelines, shut-off and gate valves control the flow of the medium, typically liquid and gases, passing through them. Although both the devices are ideal for similar settings, a few critical differences set the two apart. So, in this article, let’s discuss everything about shut off valve vs gate valve to decide which one to pick and when.

What is a Gate Valve?

Dombor Gate Valve 2
Source: Dombor

Also known as sluice valves, a gate valve bought from reliable China valves manufacturers is typically employed in ancient houses to allow the residents to control the medium’s flow rate. It includes slow trickles instead of full flow but does not offer an immediate stop. Their mechanism involves a round knob that lowers and raises the internal gate or wedge when rotated to control the water flow rate.

A gate valve is the most prevalent in water supply systems. This liner-motion isolation device is not ideal for regulating the flow. Instead, it completely opens or closes the flow because a partial opening causes harm. It isolates parts of a water supply network for maintenance, repair, new installation, and rerouting the flow.

These devices are available in various sizes, materials, temperatures, pressure ratings, and designs. One can also find electric and pneumatic actuator gate valves for varied applications. It is among the most commonly used valves today because of its simple design and ability to use in various low-pressure-drop applications.

Gate valves typically have a full-port design to allow fluid to flow without obstruction and causing a pressure drop in the pipeline. Thus, it enables the use of a cleaning pig to clean the channels.

What is a Shut-Off Valve?

Shut Off Valve
Source: unsplash

Also known as ball valves, a shut-off valve is typically employed in modern houses to control the flow of the medium. As its name suggests, a shut-off valve uses a rotatory ball with a bore to prevent the flow of medium from one opening to the next.

It employs a handle to monitor the placement of a hollow, perforated sphere in the mechanism. When the handle rotates, the hole opens or closes the flow of water along with it. It is easy to determine whether the valve is open or closed through its handle placement. When available, the handle lies flat, aligning with the flow. When it completes, the handle is perpendicular to the flow.

A shut-off valve is the best choice for gaseous applications because of its strong seal, reliable and secure closing even after prolonged rest periods, and durability. The devices of an industrial valves company work well even after several cycles. They have a higher resistance to contaminated media than most other valve types, ensuring a good seal even when the medium is dirty.

All these characteristics make the ball valve suitable for shut-off and control uses in a pipeline.

Shut Off Valve vs Gate Valve

Industrial Valves
Source: Unsplash

Since valves are one of the most crucial parts of a functioning plumbing system, they should operate adequately to avoid leaks and unwanted flow. While several types of valves are available today, shut-off and gate valves are the most prevalent. It is vital to learn about shut off valve vs gate valve to decide which one to use for a particular application. So, let’s go!

SHUT OFF MECHANISMIt offers quick shut-off with only a quarter turn (90 degrees) to close the device.It offers slow shut-off as it requires more than a 360 degrees rotation to shut off.
WATER HAMMERFast opening and closing of the valve may cause a water hammer.Slow start and finish of the valve reduces the risk of water hammer.
VISUAL DETECTIONAn open or closed state is easily detectable by the handle position.A loose or closed form is not easily noticeable by the handle position.
COSTMore expensive than a gate valve of similar specifications.Cheaper than a shut-off valve of similar specifications.
INSTALLATION SPACERequires more space to accommodate a quarter-turn handle.Requires less installation space compared to a shut-off valve.
SIZESuitable for bore sizes below two inches.Ideal for bore sizes above two inches.
LEAKAGEIt offers tight sealing even after prolonged usage.More prone to leaks compared to a shut-off valve.
DURABILITYDurable and less prone to damage.Less stable as the valve stem is prone to corrosion.
APPLICATIONSFire protection systems and marine applications.Power plants, mining, and Water Treatment.
ENVIRONMENTLow-temperature and low-pressure environments.High-temperature and high-pressure environments.
MAINTENANCEDifficult to clean as the slurry particles may damage the rotatory ball, thus causing contamination.Perfect for applications with slurries and viscous media as they are easier to clean and maintain.
SUITABILITYSuitable for new plumbing systems with frequent shut-off requirements.Ideal for applications where a frequent shut-off is not required.
OTHER NAMESIndustrial ball valveMulti-turn or Sluice valve

How to Choose Between a Gate Valve and a Shut-Off Valve?

Industrial Working
Source: Dombor

Here is a list of criteria to consider when deciding to purchase a gate and a ball valve:

  1. Number of Ports: A gate valve includes two ports, while a shut-off valve has more than two ports.
  2. The Flow capacity: A gate valve offers a larger flow capacity than a shut-off valve because of its larger diameters.
  3. Pressure: For high-pressure applications, a gate valve is more suitable because a ball valve’s fast opening and closing may cause a water hammer. However, both are perfect for low-pressure applications.
  4. Cost: A ball valve is generally more expensive than a gate valve purchased from gate valve manufacturers having similar specifications.
  5. Maintenance: If the application requires less maintenance, a ball valve is more suitable than a gate valve. So, it is more pocket-friendly in the long run.
  6. Sealing: A shut-off valve offers tight sealing and complete closing than a gate valve. So, it is better suited for applications like natural gas.
  7. Shut-off Speed: A shut-off valve is suitable for applications requiring faster opening and closing speed, especially during an emergency. But an industrial gate valve needs more than 360 degrees turn, making it slower to operate than a ball valve.

Parting Thoughts

A ball valve includes a rotatory ball with a bore and a stem. When the handle attached to a stem turns, the ball also rotates to open or close the flow. It is also known as a quarter-turn valve because its grip takes a quarter (90 degrees) turn to permit or block media flow.

A gate valve includes a gate to control the flow of media passing through the pipe. It has a solid disk structure connected to the stem. The gate lifts to open the valve and returns down to its original position to close it. It includes a bonnet to control the gate when it rotates.

Depending upon the application, one can decide whether to use a gate or a shut-off valve. Please contact us to purchase these devices in durable quality at typically cheaper rates than the market.