• Technical FAQ's

    Here you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions; check back often as we'll make updates as new questions arise.

    Yes. Silicon is the second most abundant element within the earth’s crust (component of sand) and acts to strengthen copper alloys. Silicone (with an “e”) is a man-made substance derived from silicon and other chemicals and it may be a liquid or rubber–like plastic polymer.

    The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act went into effect January 4, 2014. However, lead content restrictions have been effective in California and Vermont since January 1, 2010, Maryland since January 2012, and Louisiana since January 2013. It is against the law to sell or install products for use in potable water applications that are not lead free nationally as of January 4, 2014.

    Truesdail Laboratories, NSF International (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Water Quality Association (WQA), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Research and Testing (IAPMO R&T), CSA Group, Intertek Testing Services, and ICC Evaluation Services (ICC ES) all provide certification. Reference the EPA document, How to Identify Lead-Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Materials available at NIBCO Lead Free Resources for a list of markings you should look for that indicate compliance.

    They are not. Due to the order of wording and lack of punctuation, the exemption has caused confusion. The exemption is specific to gate valves in water-distribution mains 2” in diameter or larger. The Safe Drinking Water Act covers the entire system from water collection all the way to the drinking tap regardless of pipe diameter or valve type.

    The new standard does not apply to pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings or fixtures that are used exclusively for non-potable services such as manufacturing, industrial processing, irrigation, outdoor watering, or any other uses where water is not anticipated to be used for human consumption. The law also specifically excludes toilets, bidets, urinals, fill valves, flushometer valves, tub fillers, shower valves, service saddles, or water distribution main gate valves that are 2 inches in diameter or larger.

    There are a variety of lead-free alloy formulations that have been developed that use silicon, bismuth, or other constituents as a primary lead replacement. For over two decades, NIBCO has led the industry in the development of lead-free alloys and commercialization of lead-free plumbing products. To overcome technical limitations of bismuth-based lead-free alloys, NIBCO focused on the development of silicon Performance Bronze™ alloys that exhibit far superior mechanical properties than traditional leaded alloys. Reference NIBCO White Papers WP-LFCAC-1012 and WP-LFPAC- 1012 for more information on the benefits of silicon bronze LF alloys.

    The standard establishes procedures for the determination of lead content based on the wetted surface area of products. This standard applies to any drinking water system component that conveys or dispenses water for human consumption through drinking or cooking. The NSF/ANSI 372 standard is consistent with requirements of the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.

    The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act is a federal law that amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and sets new, lower standards for the amount of lead permissible in plumbing products that come into contact with potable (drinkable) water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has primary responsibility for interpreting the SDWA with individual states using health or plumbing codes or other standards consistent with the SDWA and EPA regulations to enforce those standards.

    NIBCO was awarded its ISO 9001/2008 Certification by Bureau Veritas Certification North America, Inc. and all our locations are certified and conform to these standards. Download the ISO 9001:2008 Certification

    Warranty information is listed in the technical library section under ‘Resources.’

    Owner and Maintenance Manuals (O & M) are listed in the technical library section, under ‘Resources.’

    “Domestic” is a very broad term when it comes to questioning the origin of NIBCO products. Oftentimes, the question of “domestic or imported” relates to the requirements for the “American Reinvestment and Recovery Act,” the “Buy American Act” or the “Buy America Act.” These are separate pieces of legislation and all have different requirements.

    The best way to determine if a specific product is compliant is to know which of the specific acts must be met for the project and then contact NIBCO Technical Services.

    Yes and No. Yes, if the modification directly affects the functionality of the valve. No, if for example, you are adding an external item such as a Babbitt sprocket to a UL listed valve for remote operation. UL valves can be repaired, provided the repair parts are obtained directly from the manufacturer.

    NIBCO only quotes Barrier PEX in our radiant systems due to the risk of cast iron being anywhere in the system. Users run the risk of sludge building up in the pipe system and the cast iron will be ruined by oxygen building up and rusting the iron. NIBCO® Barrier PEX acts as a barrier against the buildup of the oxygen molecules stopping them from accumulating in the radiant system. 

    Submittals/cut sheets can be accessed in numerous ways including:

    Price sheets can be accessed in several places:

    Ball Valves
    TFP600A (UL listed for flammable liquids only)
    T-585-70-UL (UL listed for flammable liquids only)
    T-580-70-UL (UL listed for flammable liquids only)
    KT-580-70-UL (1-1/4, 1-1/2, and 2-inch only)

    Bronze Gate Valves
    KT-65-UL (Trim and drain use only ½, ¾, and 1-inch)
    KT-211-W-UL (Trim and drain use only 1-1/4, 1-1/2, and 2-inch only)
    KT-67-UL (Trim and drain use only)
    T-301-W (Trim and drain use only 1-1/4, 1-1/2, and 2-inch only)

    Iron Gate Valves

    Indicator Posts

    Iron Check Valves

    Butterfly Valves
    WD3510 (-4 or -8) (WP/GP)
    LD3510 (-4 or -8) (WP/GP)
    GD1765-8N (WP/GP)
    GD4765-8N (WP/GP)
    GD6765-8N (WP/GP) 

    A gate valve is used to stop the flow of a moving fluid. They cannot be used to partially interrupt the flow (called throttling) and must be used in either the completely open or completely closed position.

