What is a Gas Cock Valve?

A Gas Cock is another name used by plumbers to refer to the valve used to turn the gas on and off supplying an individual appliance. If the plumber was to use the term gas valve there would be some confusion as to exactly which valve he was talking about. In the case of a gas water heater the term “Gas Valve” would refer to the main gas valve on the water heater where the gas flow to the pilot and main burner with the thermostat extending out the back of the unit into the water heater. The term “Gas Cock” would be understood to be the valve that turns the gas on and off supplying the gas valve.

Today’s Gas Cocks are very different from the ones available many years ago. They use ball valve technology and are much safer than the older styles. The older Gas Cocks while similar an how they control the flow with a window that aligns like the ball valves used today, were open on the top and bottom and instead of a ball shape where wedge shaped. There were springs or nuts used to tension this wedge shape into the bore to help prevent leakage out of the top and bottom. Frequently when these Gas Cocks were disturbed they would start leaking and often would break. By code if you have one of these older Gas Cocks and you are replacing the gas appliance that it feeds, the Gas Cock must be upgraded to the new style.

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