Get in touch 0113 2491155


Valve functions and how they differ

Valve functions and how they differ

The purpose of a valve is to control the flow of liquid or air within an object, such as a pipe. Valves handle flow control in a number of different ways depending on the type of valve.

As each pipe system has a different function and build, epco offers a large number of different valve fittings, each with different variables to ensure you get the right valve to match your pipe system requirements.

What valves do epco have available?

Due to the wide number of functions that valves are required to have regarding plastic pipe systems, we offer one of the largest valve stockholdings in the UK, all available for UK next day delivery on orders before 5pm.

All of our valves are available in a number of sizes and variations for all your plastic pipe system requirements. A number of the valve variations can be seen below:

  • PVC or ABS
  • Single or Double Unions
  • FPM or EDPM Seals
  • Metric or Imperial
  • Standard or Industrial
  • Plain or Threaded
  • Actuated or not

If you have any questions about these valve variants, our support team will be happy to assist you in ensuring you get the right valve for the job.

As well as the variants mentioned, as you can see below, epco offers a wide range of valves, including:

Our valves are available in PVC or ABS. You can see the full list below.

PVC Valves - Click Here
ABS Valves - Click Here


What does each type of valve do?

Each type of valve performs a different function, resulting in multiple types of valves often being used on a single pipe system. Below you can see what each type of valve is and its job within a pipe system.

  1. Ball Valve

The Ball Valve is used to allow the flow of liquid to manually be turned completely on or off.

  1. Gate Valves

The Gate Valve is used to completely shut off or fully open the flow of liquids, rather than controlling the flow regulation.

  1. Diaphragm Valves

The Diaphragm Valve is handwheel operated to allow excellent flow capacity control, with very low maintenance needed.

  1. Non-Return Valves

The Non-Return Valve allow for a one-way flow of liquid and automatically prevents any back flow. They require no manual input to open or close.

  1. Air Release Valves

The ABS Air Release Valve allows air to be released from the connecting tank to limit the build-up of air pressure within a pipe.

Valve variables and what they all mean

Valves consist of a wide number of variables, each with a different purpose to ensure the valves matches the pipe system requirement and performs the correct function within it.

  1. Material


Our PVC Imperial valve range is made from the material unplasticised polyvinyl chloride and subject to the system pressure, has a working temperature of +5°C to +60°C.


Our ABS Imperial manual valve range is made from the material acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and subject to the system pressure, has a working temperature of -40°C to +70°C.

  1. Unions

Single Union

Our single union valves have one union on one side of the valve which allows for disconnection from a pipe for cleaning or maintenance. The other side of the valve is fitted in place.

Double Union

Our double union valves have a union on both sides of the valve which allows for disconnection from a pipe for cleaning and maintenance.

  1. Valve Seal

FPM Seals

FPM Seals, also known as Fluorocarbon rubber, has excellent heat and chemical resistance, allowing it to be used in a wide range of industries and pipe systems.

EPDM Seals

EPDM Seals (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is widely used in water pipe systems due to its excellent low temperature range tolerance.

Our full range of Valves

epco has one of the largest stocks of PVC and ABS valves in the UK. Our valves are manufactured to the highest quality and comply to BSP standards. The majority of our valves are available in sizes from 3/8” to 4” and are available in next day delivery up until 5pm.

We continue to expand our product range and stocks to ensure we have one of the largest offerings available in the UK. If you would like to hear about when new valves and other products are available, please click here.

You can see our full valve range on the epco website or by requesting a product catalogue.

We're here to help

If you have any questions regarding our valves or would like to see our full range of valves in our product catalogue, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

We have a full technical guide for valve installation. It is important to make sure you use the right solvent cement and cleaner to bond our valves to pipes and fittings.

Contact us here.

Share this post
We offer one of the largest Imperial ABS pipe system ranges in the UK 
We offer one of the largest Imperial ABS pipe system ranges in the UK 

You currently have JavaScript disabled!

This site requires JavaScript to be enabled. Some functions of the site may not be usable or the site may not look correct until you enable JavaScript. You can enable JavaScript by following this tutorial. Once JavaScript is enabled, this message will be removed.