A ball valve is a flow control device which uses a hollow, perforated and pivoting ball to control liquid flowing through it. It is open when the ball's hole is in line with the flow inlet and closed when it is pivoted 90-degrees by the valve handle, blocking the flow. The handle lies flat in alignment with the flow when open, and is perpendicular to it when closed, making for easy visual confirmation of the valve's status. The shut position 1/4 turn could be in either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.
Ball valves are durable, performing well after many cycles, and reliable, closing securely even after long periods of disuse. These qualities make them an excellent choice for shutoff and control applications, where they are often preferred to gates and globe valves, but they lack the fine control of those alternatives, in throttling applications.