Ball valves offer very good shut-off capabilities. A simple quarter-turn (90°) completely opens or closes the valve. This characteristic minimizes valve operation time and decreases the likelihood of leakage due to wear from the gland seal.
Ball valves can be divided into two categories: reduced bore and full bore. In reduced bore valves, the valve opening is smaller than the diameter of the piping; in full bore valves, the valve opening is the same size as the diameter of the piping. Full bore ball valves are often valued because they minimize the pressure drop across the valve.
Balls valves are usually only recommended for use in the fully open or fully closed position. They are not suited to regulate flow by being kept partially open because ball valves make use of a ring-shaped soft valve seat. When used in the partially open position, pressure is applied to only a portion of the valve seat, which can cause it to deform. If the valve seat deforms, its sealing properties are impaired and it will leak as a result.