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Choosing the Right Plumbing Valve: Gate vs Ball Valve

Gate VS Ball Valve: Which One Is Better?


Before we get into the debate, we need to talk about the difference between the two.

The Ball Valve

This one is also known as the shutoff valve. This one is going to shut the flow of water off right away. They come in many different forms, including the 3-way ball and the mini ball.

The Gate

This one can shut the water supply off, but not right away. It is mechanically incapable of doing, unlike the ball valve. They have a round knob that can control the flow of the water. A great example of this valve is the garden hose. Every time you use a garden hose, you are using a gate valve.

The one main difference here is that this one offers more options with control. A ball valve allows you to control how much water pressure you use. Ball valves do not have that option

Do you worry about corrosion? You can get the stainless steel ball valve.

Which One Is Better?

One way to answer the gate vs ball valve debate is to understand how each one works.

The strange thing is that they both function in much the same way, though there are a few differences.

The ball valve has a stem and ball. It works as a rotational valve. The ball valve works best when you need an on and off control application.

The gate valve has a round gate, sometimes rectangular. The gate valve mostly works with straight-flow applications. You will need an application that requires minimal restrictions for it to work.

Gate Vs Ball Valve: How Do I Choose?

Once again, it depends on your needs at the moment. That is what makes the debate ongoing. Everyone’s needs are different. I will break down a few points and let you decide.

1) The ball valve may last longer than the other one. They are very durable, even after multiple uses. They will close securely after each use. They are proven to last, even after long periods of disuse.

This is precisely why people use them during shutoff applications. Most people put them in the same category as globe valves. Now, there is one problem you may run into with these valves. They are not particularly good with throttling and execution.

In other words, they are not the greatest when it comes to full control. You may run into some problems there.

2) A second difference comes in the price. You will have to pay more for the ball valve, even if the gate valve is similar in quality and value. You could have more issues with the gate valve, including potential leaks. That is why it is better to pay the price for the ball, knowing your money has been well-spent.

3) The ball valve is also going to seal much tighter than the other one. That is why I mentioned how secure it was earlier. The ball valve will not have the leak issue the gate valve will.

4) The other difference lies in the foundation and shelf life. Ball valves tend to live longer, as I mentioned earlier. They are also easier to use, and you will not have the same failures you might have with the gate valve.


Once again, it all depends on your needs. There are pros and cons to both. It is now up to you to make an informed choice on which one to buy.

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