I would like to have one valve to run water flow in exactly one of two different paths. I realize this could be done easily with two valves (split the flow, then close one of valves and open the other). I'm wondering if there's a special kind of valve that would direct the flow one way or the other.

split valve idea diagram

Ideally, there would be a control on the device, like the ones for automatic sprinklers, so that the flow could be directed through A or through B without manually turning it with your hand. If this were automated, then I can see a two valve solution would be possible if the controller were set-up to open one valve, and close the other. BUT that would probably mean powering one or the solenoid all the time (not good), and it would probably fail completely closed (so neither would get flow). Another problem with the two valve solution is finding parts (finding a valve that failed open and the other that failed closed). So I'd really like a single device to redirect flow one way or the other, even if it were manually operated.

What hardware would be required to get water to flow down one of two paths?

  • 2
    Not a plumber but according to Google there's something called a "Modulating Three-Way valve" aka an MTW valve which works like this. May 24, 2020 at 21:42
  • 1
    @LukeBriggs, cool! That's exactly what I need, but I doubt they have it at the Home Depot, hehe!
    – Dale
    May 25, 2020 at 0:23

1 Answer 1


Searching "online stores" for "three way valve" "L-port" shows a manual version. Sometimes these are labeled as "diverter valves". three way valve diagram

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