Have you ever heard of a diverting valve and a mixing valve? In plumbing systems, diverter valves and mixing valves control the flow and temperature of liquids. While both valves serve different functions, they differ based on their inlets & outlets, flow directions, operating pressures, and more.
But the most significant difference is between their inlets and outlets. For example, mixing valves combine two incoming inlets into one outgoing stream outlet, but diverting valves combine one incoming inlet into two outgoing stream outlets.
When deciding between a diverter and a mixing valve, it’s essential to consider specific application and cost considerations. Understanding the differences between these two valves can make all the difference in ensuring the proper liquid flow and temperature for your needs.
Diverter Valve vs Mixing Valve: What are the Primary Differences?
Diverting and mixing valves are common flow control mechanisms used in various industrial, domestic, and commercial applications. Both valves serve similar purposes but differ in their designs and functions.
Let’s dive deeper into the differences between them:
Valve Inlets & Outlets
Diverting valves have one inlet and two outlets, while mixing valves have two inlets and one outlet. This means that when using a diverting valve, liquid or gas can be routed from one inlet port to either of two outlet ports, which enables greater flexibility for piping systems.
Meanwhile, a mixing valve combines two separate inlet streams into one combined outlet stream. In this case, both streams must enter at sufficiently similar pressures for effective operation.
Valve Flow Directions
A diverting valve can toggle between multiple flows from the same source. In contrast, a mixing valve will accept multiple inputs from differing sources but combine them into a single output stream.
Concerning directionality, diverters are typically capable of unidirectional control. At the same time, mixers tend to be bidirectional, meaning they can control both flow directions with equal precision regardless of input pressure levels.
The operating pressures for diverting valves tend to be higher than those required by mixers since diverters may need additional force to divert flows between multiple ports. In contrast, mixers only need enough pressure to combine input streams effectively.
This means that depending on the application requirements if high pressure is an issue, a mixer would be more appropriate than a diverter as it requires less pressure for effective operation.
Flow Control Mechanisms
A diverting valve is a flow control mechanism to direct fluid between sources or reverse a source’s flow direction. This operation is achieved by using an internal gate or flap that opens and closes different pathways by blocking off some channels while opening up others.
On the other hand, a mixing valve allows for additional control over flow direction by combining two fluid streams into a single mixture stream without disturbing either stream’s original characteristics.
Both diverting and mixing valves can be adjusted for various parameters such as pressure, temperature, and volume, making them suitable for use in numerous applications.
Using Purpose & Applications
The primary purpose of diverting valves is to route fluids to multiple paths or change the direction of a single stream while maintaining its integrity along the way. This type of valve is typically found in industries such as:
- Food processing,
- Chemical production facilities,
- Water treatment plants,
- Oil refineries,
- Gas turbines and more
Due to its ability to divert large amounts of liquid from one source to multiple destinations without changing its properties significantly.
Furthermore, mixing valves are essential for blending streams into one uniform mixture with no chemical or physical reaction between them. This differs from diverting valves, where there could be some loss due to temperature or pressure changes along their route.
Also, they are helpful when it comes to creating certain solutions with specific properties, such as pH balance or prevention of corrosion within pipelines or tanks that store hazardous materials such as petroleum products like gasoline or diesel fuel.
Regarding cost efficiency and affordability, diverting valves is usually the more economical option since they don’t need extra components like pumps or mixers, which can drive up the cost. On the other hand, mixing valves require these additional components to work correctly.
But, if you are looking for precise control over your mixture, it’s worth investing in a quality mixer. This will give you much more accurate results than a regular diverter valve can offer.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Diverter Valve and Mixing Valve
Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Diverter Valve
A diverter valve works by diverting liquid from the main line to an auxiliary line at a certain level, reducing the energy. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a diverter valve:
Advantages of using a Diverter Valve:
- Cost Savings: Diverter valves can save homeowners money on their energy bills as they reduce the energy needed to heat water up to its desired temperature.
- Hot Water On Demand: Diverter valves can provide instant hot water on demand as they divert cold water straight away when it passes a specific temperature.
- Increased Efficiency & Safety: Using a diverter valve helps improve efficiency and safety by reducing the risks associated with overheating and over-pressuring systems.
- Longer Lifespan: A diverter valve promotes long-lasting performance since it only allows hot water through when necessary, thus preventing excess strain on your system’s components, which helps extend its lifespan.
Disadvantages of Using a Diverter Valve:
- Maintenance Issues: Diverter valves may require regular maintenance and inspections to function properly, which could add extra cost for homeowners unfamiliar with this type of equipment or unable to perform these tasks independently.