    A globe valve is used to throttle somewhere between the open and closed position. Globe valves offer a compression seal; when the stem is turned, the seat gets compressed, providing a better seal.

    A check valve is used to prevent backflow. These valves do not have operating mechanisms because the valve operates automatically, depending on the pressure of the flow.

    A ball valve can be used the same way gates and globes can be used, however they are typically less expensive. A ball valve has several advantages over gates and globes. They are ¼-turn instead of multi-turn. The position of the lever handle indicates whether the valve is open or closed.

    A butterfly valve is used in similar applications as the gates and globes, but has several advantages over the gates and globes. Like ball valves, they are ¼-turn instead of multi-turn. Butterfly valves are lighter in weight and take up very little space in the line. They also have throttling capabilities and resilient sealing.

    A resilient wedge is necessary when a bubble-tight seal is needed. Metal-to-metal seated valves have an allowable leakage rate which means they are not required to seal off the flow of material completely.

    ABS and PVC are both used in DWV (Drain, Waste, Vent) service. ABS is colored black and PVC is colored white. Some local codes require PVC over ABS because the color white makes it easier to look at a joint and see that the purple primer has been applied. Both ABS and PVC DWV carry the Schedule 40 wall thickness, but they are not rated for pressure. ABS and PVC can be threaded together, but not glued together. ABS, PVC, and CPVC CTS take different solvent cements.

    Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 fittings refer to the wall thickness of the fitting. The higher the schedule, the thicker the wall will be. The schedule of the wall affects the ID of the pipe, not the OD. Schedule 40 and 80 threaded fittings can be joined together provided the OD of the fittings are the same.

    CTS stands for Copper Tube Size. CPVC-CTS fittings are designed to be used in residential applications to replace copper pressure fittings. CTS fittings cannot be joined with ABS, PVC, Schedule 40 or 80 fittings. The dimensions of the cups are different.

    PEX tubing that is manufactured by NIBCO is labeled with the manufacture date directly on the tubing. NIBCO started producing PEX on May 15, 2006. PEX tubing made prior to that date was made by CPI (Consolidated Plumbing Industries – a disbanded company). Only NIBCO® PEX made after May 15, 2006, could have been manufactured by NIBCO.

    The ¼-turn valves have the advantage of quick shut-off of the flow, but there is a risk of water hammer or shock if the valves are closed too quickly. When the flow is abruptly stopped, the energy in the medium hits the valve and reverberates through the line. This can damage the piping system. The multi-turn valves close slowly, eliminating the water hammer.

    High performance butterfly valves have carbon steel bodies, adjustable packing, offset disc design, PTFE seats, and are sometimes suitable for steam service. Standard resilient (rubber) seated butterfly valves do not have those features, but are less costly and perform just as well for in-applications for which they are intended and compatible.

    High performance butterfly valves have carbon steel bodies, adjustable packing, offset disc design, PTFE seats, and are sometimes suitable for steam service. Standard resilient (rubber) seated butterfly valves do not have those features, but are less costly and perform just as well for in-applications for which they are intended and compatible.

    Not all copper fittings can be formed using the wrot process. For example, a drop ear elbow is difficult to form using the wrot process, so it is poured and cast in a mold. Other fittings such as a 90 degree elbow can be formed using the wrot process. It would not be cost-effective to offer those fittings as cast copper.

    A one-piece ball valve has no potential body leak paths, but requires the use of a reduced port ball. This valve is not repairable. Once the valve fails, it must be replaced.

    A two-piece ball valve is the most popular due to the lower cost of manufacturing. It is available in both full port and conventional port. This valve is not repairable. Once the valve fails, it must be replaced.

    A three-piece ball valve is more costly, but is easier to disassemble and offers in-line repair ability. This valve is available in full port and conventional port.

    SWP: Steam Working Pressure: This designates the maximum recommended steam pressure a product can operate at.

    CWP: Cold Working Pressure: This designates the maximum non-shock pressure a product can operate at. “Cold” is generally defined as a range between -20°F to 100°F.

    WOG: Water, Oil and Gas: This was an older, generic pressure rating call-out which has been largely replaced by CWP (see above). In this designation, “Gas” refers to any non-flammable, compressible fluid in a gaseous state. It does not imply a product’s suitability or third-party approval for use with flammable gases. Similarly, in this designation, “Oil” does not imply a product’s third-party approval for use with any petroleum products.

    A trim and drain application would typically involve a fire sprinkler system. The trim and drain valves would not be in the main portion of the piping but rather in the peripheral portions of the piping. Products in these portions of the system may or may not require UL listing depending upon the Authority Having Jurisdiction.

    Fire Protection valves are used in a fire protection system such as a sprinkler system. It should not be assumed that a fire protection valve is fire safe or UL listed.

    A Fire Safe valve will be designated by an “FS” in the figure number (ex. F-510-CS-R-66-FS). Fire safe means that the valves have been designed and tested to meet industry requirements for performance after having been subjected to extreme heat, such as would happen if they were involved in a fire.

    A UL Listed valve will have the UL symbol stamped on the valve. UL listing means the valve has been tested and approved by Underwriter Laboratories for the service listed. Only valves with the UL stamp are UL tested.