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Are Quarter Turn Valves Better? Advantages and Disadvantages

A quarter-turn valve is among many shut-off valves used to manage fluid flow in a piping system. Unlike other valves, it can restrict or allow fluid to flow through the pipes but can’t regulate the flow better. While it has pros and cons, it can be challenging to decide whether it’s better than others.

So, are quarter-turn valves better? Yes, quarter-turn valves are better because they are reliable and wear much slower than other types. They are easy to use, requiring only a quarter turn to allow or restrict a flow. The valve is also known for its precision, required to control a high-pressure flow.

Read on to learn of various qualities of a quarter-turn valve and what makes it better than others. The article also covers its advantages and disadvantages.

What Are Quarter Turn Valves?

A quarter turn is a type of shut-off valve that controls fluid flow in a plumbing system, like in a home. As the name suggests, the valve works by a quarter turn clockwise or anti-clockwise. These valves are said to have been developed in 1949 to provide a quick-acting valve for the US Navy.

Some valves using the same mechanism as a quarter-turn valve include butterfly, plug, and ball valves. However, some, like the ball valve, turn 180 degrees, which is slightly different.

Among the reasons for its popularity is its easy and quick control. This is crucial when the flow needs to be managed swiftly, like in a kitchen sink or car wash facility.

A standard quarter-turn valve has three parts, which include a valve, a handle, and a shell. The valve is made from various materials, including brass, bronze, and stainless steel. However, select a quality quarter-turn valve for a longer lifespan, which should be between eight and ten years.

are quarter turn valves better

What Are the Advantages of Quarter Turn Valves?

The following are the advantages of quarter-turn valves compared to other types.

1. Easy To Use

One of the merits of the quarter-turn valve is the easy-to-use mechanism. Instead of full or more turns to open or restrict the flow, you only need a quarter turn.

2. Reliable

Quarter-turn valves are made using fewer parts than most other valves. The fewer parts have fewer chances of failure, making them more reliable.

3. Durable

Quarter turn valves are less likely to get damaged through corrosion which is a nightmare in piping. There are multiple options for the materials used to manufacture them compared to other valves.

One possible option is using plastic as the middle valves instead of brass or metal to limit the chances of corrosion.

4. Better Protection Against Leaks

With fewer turns and parts involved, there is a better seal against leaks. The smaller contact area in the stopping surfaces contributes to the tightness and discourages leaks.

5. Can be automated

Quarter turn valves can be operated both manually and automatically. They are automated using quarter-turn electric valve actuators.

6. Control High-Pressure Fluid

Since the quarter turn valve only involves turning the handle by 90 degrees, it can control high-pressure fluid. This makes the quarter valve better compared to multi-turn valves, where you work against the water pressure to open or close.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Quarter Turn Valves?

While quarter-turn valves are a worthy option, they have a few demerits, as discussed below.

1. Difficult To Regulate

When operating quarter-turn valves, you can only restrict or allow the flow. You cannot regulate the flow properly, which is easier with most other valves, like a multi-turn valve.

This can be a problem when you want to control the fluid flow to a precise amount.

2. Cannot Be Repaired

Unlike a compression valve where you can repair the failing part, you cannot in a quarter turn. While some attempt repairing by replacing the handle, most times, it doesn’t solve problems like leakages. The best option is to replace a leaking quarter valve with a new one.

3. Prone To Getting Stuck

A quarter-turn valve is more likely to get stuck during extreme temperatures or after a long time of no use. On the other hand, the stem on the compression valve works along bolt teeth, which allows it to recover better from a stuck position.

The above should help you gauge whether or not to use quarter-turn valves. You can always weigh the pros and cons. Above all, check whether it’s a worthwhile investment based on your needs.

Where Can I Use A Quarter Turn Valve?

Despite a quarter-turn valve working outstandingly in controlling a fluid’s flow, it doesn’t suit every pipe work. The quarter turn valve is not a great option where the fluid flow needs to be regulated but not restricted.

Following are some scenarios where a quarter-turn valve can work better than other options.

1. Where Control Must be Quick

The quarter-turn valve is ideal in a piping system where the fluid should be restricted or allowed to flow out more quickly. The valve also reduces water wastage from a delayed operation.

2. On a high-pressure outlet

Quarter-turn valves have a better chance of controlling a high-pressure outlet. The quick operation limits damage to the valve, with less effort used.

3. In a tight spot or angled piping

Since quarter-turn valves don’t involve much effort, they can be installed on an angled piping system. The user can easily control the water flow in a tight spot using a quarter-turn valve compared to a multi-turn valve.


A quarter-turn valve is well known for its easy-to-use mechanism and the reduced chances of leakages. Also, it’s available and built with different materials than other types, which suits more customers. With a lifespan of up to 10 years, it makes a great option to use in your plumbing system.

However, like other valves, the quarter-turn valve has a few disadvantages, like its lack of moderation. This, among other disadvantages, disqualifies it from usage in facilities like plant piping. While most of the qualities dim it as the better choice, the final decision rest upon the buyer.