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extropic
Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

When installing a ball valve, should the handle of the open valve be over the "supply" side pipe or over the down stream pipe? I presume there's a convention (accepted standard) and hope someone can tell me what it is.
Regards.

A. Spruce
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

With the handle inline with the pipe, the valve should be in the "on" position. When the handle is at a right angle to the pipe it should be in the "off" position. This is how the valve should have been set up from the manufacturer, if this is not the case with your valve, then it's likely been tampered with and should be replace with a new valve.

Bay Area..Ca
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

the open position can face either the supply side or down stream direction but handle should have enough room to be fully on or off.

MSSP
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

There is no direction of a ball valve. i usually postion it so when it is off the words are right side up and can be read.

Fencepost
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

Spruce, you misread the question. The question was whether or not a ball valve has an "inlet" and an "outlet" side like a globe valve or angle stop has. The answer, as others have posted, is that it can be installed in either direction.

That said, I kind of like to orient it so the handle is pointing in the direction of flow, unless clearance is an issue.

Hey, we could start another debate, just like whether it's better to put the ground pin up or down on a receptacle outlet!

jdwhiteii
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

I have to replace a 70-year-old globe valve that is now completely useless (i.e., don't close) in the water inlet to the house. Also, another one on a line to an outside outlet. It is copper pipe. I am installing ball valves and questioned the orientation, hence, reading this string. The posts have been most educational.

My take: Both ball valves I purchased (3/4 inch and 1/2 inch) have a "relief" port (my description) to the side, which has a small, threaded, knob to close the port. It is on the side of the valve that the handle points to when in the open position. Looking at the current globe valves, all of which have the same relief port (70 years ago!), the port is on the discharge side of the globe valve. My surmise is that, after closing the inlet source, this relief valve allows pressure relief and water draining to do maintenance downstream.

So, I am going to install the globe valves with the relief port to the downstream side, which also coincides with the orientation of the handle (downstream) when in the open position.

ed21
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

The ground pin goes down. No reason. That's just the way it's usually done in my neck of the woods ;)

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?
jdwhiteii wrote:

I have to replace a 70-year-old globe valve that is now completely useless (i.e., don't close) in the water inlet to the house. Also, another one on a line to an outside outlet. It is copper pipe. I am installing ball valves and questioned the orientation, hence, reading this string. The posts have been most educational.

My take: Both ball valves I purchased (3/4 inch and 1/2 inch) have a "relief" port (my description) to the side, which has a small, threaded, knob to close the port. It is on the side of the valve that the handle points to when in the open position. Looking at the current globe valves, all of which have the same relief port (70 years ago!), the port is on the discharge side of the globe valve. My surmise is that, after closing the inlet source, this relief valve allows pressure relief and water draining to do maintenance downstream.

So, I am going to install the globe valves with the relief port to the downstream side, which also coincides with the orientation of the handle (downstream) when in the open position.

You are correct, any valve with a pressure relief should be installed so the relief is on the output side.

Jack

jdwhiteii
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

Jack, thanks for the confirmation ... :-) ...

jdwhiteii
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

Fencepost, ed21,

The outlet ground pin installed in the down position has another advantage besides convention ... all the "flat" cord plugs (my description) that I have seen (e.g., on my window AC, and several power strips) the ground pin is so oriented that it allows the cord to extend down, not forced to go up and loop down. I have made sure all my outlets have the ground pin down.

William
Re: Correct Orientation of a Ball Valve?

As an electrician, I have been asked many times by apprentices on why the ground pin was changed from the downside to the upside.  As stated, many cords are made for orientation of the ground pin being down.  The change was made regarding safety concerns regarding the "hot" and neutral pin being on top.  If the receptacle accidentally gets pulled out from the socket a little bit, the hot and neutral pins are exposed on top, thus increasing the chance of accidental electrocution by children and pets.  When the receptacle is so low to the floor, the chance of contacting the hot and neutral are greater from the top side.  Plus, there is a greater chance of the cord being pulled in the higher position, thus tending to pull the ground pin out first if it is on the bottom side.  If it is on the top side, the chances of it remaining connected is greater, especially since it is longer to begin with.

Now, kitchen counters are a different deal as they are already protected by a ground fault breaker system of some kind, either at the panel or at one of the ground fault receptacles themselves, protecting the other receptacles down stream from it.  However, due to where the receptacles are placed, relative to the counter, the reverse logic often applies to where it would be easier to pull the ground pin out first if it is on the top side of the receptacle.  So, many electricians will orient the receptacles with the bottom pin down when they are up higher, as in kitchens, garages, etc.  If the receptacles are low to the floor, then the receptacles are installed with the ground pin up.

Regarding paper clips, safety pins or other metal objects falling on the top of the patially open plug, a flash will occur if the contact is made between the neutral and ground pins, usually causing the breaker to trip.  If the ground pin is on the top side, there is a lesser chance of that scenario happening, since there is an angle between the ground pin and the hot blade of the plug in the first place.  Also, if the metal object was to contact the ground and neutral blade, no flash would occur.

So, it comes down to basically a judgement call, keeping in mind the "what if" scenarios that can happen regarding the ground pin position.  Of course, we now have arc fault breakers which offer added protection.  They are not as good as ground fault breakers, but add security against some sort of "flash" scenario that could happen.

The best protection is one where you have dual protection from electrocution and flash.  Think of them as the better smoke and fire protectors that have dual sensors.

So, the National Electric Code can be broken down to basically two categories regarding the specific laws.  They either deal with fire protection or personal safety.  Both are needed for life protection.

I hope this helps add some thought to the conversation regarding the ground pin orientation.  Much of it comes down to the "common sense" approach as different scenarios can change the common sense logic as to whether the ground pin should be up or down.

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