Tech Talk Ball Valves for Pressure Washers

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TECH TALK – Ball Valves

Ball valves are used on pressure washers for flow control. An example of this would be when the operator wanted to change hoses or lances. With a ball valve mounted on the discharge side of the machine and after the unloader the operator simply turns the ball valve to the off position making change outs quick easy.


PROS:  These are by far our most popular valve of stopping the water flow without shutting down the machine. Typically this is done so the operator can change gun/lance or maybe replace a defective chemical injector.
CONS:  Because these valves handle such high pressure they are manufactured to very close tolerances which results in a valve that is hard to turn.



PROS:  Used for the same purposes as the ultra high pressure valves.  Much easier to turn and since the vast majority of pressure washers are operated at less than 3000 PSI this would be an excellent lower-cost choice for most applications.  This is the same valve that the owner of EnviroSpec used for over 20 years as a professional contract cleaner.
CONS: Not rated for over 3,000 PSI, only available in 3/8”.


PREMIUM BALL VALVE – #1669  3/8”  /  #1670  1/2”  3,000 PSI

PROS:  This valve is more compact because of the shorter handle.  Comes in 1/2”
CONS:  Price


6,000 PSI STAINLESS BALL VALVE – #1666  1/4”  /  #1667  3/8”  /  #1668  1/2” 

PROS:  Excellent pressure rating.  Stainless body has a much higher corrosion resistance than other valves.  This is especially important when you are using bleach.
CONS:  Price plus small handle does not provide much leverage when trying to shut down pressures in the 3500/4000 PSI range.

TECH TALK – Check Valves

Simply put, a check valve allows flow in one direction and automatically prevents back flow (reverse flow) when fluid in the line reverses direction.

How They Operate: Check valves are flow sensitive and rely on the line fluid to open and close. The internal disc allows flow to pass forward, which opens the valve. The disc begins closing the valve as forward flow decreases or is reversed, depending on the design

An in-line check valve has a spring that will ‘lift’ when there is pressure on the upstream side of the valve. The pressure needed on the upstream side of the valve to overcome the spring tension is called the ‘cracking pressure’. The ‘cracking pressure’ on our valves is 2 psi. When the pressure going through the valve goes below the cracking pressure, the spring will close the valve to prevent back-flow in the process.

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