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How to Interpret Ball Valve Markings

Ball valve markings

Understanding the markings on ball valves can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With some knowledge and guidance, you can quickly learn to interpret the markings and use that information to your advantage. This blog post will explore the various markings on ball valves and how to interpret them correctly. So, if you’re ready to start your journey to understanding ball valve markings, let’s dive in!

Tests and Quality Assurance

Ball valves are essential to many industrial and commercial systems and must be tested and checked for quality assurance. Here are five markings that can help you identify the testing and quality assurance measures taken on your ball valves:

  • UL  

Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) rigorously tests valves to ensure they meet the highest safety standards. All valves must pass UL’s pressure testing, which is three times the pressure rating stated on the valve body, to receive the UL logo. This rigorous testing is essential to ensure the valves’ highest quality and safety standards.

  • CSA

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a trusted organization that tests ball valves to ensure they meet both Canadian and US standards. On the ball valve, you may find a “C” or “US” under the CSA logo to indicate which country’s standards the ball valve has been tested to. Both countries’ highest standards have been met if both appear on the ball valve.

  • <FM>

Factory Mutual Global, a US-based insurance company, has given its stamp of approval to the ball valve. Taking an engineering-based approach, they have rigorously tested and examined the valve to ensure it meets their stringent requirements and high standards. With the approval of Factory Mutual Global, you can trust that this valve is safe and reliable.

  • UPC / cUPC

The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and Canadian Uniform Plumbing Code (cUPC) are essential for ensuring that plumbing products are safe, sanitary, and up to code.  These codes guide to ensure plumbing products meet the highest safety and sanitation standards. Adherence to the UPC and cUPC codes is essential for providing a safe and healthy environment.

  • ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) tests ball valves to various standards, ensuring they meet the highest quality requirements. The results of the tests are indicated with a stamp on each ball valve, such as ANSI Z21.15. This ensures you can purchase confidently, knowing that your valve meets the highest quality standards.

WOG / CWP

WOG stands for Water, Oil, and Gas and is used to rate valves at ambient temperatures that are not shock-rated. Water is straightforward, but oil and gas require more specific approvals for these applications due to their unique characteristics. For example, oil is a free-flowing liquid thicker than water and has lubricating properties, while gas is a vaporized liquid – although this does not cover combustible gases.  Therefore, you must obtain the appropriate approvals for oil and gas applications to ensure that your valves meet the necessary safety standards.

CWP stands for Cold Working Pressure, and it’s the pressure rating for valves that can be used in temperatures up to 100°F. This is becoming increasingly popular, as the WOG rating (Water, Oil, and Gas) has a more detailed description. CWP is the go-to rating for valves that withstand temperatures up to 100°F.

WOG (Working Pressure) and CWP (Cold Water Pressure) are valve pressure ratings. You can find these ratings on the valve body as a number, with either WOG or CWP under it. The number represents the maximum pressure the valve can handle safely—for instance, a 600 with CWP under it indicates the valve is rated to 600 PSI CWP (pounds per square inch of cold water pressure).

WSP

Working Steam Pressure (WSP) is a measure of the steam pressure in a system, typically used for bronze ball valves in the industry. As the temperature rises, the strength of the material decreases, making it essential to maintain the correct WSP to ensure maximum performance and longevity of the valve.  Therefore, WSP is necessary to provide the best possible performance of your bronze ball valve.

Gas Ratings

If you’re planning to use a valve in a combustible gas application, it’s essential to ensure that it is approved for such use. Look for specific markings that indicate the valve is safe for the application, as not all valves are suitable. With the correct ratings, you can be sure that your valve is ideal for the job.

  • ½ PSIG (or 1/2G)

½ PSIG (or 1/2G) is a lower pressure rating for gas valves, generally used at gas-fired appliances. This lower pressure rating helps to reduce the risk of gas leakage, making it an ideal choice for homes, restaurants, and other commercial establishments that rely on gas-fired appliances.

  • 5G

5G gas valves are higher pressure rated than conventional valves, making them ideal for gas piping systems. 5G valves provide a much higher level of reliability and safety.

  • BRS125G

The BRS125G is the perfect solution for gas piping systems in the USA, offering a gas pressure rating of up to 125 PSIG. This gas pressure rating is ideal for residential, commercial, and industrial applications and is designed for long-lasting service and reliable performance.

  • CAN/CGA-3.16  

CAN/CGA-3.16 is a Canadian gas pressure rating of 125 PSIG for safe, reliable use in outdoor and indoor gas piping systems. This rating ensures that your gas piping systems can withstand higher pressures while still meeting the safety requirements of the Canadian Gas Association.

  • 125G or higher

For outdoor gas piping systems, ensure you use a 125G or higher pressure rating for the best safety and longevity. All gas piping systems should be constructed using materials that can handle the pressure of the system to ensure safe operation.

Other Markings

An LF for Lead-Free

The size of the ball valve

Manufacture identification and a manufacturing code

Conclusion

It is essential to ensure that the ball valve will remain intact and functional in high-pressure or gas applications. Understanding what the markings on the ball valve mean is vital to determine if the valve is suitable for the application. Furthermore, 3rd party associations can ensure that the valve is high quality and dependable. Taking the time to do research before buying a ball valve can save time and money in the long run.

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