While there may be many reasons for why one may choose a brass ball valve in particular, one of their biggest benefits is their ease of installation and use. As brass is softer than other materials such as stainless steel, such valves can be sealed with ease. Additionally, there are a variety of products across the market that may be used for their sealing, while other materials regularly necessitate particular pipe tapes or thread sealants. While such products are available in various markets, they are not as abundant as those that serve brass ball valves.
Additionally, brass ball valves are one of the many products that have seen drastic changes as the push for no-leaded options becomes more popular. While leaded and no-leaded brass ball valves are both available, there is a noticeable price difference when it comes down to their base materials. As such, no-leaded options are best for potable water applications for the means of safety, while non-potable water applications can take advantage of leaded solutions for cost savings.
As stated before, there are a variety of applications where brass ball valves may be used, and while there may be options that beat out brass based on the application at hand, such materials can often present a decent solution across the board. No-lead brass ball valves are a very optimal choice for any potable water application, unless there is a risk of corrosion as a result of a high salt content or other properties. In these instances, one would be better off with a valve made from stainless steel or PVC. Nevertheless, residential and commercial plumbing, HVAC assemblies, water wells, and many other applications all regularly utilize brass ball valves for their needs.
While some may accidentally confuse brass and bronze materials when shopping for valves, the two have enough differences that make it very important to always be aware of what your particular application calls for. In particular, brass is a type of malleable material made up of copper and zinc, copper serving as the dominant material. Meanwhile, brass is predominantly copper-based with a minor amount of additives. As such, bronze is known for being more expensive as it is a higher-quality metal with more corrosion resistance. While brass ball valves are optimal for “everyday” applications, bronze is better for situations where corrosion is a bigger risk.
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