Gate Valve VS Check Valve

Gate valves and check valves are the two most common types of valves. The main difference between them makes one better than the other based on your needs. Both are used to control the flow in pipes or hoses. This article will help you analyze the differences and choose one that is suitable.

What Is Gate Valve?

A gate valve has an internal gate or wedge-shaped disc that can start and stop the gas or liquid flow via a pipe. Using compressed air pressure or turning the handle on the gate will open it either way. When the gate is open, it is made so that it does not get in the way of the flow of things too much, so it works as efficiently as possible.

What Is Check Valve?

One type of valve that stops backflow in lines or tubes is the check valve. Fluid can flow through one-way flaps that keep it from backing up. This helps keep the water pressure right and keeps contaminants from getting into the pipes. There are many sizes and forms of check valves, such as swing, lift, globe, piston, diaphragm, ball, butterfly, and plunger. Based on how they were made, each type works differently, but they all reliably stop overflow.

Difference Between Gate Valve and Check Valve

Method of Operation

Check valves and gate valves are handled differently. Gate valves can be controlled by a hand wheel or an actuator, which can be an electrical actuator, a pneumatic actuator, or something else. An outside force moves the disc up and down so that the gate valves can open and close. Check valves, on the other hand, open and close automatically based on the difference in pressure across the valve. They don’t need to be controlled or acted upon from the outside.

Structural Difference

A gate or wedge-shaped disc moves up and down in a gate valve to control the flow of the medium. A stem that rises from the base of the plant often shows where the gate is. There are many kinds of check valves, such as swing check valves, lift check valves, rubber ball check valves, rubber disc check valves, and more. There are different ways that these types of check valves can stop backflow, such as a disc that swings, a disc that lifts, or a rubber ball that moves out of the way when fluid runs in the right direction.


Check valves and gate valves have distinct functions in pipes. Gate valves have one plate that moves up and down perpendicular to the fluid’s flow to let it flow through or stop it. When gate valves are fully open or closed, they can’t be used to control flow. Although check valves and gate valves do very different things, they are both automatic valves.

For example, the swing-type check valve has a disc that swings outwards from the valve body. When media flows through the check valve, the disc opens due to the flow pressure, and when the pressure drops, the disc closes due to gravity, stopping the media from flowing backward.

Flow Controls

As the name suggests, a gate valve controls the flow, while a check valve stops it from going backward. A gate can be opened by hand or by a machine, but a check’s flaps only open and close because of changes in pressure or gravity. Additionally, check valves need less upkeep over time than gates do since they don’t have any moving parts. Both types are essential parts of many plumbing systems because they help keep water flow steady and keep dirt and other things from getting into pipes.


People often use gate valves in places that need a straight-through flow path, a high flow capacity, and a tight shut-off, such as chemical processing, water treatment plants, and oil and gas pipes. Check valves are not the same as gate valves. They are used to stop backflow in plumbing systems, wastewater treatment plants, and pumping stations.

Final Thoughts

In the end, gate and check valves are both crucial for controlling water flow in plumbing systems and keeping dirt out of the pipes. Even though they have some things in common, like flaps, they work in different ways. Gates control flow, while checks stop return. Make sure you know what kind of valve you need for your job before you decide what to do.