I am involved in a project to build a system that involves interrupting water flow when it gets to a certain level.

This device is similar to what toilets use to fill up the deposit and stop.

What would this system, floater based, be called?


In the UK it is traditionally called a ball-valve, or ball-valve system. In the case of a toilet a ball-valve cistern.

The older ones were characterised by a floating "ball", which when it reached a certain height cut off the water flow.

However in the modern ones much smaller floating devices are incorporated. To many people they are still called ball-valves. Though nowadays they are often known as float-valves.

This friendly London-accented plumber will tell you all about how they work.

  • 1
    Originally (and before the modern fit of bowdlerism) called a ball cock. Oct 25 '18 at 9:17
  • 1
    @TimLymington I should have remembered that, especially since there is a plumbers' merchants in my area named suggestively "Ballcock & Bits".
    – WS2
    Oct 25 '18 at 13:15
  • 1
    It's worth pointing out that it is called a ball valve (or other terms mentioned above) in the UK because it is a ball valve in the UK - and in the questioner's country, as they say "floater based". But in many countries, including many in Western Europe, a cheaper, non-float system, prone to leaks when the rubber seal fails, is used. (These are not permitted in the UK as they can waste copious amounts of water.) So any of the terms mentioned here may not be understood internationally. It is easy to forget that something that you might think is universal is culture specific. Oct 26 '18 at 0:23

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