Brass Ball Valves are some of the most common types that you will utilize in Plumbing, Water Well and HVAC. They are fairly easy to work with and install, and suit many applications where corrosion resistance is not a big issue. In this blog, we are going to go over a few reason why Brass Ball Valves are so popular, where they are best used, and the difference between Brass and Bronze.
Why are Brass Ball Valves so Popular?
1. Easy to work with
One of the biggest benefits that Brass Ball Valves have going for them is that they are easy to work with and install. By easy to work with, I mean that brass as a material is softer than others (like stainless steel). This makes sealing them easier.
Also due to the popularity of Brass Valves, the products that are used for sealing them are very readily available. When sealing other types of metals, you often need a specific pipe tape and or thread sealant. Not that these are impossible to find, but you are more apt to find Brass sealing products easier than others.
2. Leaded and No Leaded Options
With the transition to No Lead over the past few years, Brass products have had to change quite drastically. There is a big price difference between leaded and no lead Brass from a material perspective, so it is nice to have the option of using leaded on non-potable water applications. This can save you a lot of money.
Where are Brass Ball Valves Used?
Brass Ball Valves can be used in a wide range of applications. Most of the time, brass is a great option. When it comes to potable water applications, No Lead Brass is a great option unless that water has corrosive properties to it, like high salt content. In that case, another material like Stainless or PVC would work better. Because of the cost of No Lead Brass, other materials like Stainless, which is also No Lead, have become more possible options.
Brass Ball Valves are used in Residential and Commercial Plumbing, Water Well, HVAC and many other applications. Basically, as long as there are no high corrosive properties in what is going through the valves, generally speaking, Brass is a great material to utilize.
What is the Difference Between Brass and Bronze?
Brass and Bronze are often mistaken which is a big problem. Although they look very similar, the material make up of them is different and this is a very important thing to grasp. Brass is a malleable metal that is made up of copper and zinc. The amount of copper to zinc will differ, but generally speaking, copper will make up the majority of the material.
Bronze on the other hand is mainly made up of copper, with a small amount of other additives. Bronze is a higher quality metal and will be more expensive when compared to brass. Bronze is also harder and more corrosive-resistant than brass.
This may seem a bit in-depth, but this is an important thing to note. The material make up of Ball Valves is very key. If you are purchasing a lower quality Brass Ball Valve, it may have a lower amount of copper, which will make it more susceptible to corrosion in certain environments.
At Boshart, we test the material make up of our products to ensure proper spec and stated components are up to our standards.
In closing, Brass Ball Valves are an incredible “everyday” valve for many applications. Remember that if you are working on a system that has corrosive or salty properties, you will want to look into other options like Bronze, Stainless Steel or PVC. Make sure that you also pay attention when applications require a no-lead material as this will determine your selection as well.