A 3 way valve is all about directional control, controlling the flow of a liquid or other material, and which direction it will travel. Usually a rotational motion valve--commonly known as a "ball valve"--a three-way valve has three ports, typically labeled "A," "B," and "AB." This configuration allows the fluid, or other material, to enter the valve through one port, and exit through one or both of the other two ports. Of all types of 3 way valves, ball valves are fairly inexpensive and maintenance free.
What Are Three Way Valves For?
Sometimes called "mixing" valves or multi-port valves, three-way valves, as well as their applications, are numerous. They are used extensively in any application where diverting and changing flow direction is necessary or desired. They also may be used for regulating speed and amount of flow, as well as flow pressure. Some three way ball valves--such as a side entry--can actually eliminate the need for more than one valve on a line because of their unique diversion and mixing designs.
Differences in Construction in 3 Way Valves
Valves can be highly specialized; each individual application will require specifics in their fabrication. The range of material from which they are made includes tungsten carbide, stainless steel, brass, chrome carbide, and even carbon. They may be threaded or flanged (such as the afore mentioned bolt-on side entry valve), may utilize a vented ball, or may have a particular weld, such as a butt weld or a socket weld. They may be constructed for a full or reduced flow application. A general purpose three way valve will be manually operated--utilizing a shut-off lever or a handwheel--while more sophisticated valves may incorporate an electric or pneumatic actuator.
Importances of Quality and Properly Specifying
When there is no room for error, you must specify your needs very carefully. And when doing so, you prefer to speak with a supplier who knows what you're talking about--someone who knows the difference between a threaded valve and one that is flanged, or the difference between a 3 piece valve and one with 3 ports. You won't find this knowledge with our competition, who try to sell one of everything. That's why you can put your trust in our valve store. You know that ValveMan.com's 50+ years of experience in the valve industry ensures quality in parts and in service, every time. We know all about 3 way valves. That's because all we sell are valves. It's simply what we do, and we do it better than anyone else.