Gas Ball Valve Vs Water Ball Valve- What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between these two ball valves? Well, the difference reflects on the name itself. Though both the ball valves operate the same way, the only difference is gas ball valve comes with more advanced specs to secure valve operation.

Let’s get to know more about the never-ending argument: gas ball valve vs water ball valve. Here we are going to explore different features and try to understand how a gas ball valve differs from a water ball valve.

Gas Ball Valve Vs Water Ball Valve – The Basic Differences

Gas Ball Valve Water Ball Valve
Material
Brass, Bronze, Stainless Steel, etc.Brass, PVC, Stainless Steel, etc. 
Maximum Pressure Difference at 20
16 bar (232 psi) – 50 bar (725 psi)25 bar (362 psi) – 50 bar (725 psi)
Minimum Temperature 
Able to operate in −20℃Able to operate in −10℃
Sealing Efficacy
Better sealing compared to the water valveRelatively poor sealing
Best Use
Best works for commercial and industrial useTraditional ball valve comes most as WOG (Water, oil, gas)

Now, it’s time to look into the specifications more closely. We will find the difference based on the following key factors:

  • Material 
  • Longevity
  • Sizing
  • Usability
  • Price

Here we go.

Material

Gas ball valves are generally found to be made of brass, bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, etc. Water ball valves are also made of brass, PVC, stainless steel, etc. 

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But, the ball and the housing of both gas and water ball valves are mostly made of brass because of their toughness and durability, which can put up with high temperatures and pressures.

Longevity

In the case of longevity, the battle is not actually about water ball valve vs gas ball valve. Longevity depends on the material and the nature of the medium passing through the ball valve, including the temperature and pressure.  

Stainless steel, bronze, and brass are extremely long-lasting and corrosion-resistant metals. So, metals are the ideal materials to use in high-temperature applications. However, stainless steel ball valves are more corrosion-resistant than brass ones, making them ideal for usage in harsher water conditions. The same goes for the gas ball valves.

On the other hand, plastic ball valves are less expensive; however, they should not be utilized in high-temperature environments and have lower lifespans than metal options. For maximum safety, pressurized gases should be utilized with metal valves. 

Sizing

Gas ball valves and water ball valves come in different sizes to serve their purpose. The connection port size of gas valves usually varies among 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4, 1, and 11/4 inches. The same goes for the water ball valves.

But yes, for different size gas lines the ball valves can differ whether it’s gas ball valve or water ball valve.

Then comes the valve bore size. The valve bore size is the diameter of the hole through the ball. The most common sizes of the valve bore for gas ball valves are 8,10,15, 20, 25, 32, 38, 40, 49, 50 mm. For water ball valves, it can be 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 32, 40, or 50 mm.

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Usability

When you look at the natural gas ball valve specifications or even any water ball valve, you will see most of them compatible with ON/OFF functions. And ball valves are meant to be for this purpose, no matter if it is a gas ball valve or water ball valve.

Also Read: Know About Different Types Of Gas Shut Off Valves

However, the gas ball valves benefit more as they come as more leak-proof claim and security than traditional water ball valves. 

Price 

The water ball valve has always been an affordable option compared to the gas ball because of their additional pecs.

A Helpful Tutorial You May Need!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is a gas ball valve?

A gas ball valve is like every other quarter-turn valve, which means that a 90-degree turn will change the valve’s position from fully closed to fully open. The valve is made up of a ball with a hollow center through which gas passes.

Can a water ball valve be used for gas?

It depends on the size and pressure. A ball valve designed for use with water at regular pressures (maximum of around 100 psi) may not seal the gas with less than 1/2 psi pressure. So, it is better not to use a water ball valve for gas.

What type of valve is used for gas lines?

Globe valve, ball valve, check valve, and shutoff valve are some of the most common types of valves used for gas lines through globe valve is mostly used.

Conclusion

There’s a common question frequently asked, can I use a gas ball valve for water?. The thing is, ball valves are designed, manufactured, and tested for specific applications. It may fail when a valve designed for low-pressure gases is used for water at regular water pressures.

For instance, a valve designed for use with water at typical pressures (maximum of about 100 psi) may not seal gas at less than 1/2 psi pressure. Water is significantly more abrasive than gas; therefore, there may be some wear involved.

It is critical to ensure that the valve body and seal materials are suitable for usage with the media that will be passing through the valve.

So, the confusion of gas ball valve vs water ball valve is over, and we can easily conclude that both ball valves are usable for all materials like oil, water, and gas as long as they are allowed. Yet, gas ball valves come with a few additional benefits.

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