What are the Different Ways to Control Water Flow?

Keith Koons

There are several different ways to control water flow. For households, faucet flow control valves are commonly used to cut down on public utility bills and minimize water waste for environmental conservation. In industries, safety valves are used to minimize industrial accidents due to buildup of water pressure. Steam condensers and reservoir storage tanks are economically sound ways of maximizing water flow as well, since they offer recyclable processes.

Faucet control valves are commonly used to cut down how much water is coming out of the tap.
Faucet control valves are commonly used to cut down how much water is coming out of the tap.

It is unfortunately often too easy to rack up astounding utility bills through inadvertent water loss. The best cure is normally prevention, and modern technology makes it not only easy, but cost-effective to carefully control water flow in the home. Faucet flow control valves are common devices used to control water flow while maintaining steady water pressure, measured in Gallons per Minute (GPM). Usually made out of brass, these flow control valves are self-cleaning, and experts estimate they can help to save up to 85 percent of the water commonly wasted when people partake in daily tasks such as brushing teeth, cooking, or showering, which can significantly reduce a utility bill. Savvy consumers will look out for valves that are anti-clog, easy to mount on faucets or hose bibs, and customizable in terms of the GPM.

Flow control valves help homeowners save water when showering.
Flow control valves help homeowners save water when showering.

Safety valves are frequently used in industries where they are required by law to release water when the pressure reaches a dangerous point. Although frequently referred to as either Pressure Relief Valves or Pressure Safety Valves, it is important to note that the two terms are not interchangeable, as only the latter has a manual lever to open the valve in an emergency. Using modern technology, safety valves have become highly automated where the spring housing ensures that the functionality of the valve is dependent on pressure conditions, providing a fuss-free method to control water flow.

Water is commonly wasted when people partake in daily tasks such as brushing teeth.
Water is commonly wasted when people partake in daily tasks such as brushing teeth.

Another alternative available to industries is methods that allow them to recycle water. One common device used to control water flow in industries is the steam condenser, which converts excess steam from turbines into water at a low pressure and temperature. Businesses are able to achieve a much greater efficiency as the water can then be recycled for other uses such as lubrication, cooling, or any task that does not involve consumption. In addition, reservoir storage tanks may be used to collect excess water as well. This method normally involves drainage lines that are installed at various locations within a factory to capture water that was not utilized by the machinery.

Water flow may be harder to control in areas used by many people, such as public showers.
Water flow may be harder to control in areas used by many people, such as public showers.

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