slip ball valve vs ball valve

Slip Ball Valve vs Ball Valve: An Overview of Design, Advantages, Disadvantages, and More

Last Updated on July 2, 2023

With a myriad of valve types out there, it can be tricky to decide on the best one for your specific application. However, slip ball and standard ball valves are trustworthy solutions. Each type has features that make it uniquely suited for different jobs.

Despite their similarities, slip ball and standard ball valves have distinct features which make them more suitable for certain applications.

While both types are designed to control the flow of fluids or gasses, a slip valve is generally smaller but less flexible compared to its counterpart – a larger ball valve that can accommodate greater rates of flow with added versatility. 

With slip ball valves, you can get a more affordable option – but they may not always be the most reliable. Depending on your requirements and application, it’s important to select the best valve for maximum efficiency.

To help you out, we’ve put together a helpful guide on their design considerations, advantages/disadvantages of each type, plus similarities & differences between them. So read on.

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Slip ball valves and ball valves differ significantly in terms of their design. Slip ball valves feature a simple design that makes them easy to install and repair. They have a slip-end connection that eliminates the need for additional fittings, which can save time and reduce labor costs. 

Ball valve

CPVC and copper pipes work with slip ball valves, popular for residential and light commercial plumbing.

On the other hand, ball valves have a more complex design that includes a rotating ball with a bore inside the valve. This design allows for precise flow control, making ball valves ideal for applications requiring accurate fluid or gas flow regulation. 

These are also highly efficient regarding flow control, as they typically have minimal pressure drop. This means that they can handle higher flow rates without significantly reducing pressure.


When it comes to comparing slip ball valves and ball valves, both have their own set of advantages. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of each valve type.

Advantages of slip ball valve

One of the major advantages of slip ball valves is their ease of installation. They are designed to be push-to-connect, which means they can easily be installed onto copper or CPVC pipes without requiring special tools or techniques.

In addition, slip ball valves are compatible with a wide range of pipe sizes, making them a versatile option for many different applications. 

Another advantage of slip ball valves is their quick repair capabilities. If a slip ball valve needs to be replaced or repaired, it can be done quickly and easily without the need for extensive plumbing work.

Advantages of ball valve

Ball valves are known for their efficient flow control. They are designed with a ball inside the valve that can be rotated to allow, obstruct or control the flow of liquids, gases, and vapors in a piping system.

This design allows for precise control over the flow rate, making ball valves an ideal choice for many applications. Another advantage of ball valves is their minimal pressure drop. Pressure drop refers to the decrease in pressure that occurs as fluid flows through a valve. 

Ball valves have a relatively low-pressure drop, which means that they can maintain a high flow rate even when there is a significant pressure differential across the valve. Lastly, ball valves can handle high pressure and temperatures, making them popular for industrial applications.


Slip ball valves and ball valves also have certain disadvantages that should be considered before choosing between them.

Disadvantages of slip ball valves

  • Limited compatibility: Slip ball valves are designed to work with copper and CPVC pipes only. This means that they may not be suitable for other types of pipes, such as PVC or PEX.
  • Lower pressure and temperature ratings: Slip ball valves have lower pressure and temperature ratings than ball valves, so they might not be suitable for high-pressure or high-temperature applications.
  • Potential for leaks: Because slip ball valves rely on an O-ring for sealing, there is a risk of leaks if the O-ring becomes damaged or worn over time. Additionally, if the valve is not installed correctly, it can also result in leaks.

Disadvantages of ball valves

  • Limited flow control: While ball valves are efficient at controlling flow, they may not be as precise as other types of valves. This is because the ball can only be rotated to certain positions, which may not provide the exact flow rate required.
  • Cost: Ball valves are generally more expensive than other types of valves, which may make them less desirable for certain applications.
  • Space requirements: Ball valves require a larger amount of space than other types of valves because they have a larger body size. This can be problematic in tight or cramped spaces.

Overall, it’s important to weigh each type of valve’s advantages and disadvantages carefully to determine which is the best fit for your specific application.


While slip ball valves and ball valves differ, they also share similarities. Here are some of the similarities:

Both are shut-off valves

Both slip ball valves and ball valves are types of shut-off valves. A shut-off valve is designed to stop the flow of fluids or gasses through a pipe or tubing. In other words, it shuts off the flow of the medium inside the pipe or tubing.

Both valves are used in many applications where flow control is needed, such as plumbing, HVAC, and industrial processes.

