Ball Valve Installation Direction

Amazon ImageI have been seeking the answer of this question ‘how to decide ball valve installation direction for long time. Some of you may also have same question with me. So far, when I install a ball valve (with no hole on the ball inside the valve), I just consider for convenient operation only. There are almost no other considerations.

Basically, a ball valve can be installed where its  handle at the upstream or at the downstream.  At open position, the handle is inline with the piping. At closed position, the handle is perpendicular to the piping. The handle is attached to a ball inside the valve.

See image below to see a ball valve structure. This will help you easily understand how ball valve works.



Ball Valve Installation Direction – What I Did

I have not found yet the standard about ball valve installation direction even from manufacturer’s brochure or manual. Most valve brand name used inside the plant site where I am working for is Kitz.

So in this article I would like to share what I have done so far and tell you the results. As I said at the beginning of this article, I consider the operability of the valve when determining ball valve installation direction.

Of course the handle or level will always be inline with the flow.  But, sometimes I installed it at the upstream and sometimes at the down stream for common liquids and gases such as filtered water, purified water, organic substance and nitrogen. It depended on the operability of the valve. The results are so far so good, no bad effect to the operation or ball valve lifetime shortening due to wrong direction..

One exception is applied for ball valve with holed ball inside the valve. This is ball valve that is specially designed for liquids that naturally decompose and release gas such as hydrogen peroxide.

In such case, ball valve installation direction has to be done where holed ball should be installed at the downstream side.

When the ball valve is switched from open to close position, a certain amount of liquid will be trapped inside the ball. Then gas that is released by the liquid due to decomposition reaction will be discharged through the hole to the discharge line and pressure will not be built inside the valve.

Make sure that you can recognize where the holed part of the ball is. It is usually indicated by a special sign by the manufacturer. Otherwise, over pressurization will occur.

If you have special experience with ball valve installation direction or know some standards about this matter, please share here with us. It will add value to this article. Believe me that your share may be waited by many other plant engineers who visit this blog.

So do not hesitate to put your comment or share your experience through comment form below.

Recommended book: valve handbook for chemical engineers

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Lukman Nulhakiem

About Lukman Nulhakiem

Chemical Engineer, safety enthusiastic, blogger and internet marketer with experience in chemical industry and industrial product reviews.
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