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Although many different types of valves are used to control the flow of fluids, the basic valve types can be divided into two general groups: stop valves and check valves.
Besides the basic types of valves, many special valves, which cannot really be classified as either stop valves or check valves, are found in the engineering spaces. Many of these valves serve to control the pressure of fluids and are known as pressure-control valves. Other valves are identified by names that indicate their general function, such as thermostatic recirculating valves. The following sections deal first with the basic types of stop valves and check valves, then with some of the more complicated special valves.