Brass Ball Valve vs. Stainless Steel Ball Valve

August 3rd 2022

Brass and stainless steel are main metal ball valves. Brass is a copper alloy with a mixture of copper and zinc, and occasionally other metals. And stainless steel is an iron alloy mixed with chromium and nickel. Though more expensive than brass, steel is durable and resilient. Steel tends to last longe and is also able to work in higher temperature. Both stainless steel ball valve and brass ball valve are corrosion resistant, while stainless steel ball valves are the best options for high pressure and high temperature.

1. What are Brass Ball Valves?

Brass ball valves are some of the most common types that you will utilize in plumbing, water well and so on.They are fairly easy to work with and install, with good corrosion resistance. As a material, brass is softer than others to make sealing them easier. When sealing other types of metals, you often need a specific pipe tape or thread sealant, but you are more apt to find brass sealing products easier than others. What’s more, brass ball valves are divided into three way brass ball valve, forged brass ball valve and so on.

Brass Ball Valve vs. Stainless Steel Ball Valve
      Three Way Brass Ball Valve
Brass Ball Valve vs. Stainless Steel Ball Valve
Forged Brass Ball Valve


Brass solenoid valves are usually an excellent choice for many plumbing systems. They’re available in two main forms, leaded and no-lead options. Of course, you’ll want to choose the no-lead option if you’re working on a system for drinking water.

The main benefit of brass valves is that they are a cost effective option. Despite the lower price, they aren’t necessarily inferior to the alternatives in most situations.


Brass is more susceptible to corrosion than stainless steel. It is not recommended for use in environments that can cause the valve to break down, such as in salt water.

Perhaps the biggest con for brass valves is that even some no-lead options carry a low risk of lead contamination if they succumb to corrosion. Of course, this isn’t a big deal if your brass valve isn’t part of a system you’ve built for drinking water. On the other hand, this may make people repairing or renovating their plumbing for potable water think twice. Note that brass’s possible lead release is directly related to its zinc content. The more zinc the valve contains, the more lead it might release.

Brass Ball Valve vs. Stainless Steel Ball Valve


2. What are Stainless Steel Ball Valves?

The stainless steel ball valve can be closed tightly with only a 90-degree rotation and a small torque. The completely equal internal cavity of the valve provides a straight flow channel with little resistance for the medium. The main feature of the ball valve is its compact structure, easy to operate and maintain. The stainless steel ball valve can be used to control the flow of various types of fluids such as air, water, steam, various corrosive media, mud, oil, liquid metal, and radioactive media. The ball valve body can be integral or combined. This type of valve should generally be installed horizontally in the pipeline. The two most commonly stainless steel ball valves are 304 stainless steel ball valve and 316 stainless steel ball valve.


Stainless steel is famously durable, so there should be no doubt in your mind that it wins over brass valves in this category. Stainless steel valves also take the cake in terms of pressure ratings and temperature tolerance, outperforming other popular metals like: Brass  Cast iron  Copper Ductile iron

It’s also very well-known as a highly corrosion-resistant material, making it the strongly preferred alternative for marine water and commercial brewing systems (stainless steel ball valves are especially preferred).

Relatively low maintenance costs

Maintaining substances’ purity that comes into contact with the stainless steel component



There are really not many drawbacks to discuss for stainless steel valves. They are some of the best options for residential and commercial applications and offer great versatility as well. Perhaps the most apparent difference between stainless steel and brass valves is that the former are typically available at higher price points, making cost its primary disadvantage.

Additionally, stainless steel valves do tend to be slightly heavier than other materials. If weight is a critical factor in your project, you’ll need to be very careful about your calculations.

Brass Ball Valve vs. Stainless Steel Ball Valve
3. Difference between Brass Ball Valves & Stainless Steel Ball Valves
(1) Material: The brass ball valve is a copper alloy with copper and zinc occasionally mixed with other metals, while the stainless steel ball valve is an iron alloy of chromium and nickel.
(2) Cost: When the No-Lead laws started coming into effect in many states and Provinces in North America, No-Lead Brass grew in popularity and the rise of No-Lead Brass pricing. The price of stainless steel ball valves is higher than that of leaded brass ball valves, but the price of lead-free brass ball valves is not much different. It is a good option of using No-Lead brass ball valves on non-potable water applications and this can save you a lot of money.
(3) FDA Approval: The FDA does not approve of brass ball valves unless they are certified lead-free, making them a poor choice for use in the food industry. Stainless steel ball valves, however, are approved by the FDA for use in the food industry.
(4) Softness: Brass is softer than stainless steel, which makes it easier to seal brass ball valves than stainless steel ball valves. And products for sealing brass ball valves are easier to obtain than products for sealing stainless steel ball valves. Because of its chemical makeup, brass is much better for welding than stainless steel. In order to use stainless steel for welding, you must often break down its oxide layer.
(5) Corrosion Resistance: Brass is able to withstand corrosion better than plastic. However, stainless steel is still the best in the corrosion resistance department, especially in marine environments. Stainless steel ball valves will hold up much better in a harsher water environment, and this will ensure a longer-lasting valve.
(6) Pressure Ratings: Generally speaking, stainless steel ball valves have higher pressure ratings than brass. For example, a standard brass ball valve might have a pressure rating of 600 PSI on a 1” model. A standard stainless ball valve would probably have a pressure rating of 1000 PSI on a 1” model. Therefore, stainless steel ball valves are more resistant to high pressure than brass ball valves.
(7) High-Temperature Resistance: Steel is also able to work in more temperatures than brass and tends to last longer. Stainless steel ball valves are the best options for high-temperature situations.

Brass and stainless steel valves are both excellent choices of material for your plumbing job. Yet, they each perform well in varying conditions.

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