If you've been reading our blog articles for the month of August, you're familiar with our Gas Valve Assembly series! We've been providing information on the main components of a setup; we started off the month with a Gas Valve Check to determine if your ball valve is in good working order. Then we answered the ever popular question: "What is an escutcheon?" Now, we're going to wrap up the series with a quick, informative blog on one of the more esthetic parts (and must-have pieces) of your assembly - the decorative gas valve key!
WHAT DOES A GAS VALVE KEY DO?
Besides boasting good looks in a variety of finishes, your valve key is an integral part of the valve assemblage. Without it, you would have no way to turn the gas supply to your fire feature on and off. Valve keys are used in conjunction with an escutcheon, which is located either on the wall next to your feature (it can be on the left or right hand side) or on the floor next to your fireplace or fire pit:
The location of your escutcheon can be configured either way for both indoor and outdoor features, but it will really depend on the construction of your living space and how the gas lines are situated.
Valve keys can be used for a variety of different gas features: fireplaces, log lighters in outdoor wood burning fire pits, fire bowls, and fire tables. Simply insert the key into the escutcheon (which is the protective cover for your gas valve stem), then twist the key in order to open and close the valve. Remember to apply the rule "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" - turning the key to the left will open the valve (turn on the gas). Afterwards, you'll simply turn the key to the right to close the valve (shut off the gas).
WHAT ARE DECORATIVE GAS VALVE KEYS MADE OF?
Our Dante universal gas valve keys are made from Zamak #3 zinc die-cast alloy. It is the most widely used in North America, and is a first choice for many manufacturers when considering a zinc alloy for a couple of reasons:
- It has the desired balance of both mechanical and physical properties (in other words - long term stability).
- Excellent castability and finishing properties (for painting, chroming, and plating).
DOES MY VALVE KEY NEED TO BE A CERTAIN SIZE?
Depending on how much access you have to your key valve, you may need one of two sizes. If your escutcheon is well within reach and easily accessible, a 3 inch key would be perfect. However, if your access space is quite narrow, you may want to get an 8 inch key to make turning the valve easier.
WHAT SIZE VALVE STEMS WILL THESE KEYS FIT?
Regardless of which size you choose (3 inch or 8 inch), these universal keys by Dante will fit both 1/4 inch and 5/16 inch stems on any of the gas ball valves that we offer.
Thanks for checking out our Gas Valve blog series and we hope that you'll browse through our collection of gas valve keys for your next gas feature project! On the other hand, if your key has been misplaced and you're looking for a new one, we have 3 and 8 inch fireplace keys in the array of finishes we mentioned above.