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Ball Valve vs Float Valve – What’s the Difference

Ball Valve vs Float Valve

When choosing valves for your plumbing system, many options are available. Two of the most commonly used valves are ball and float valves. While both are used to control water flow, they have different features and functions. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between ball and float valves and which is best suited for your plumbing needs.

What is Ball Valve?

A ball valve is a type of valve used for controlling the flow of liquids and gases. This type of valve consists of a spherical disc which fits into a matching seat in the pipe, with handles or levers connected to it externally that are used to open or close it. It provides superior flow control due to its low resistance when fully open, making it an ideal choice for many industrial applications.

What is Float Valve?

A Float Valve is a water control device that regulates liquid flow in an open tank or vessel. It works by controlling the operation of a supply line, allowing liquid to enter and out of the tank as needed. The valve uses a floating mechanism to maintain the correct level in the tank, opening and closing when levels rise or fall.

Difference Between Ball Valve and Float Valve

Design and Construction:

One of the main differences between the ball valve and the float valve is their design and construction. The ball valve consists of a sphere-shaped valve body with a hole and a lever that turns the ball to control the water flow. On the other hand, a float valve has a hollow ball that floats on the water surface in a tank, and as the float ball rises and falls, it opens and closes the valve.


Ball valves generally control water flow in a fixed position, while float valves regulate the water level in a tank. Float valves are found in toilets, water tanks, and other water storage systems where maintaining a consistent water level is critical.

Ease of Use:

Ball valves are easy to operate and generally require a single quarter turn of the lever to open or close them. Additionally, you can easily tell if the valve is open or closed by looking at the position of the lever. Float valves are also simple to operate but require more maintenance as they can malfunction if sediment or debris builds up in the valve body.


When it comes to durability, ball valves are generally more reliable, enduring, and long-lasting compared to float valves. The ball valve’s sturdy design allows it to withstand high pressure, extreme temperatures, and corrosive environments. Float valves, on the other hand, are more prone to wear and tear over time because of their moving parts.


Lastly, ball valves are generally more expensive than float valves due to their superior quality, design, and functions. However, ball valves are a one-time investment as they require very little maintenance over their lifespan. On the other hand, float valves require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them functioning optimally, which can add to the overall cost in the long run.


So, which valve is best for your plumbing needs? The answer depends on the situation. A ball valve is an excellent choice if you need to control the water flow. But if you need to regulate the water level in a tank, a float valve is the way to go. Ultimately, both valves have advantages and disadvantages, and you need to consider factors such as durability, ease of use, functionality, and cost before deciding. This blog post has provided useful insights into the differences between ball and float valves and helped you make an informed decision.

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