Philmac ball valves – 40 years strong
Philmac ball valves are a bit like flies!
They do look different, but like flies they are pretty much found everywhere in the Australian landscape.
From cattle stations in Clermont to back yards in Brighton. You have probably seen that familiar blue handle somewhere, albeit that some of the handles are looking a little faded but the ball valve still works. And like flies there are lots of them out there, which is no surprise considering they were introduced to the market in 1981. That is 40 years and still going strong.
So, why are these valves more popular than they have ever been? It can be put down to a simple, yet reliable action – turn the water on, turn the water off or just leave it on.
As the handle is rotated it simply turns a ball located within the body of the valve. It features a positive on/off action so the handle can only be rotated through 900 to move from the on to the off position or vice versa. The design of the blue handle makes it easy to grip and also identifies whether the valve is open or closed.
Through a combination of materials, a skilled workforce and design these valves have stood the test of time. The valves start with high quality injection moulded plastic bodies and components that are manufactured in Philmac’s Australian facility.
Philmac’s own skilled workforce undertake the assembly before each valve is individually tested. Combine this with subtle upgrades and improvements in plastic technology since their launch 40 years ago and you have a valve that will provide many years of reliable operation. In addition, the valve has a level of frost resistance.
As for design, the option of female x female or male x female ends, and for installation flexibility the inlet can be on either end.
The valves are all compact to allow them to be more readily fitted in tight spaces, however this does not impact on their performance. In fact, the valve was designed with performance in mind: the diameter through the ball matches the inside diameter of the nipple or male end connector, thus reducing turbulence and providing an even continuous flow of water. For example, when a male threaded fitting such as a nipple or male end connector is screwed in, there is no flow restriction.
A range of uses
While they started life primarily as a rural valve, the design and materials are such that the valves are now suitable for operating pressures up to 1600 kPa or 232 psi.
This means they can be used in plumbing applications on water supply lines, in horticulture to control sprinklers and drippers, for industrial applications such as airlines and of course in traditional farming application such as tanks and troughs.
The valves need to comply with the WaterMark certification to ensure they are fit for purpose and appropriately authorised for use in plumbing installations. Philmac undertook thorough testing to ensure the valve meets the WaterMark certification WMTS-012:20181.1
In addition, to ensure a level of confidence for all applications, the valve also meets the StandardsMark AS 5830.2-20122,<sup.2 which demonstrates it has undergone a rigorous audit and testing program.
After all, the Philmac poly ball valve is the only ball valve made in Australia and that means, it is the connection you can trust.
Article written by Philmac for Seasons magazine.
Elders offers a range of Philmac fittings including the ball valve.
1. WMTS-012:2018 In-line Valves for use in plumbing water supply systems.
2. AS5830.2-2012: In-line ball valves for use in plumbing water supply systems, Part 2: Plastics-bodied.