Both control the flow of liquids, gasses, and vapors

They’re both used for controlling the flow of liquids, gases, and vapors. This means they allow the user to regulate the amount of fluid or gas flowing through the pipe or tubing. The user can open or close the valve to control the flow rate or completely stop the flow altogether.

Slip and ball valves function as shut-off valves and control the flow of liquids, vapors, and gasses.

Comparison of Slip Ball Valves and Ball Valves

While both valves serve the same purpose of controlling the flow of liquids, gasses, and vapors, they differ in several aspects. In this discussion, we will explore the differences between slip ball valves and ball valves in design, pipe material compatibility, cost, flow control options, and pressure and temperature.

  • Design and installation process: Slip ball valves feature a two-part design consisting of a valve body and an insert with a round, perforated ball inside. They have slip connections, which require glue or adhesive for installation.

On the other hand, ball valves have a compact one-piece design, with a spherical ball inside the valve body that rotates to control the flow. They typically have threaded or flanged connections, which make installation and replacement easier.

  • Compatibility with different pipe materials: Slip ball valves work with copper and CPVC pipes, while ball valves work with a wide range of materials, including PVC, steel, and brass. This makes ball valves a more versatile option for different types of piping systems.
  • Cost: Slip ball valves are generally less expensive than ball valves, making them a cost-effective solution for applications where budget is a concern. However, the initial savings may be offset by the need for more frequent repairs or replacements due to the valve’s design.
  • Flow control options: Ball valves offer efficient flow control with a low torque requirement and minimal pressure drop across the valve. Slip ball valves, on the other hand, may have a higher torque requirement and may not provide the same level of precision in flow control.
  • Pressure and temperature capabilities: Ball valves are designed to handle high pressure and temperature, making them suitable for high-stress applications such as steam and hydraulic systems.

Slip ball valves may not have the same level of pressure and temperature capabilities and may be limited to lower-stress applications.

Overall, both valves have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of valve depends on the specific application and requirements. When selecting a valve for your industrial system, it is essential to consider factors such as compatibility, pressure, flow control, and cost and temperature capabilities.

Does a ball valve reduce water flow?

A properly sized and installed ball valve should not significantly reduce water flow. Ball valves have a minimal pressure drop compared to other types of valves. However, if the ball valve is not installed correctly or is too small for the system, it may cause a reduction in water flow. 

Additionally, debris or dirt in the valve can also cause a reduction in flow. It is important to select the appropriate size and type of valve for the specific application and to ensure proper installation and maintenance to avoid any issues with water flow.

Where do we use the slip ball valve?

Slip ball valves are commonly used in residential and light commercial plumbing applications requiring low pressure and flow rates. They are often used in water supply, irrigation, and pool and spa equipment.

Slip ball valve

Slip ball valves are ideal when a shut-off valve is needed for periodic maintenance or repairs, as they are easy to install and remove. 

As well as being compatible with copper and CPVC pipes, they’re a popular choice for retrofits and repairs. However, it is important to note that slip ball valves are not recommended for high-pressure or high-temperature applications, as they may not provide the necessary level of durability and performance.

What is the maximum size of the ball valve?

The maximum size of ball valves can vary widely depending on the manufacturer and application. Grove BT2 top entry ball valve can be as large as 60 inches in size.

Cameron’s North American valve manufacturing facilities can meet a wide range of customer valve requirements, suggesting they offer larger sizes. The NSF listing of certified PWS components includes ball valves in sizes up to 42 inches. 

Additionally, it is noted that ball valves are available in sizes from 1/4 inch up to 36 inches or beyond in some cases.

It is important to note that the maximum size of a ball valve may also depend on the application and intended use. For instance, in residential plumbing applications, the water service pipe must be no less than 3/4 inch nominal pipe diameter, which would limit the size of the ball valve used in such applications.

In addition, some manufacturers offer small ball valve balls, which are great for tight spaces or small pipes.

Learn the Differences to Find the Right Fit for Your System

Slip and ball valves are both shut-off valves that control the flow of liquids, gasses, and vapors. Besides the design and installation process, they differ in material compatibility, cost, flow control options, and temperature and pressure capabilities.

Choosing the right valve for specific applications is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Slip ball valves are suitable for low-pressure applications, while ball valves are best suited for high-pressure applications. Compatibility with different pipe materials is also crucial, especially when replacing old valves.

The decision on which valve to use depends on specific application requirements. Choosing between the two is essential to carefully consider design, installation, compatibility, flow control, cost, and pressure and temperature capabilities. The right valve can improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs, making it a crucial investment for any system.

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Last update on 2023-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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