NIBCO Vs. Apollo Ball Valves: Features and Differences

The old saying, “You get what you pay for,” shows its full relevance when you try to buy ball valves. NIBCO vs. Apollo ball valve comparison reveals which of these brands reign superior when ball valve construction is concerned.

The better part might cost you a few extra dollars, but when you think of it, you are really paying for your peace of mind. If you are going to spend money on something, why not look into the best options and get the best you can afford?

A Quick Comparison Table

We will get into the depths of differences between NIBO and Apollo ball valves in a second; but before that, let’s take a quick look at a comparison table.

SpecificationNIBCO ball valveApollo Ball Valve
Lead-FreeYesYes
DesignBlow-out proof stem Blow-out proof stem 
InstallationReversible handle and large accessible packing nut makes it easySolder ball valves are easy to install
MaterialBrass, bronze, steelBronze, brass, steel
Pressure and Temperature-20°F – +400°FHighest temperature: +500°F
ConstructionLead-free Silicon Performance Bronze® alloyHigh-quality alloys
OptionsWide range of optionsWide range of options

In-Depth Differences Between NIBCO and Apollo Ball Valves

  • Lead-Free
NIBCO ball valves

High levels of lead exposure can cause weakness, anemia, and brain and kidney damage. Exposure to lead for a prolonged period can even cause death.

This harmful chemical can surpass the placental barrier, giving it a way to affect unborn children through their mother’s body.

Naturally, federal regulations restrict the use of lead in any products that will come close to edible foods.

Apollo ball valves have always met federal requirements when it comes to lead content.

These lead-free ball valves are manufactured in an ISO attested foundry in South Carolina. With over 10 years of experience in production, Apollo knows what customers what.

Thus, they went green way before going green was a thing. The brand is committed to supporting a pollution-free environment and that is a priority in today’s world.

NIBCO too has ditched the lead in their ball valve products. So, both of the ball valves in the discussion are lead-free.

  • Design

Both NIBCO ball valves and Apollo ball valves feature a blow-out-proof steam design. What is this, you may ask? A blow-out-proof stem is a basic design feature in ball valves.

A ball valve stem is an input inside from the valve body with a core T-type that should offer an effective blow-out. It is inserted internally as a backseat job to make sure the stem sealing is proper.

If we had to describe it further, the steam is sealed with packing rings and o-rings and secured in place using the stem housing bolted to the valve body.

The packing rings and o-rings are held compressed and secured in place by the gland flange, a part that is mounted to the stem housing.

When we change the packing, the stem cannot be pushed out of the component even though there is pressure inside – courtesy of the blow-out-proof stem.

  • Installation
Apollo ball valves
Apollo Ball Valves

Solder-able valves that are also lead-free are not easy to produce.

Fortunately, Apollo Valves have come out with EZ-solder bronze and lead-free brass valves that do not need any special preparation prior to installation, extra heat, materials, or way too long to install.

On NIBCO ball valves, the reversible handle moves the stop pin from one location to another, eradicating the need to reassemble the valve in case of an unprecedented handle swing problem.

This money-saving and easy feature is incorporated for premade sub-assemblies that are made off-site.

Thanks to the huge accessible packing nut, the handle can accommodate the majority of adjustable wrenches. This configuration also makes way for the PTFE packing to get replaced or serviced in the future.

PTFE packing is a feature of Apollo Valves too. PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) reinforces seals and reduces the chance of valve leakage.

  • Material

Most of the ball valves from Apollo are made of brass or bronze, or a mixture of both. The exterior generally receives a stainless steel finish. However, NIBCO valves are usually constructed from stainless steel materials.

Brass ball valves are considered to be better than bronze valves as they are more durable and perform better. On the other hand, stainless steel ball valves offer a greater pressure rating than brass.

That also means they will be able to resist greater pressures, a point we discuss in the next section.

  • Pressure and Temperature

Despite the difference in material, NIBCO ball valves as well as Apollo ball valves have pressure ratings of 600 PSI for water, gas, and oil, and 150 for saturated steam.

However, there is a difference when it comes to temperature ratings. NIBCO ball valves have a temperature range of -20°F – +400°F whereas the maximum temperature Apollo valves can resist is +500°F.

This makes Apollo better for high-pressure situations where the temperatures are greater.

  • Construction

Apollo ball valves are made from high-quality alloys before being cast or milled to the highest standards.

For instance, their Contractor bronze lineup features solid brass balls, blow-out proof stems, MTFE multi-fil stem seats, and packing, and can be found in full port (as much as 2 ½”).

Apollo’s legendary 70 series still has RPTFE seats, and a blow-out-proof stem has become a staple in each ball valve, plated and/or solid ball, and has a high shock rating.

A special laser welding process is used to make NIBCO ball valves. This technology is used in the defense, automotive, and aerospace industries.

The bronze alloy material seamlessly melts into the component with the use of a high-intensity laser beam. The seam then takes a welder, high-strength form.

Most ball valves from NIBCO are available in sizes between ½” to 2” with specifications like solder, threaded, and press. They are also dezincification resistant.

The 585HP ball valves from NIBCO appeal with a bunch of certifications and listings: IAPMO/ANSI Z1157, NSF/ANSI 372, MSS-SP110/145, NSF/ANSI/CAN 61-8 Commercial Hot 180°F, ASME A112.4.14/CSA B125.14, and ICC-ES PMG-1558.

Watch a demo of these ball valves.

https://youtu.be/fyEj6KfWQ04
  • Options

NIBCO and Apollo ball valves are available with a wide array of options, solving the problems associated with application and installation.

Stem, handle, ball, flange, seal, trim, and different safety options might be offered in each series.

What Will Be the Suitable Choice for You?

Ball valves see a huge shift in quality and use with the change of a single material in construction. What will work better for you depends on where you plan on using these ball valves.

It is noteworthy that NIBCO says that their ball valves cannot be used in U.S. drinking water applications after January 3, 2014.

Ball valve types are classified based on their bass design, bore profile, and housing assembly. They come in many features and designs to satisfy the needs of particular industries.

Since your house is divided into different parts, the maintenance and cleaning of ball valves become easier but pricier to acquire.

You can choose different kinds of ball designs from either NIBCO or Apollo, based on the working pressure they will be installed to. The material must be tough, hard, and rigid.

Its seats should feature a low coefficient of friction, agreement with the working fluid, and high compressive strength. But, the application of these components is restricted by the seats’ working temperature.

A smaller bore diameter implies a greater pressure drop throughout the valve, making pumping more expensive and difficult. The ball might feature a multiport bore that can be used for combining and splitting different rates of flow and changing directions of flow.

Apollo has greater temperature resistance which makes it better for high-intensity scenarios.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are NIBCO balls made of?

All NIBCO® ball valves are made of lead-free Silicon Performance Bronze® alloy.

Who makes good ball valves?

Some of the best ball valve manufacturers in the U.S. include NIBCO, Apollo, Emerson, Flowserve, and IMI PLC.

Which is the best ball valve?

The best ball valve is Legend Valve 108-903 T-550 VACUUM BREAKER REPAIR KIT by Legend Valve.

Are NIBCO valve balls made in USA?

NIBCO has ten operating manufacturing facilities throughout the world in countries like United States, Poland, and Mexico. Not all NIBCO valves are made in the U.S.

Endnotes

That was all on NIBCO vs. Apollo ball valves.

Ball valves are preferred because they are easy to work with and activate. Moreover, they offer the least risk to leak. You must properly maintain these parts to avoid the build-up of particles and debris between the body and the ball.

Make sure to pay attention to the construction of the ball valve because they will be working in compliance with the internals of your housing.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.comFrom me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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