Not to be confused with 3-PIECE valves, this is a 304 Stainless Ball Valve with three input/output ports. While the price tag is a little shocking, it effectively replaces two or more two-port valves, a tee, and several close nipples. Most of all, it simplifies flow changeover and reduces hose connect/ disconnect actions. We guarantee this is the highest quality 3-way valve available for less than $50.
The tricky part in integrating a 3-way valve into your brewery plans is to decide between the L-ball and T-ball versions. If you think of how a normal 2-port ball valve works, a ball is positioned inside the valve that has a bore through hole. When the hole is inline with both I/O ports, the valve flows. When it's perpendicular, the flow stops.
This valve's T-ball holes are bored just as the name implies and adds more flow options. Just like the L-ball, you can direct the side port to flow to EITHER of the other two ports. In addition, when the tee in the ball is aligned with all three ports, flow is directed to all ports at the same time (the valve acts like a plumbing tee at that point). However, unlike the L ball, flow cannot be completely stopped (another way to say it is that all three ports cannot be isolated from each other). When the ball is rotated 180 degrees, the two end ports flow to each other but the side port is shut off. The confusion can be reduced by studying the pictures.
We recommend that you DO NOT take this valve apart to clean it. The three seats are lapped in position and removal and repositioning of the seats into different positions WILL LIKELY cause the valve to leak.