- Limited Potential Usage Areas: A diverter valve is typically used in single-supply applications such as showers, bathtubs, and sinks, thus limiting its potential usage areas in larger multi-supply systems like boilers or fire sprinkler systems.
- Limited Temperature Control Options: You cannot control the actual temperature with a standard diverter valve. If more precise temperature control is desired, you must use an additional thermostatic mixing valve (TMV).
Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Mixing Valve
Mixing valves not only help regulate the temperature of the water but also provide a safe and balanced way to use hot and cold water together. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a mixing valve:
Advantages of Using a Mixing Valve:
- Easy to install: Most mixing valves are easy to install into a plumbing system without requiring professional help or special tools. This helps save time and money for those looking for an affordable temperature regulation solution.
- More precise temperature control: Mixing valves allow for more precise control over the temperature than simply using hot and cold taps alone. This is especially useful when bathing children or elderly people who may require colder water than what is available from sinks or showers.
- Increased safety: By automatically blending hot and cold water together at the right ratio, mixing valves reduce the risk of burns due to sudden temperature changes in either direction.
Disadvantages of Using a Mixing Valve:
- Costly installation & maintenance: Although installing a mixing valve is relatively easy, it can be costly due to additional parts and more complex labor. Also, maintenance is generally more expensive than other solutions since professionals must do repairs.
- Too much complexity for some households: For households that are not tech-savvy or don’t have access to professionals when needed, installing and maintaining a mixing shower valve can be too complicated for them to handle safely.
- Limited options when upgrading fixtures: One downside of installing a mixing valve is that there may be limited upgrade options when switching out existing fixtures like faucets or showers.
Can I Use Diverting Valve and Mixing Valve Together?
Both valves can be used in combination and are frequently found installed in heating systems, water systems, and other operations requiring precise control over the fluid flow. Using diverting valves and mixing valves, you need to make sure the pressure of each stream is the same.
Also, the materials used for both valves must be compatible to minimize wear on components and ensure optimal performance. Consider the pressure drop across diverting valves and mixing valves when connecting them. Models with higher ratings will reduce pressure losses more effectively.
Furthermore, you need to be aware of any sudden changes in flow characteristics. Sudden drops or increases in pressure can cause further disruption within affected systems if not considered with the correct selection of a diverter and mixer combination.
Ultimately, diverting and mixing valves offer more control over fluid flow than either type alone would provide. But they must be appropriately selected and matched for optimal results to be achieved safely and reliably.
What Types of Diverting Valves are Available?
There are several types of diverter valves available on the market today, such as:
- Rotary tube selector valves play a significant role in industrial processes due to their durability and reliability.
- Y-type divert valves allow you to minimize pressure loss while providing smooth operation with minimal vibration.
- Fill vent (scale divert) valves come in handy in applications where accurate metering and precise control are essential.
- Gravity diverts valves rely solely on gravity force to switch flow direction and often find themselves in wastewater treatment plants.
Does a Diverting Valve Increase Performance?
Using a diverting valve can significantly improve performance compared to other directional control valves. These valves allow for quick changes in flow direction and offer excellent accuracy when controlling the flow rate, resulting in better overall process efficiency.
Also, these components require little maintenance over time and last for many years, even under high-pressure conditions. As such, they represent a cost-effective solution for all kinds of industrial applications where precision control is required.
Can You Use a Mixing Valve as a Diverting Valve?
A mixing valve should not be used in place of a diverting valve. A diverting valve allows you to switch water flow from one point to another. In contrast, a mixing valve is intended to blend two different water streams simultaneously.
A diverting valve needs to maintain pressure on both sides of the valve so it can adequately switch between the two sources.
In contrast, a mixing shower valve needs only one pressurized inlet stream and operates at a lower pressure than a diverting valve. A diverting control valve is better for applications requiring switching between two sources.
Diverter Valve vs. Mixing Valve: Exploring Core Structural and Functional Differences
After considering the diverter and mixing valves, it is clear that the two valves are very different in structure and functioning. A diverter valve changes the flow direction and can direct a single stream in multiple directions.
Alternatively, mixing valves are designed to blend two different liquid sources, such as hot and cold water, to create a desired temperature or blend other substances depending on their purpose. They have inlet and outlet ports for both inputs and outputs, along with knobs that adjust the output ratio between them.
Knowing these two types of valves can help you choose which one is right for you. Ultimately, choosing and using the right valve will help you achieve optimal results and minimize future repair or replacement costs.