Before choosing a 4 way valve, it's best to establish first what a 4 way valve actually is. Knowing exactly what a 4 way valve is will give you a better understanding of what a 4 way valve does and why you would want to choose one.
What Is a 4 Way Valve?
Quite simply, a 4 way valve is a fluid control valve with four equally spaced ports. Inside the valve body--also known as the housing--a plug or ball moves or rotates to allow fluid to travel from either of two inlet ports to either of two outlet ports. Rotate the ball in a third direction, and fluid travel is halted. In the case of a ball valve--a common construction for a 4 way configuration--two "L" shaped bores are drilled into the ball to achieve this diverting action.
What Is the Advantage of a 4 Way Valve?
One valve does the work of two. Rather than needing two separate valves to draw fluid or other materials from one or two sources, and then send the fluid to two different destinations, one valve can control both. Possibly first used for steam power in double-action steam engines, the 4 way control valve has been an indispensable addition to the valve world ever since. A variety of industries like gas, oil, and chemical processing observe 4 way valves in action. A common application is in hydraulics. Another is the pneumatic industry, as this particular configuration makes reversing cylinder motion almost foolproof. There are other 4 way valves besides ball valves. While they all perform the same basic action, different constructions can be used for specialized purposes. Innovations in 4 way valves have come down the pipeline to meet the needs of various industries, laboratories, and manufacturers. Having a valve with two or more positions means having the advantage of two or more options.
4 Way Valve Example
ASCO RedHat 8345: Many 4 way valves are solenoid valves because they are often employed when fluid travel must be changed frequently. The ASCO 8345 Series--while top of the line--represents a typical 4 way valve. This valve features a brass body and threaded ports. It is mountable in any position, may be wired for AC or DC current, and is perfect for low flow applications.
Where to Buy 4 Way Valves
When it comes to buying valves, you should always buy from a distributor that knows about them. That's us, ValveMan.com. We know all about 4 way valves, and we stock several models, including the ASCO RedHat 8345 Series. Unlike our competition who try to sell everything under the sun, for over 50 years all we've sold are industrial grade valves. Valves. It's simply what we do, and we do it better than anyone else.