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Ball valve with snap-in stem

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #7306010.

A ball valve has a ball with resilient, opposed facing spaced-apart locking arms which engage a stem having outwardly projecting flanges to allow the stem to be inserted externally into the valve body and snap-locked to the resilient opposed locking arms of the ball. In one embodiment, the stem includes a breakaway groove to prevent over torquing of the stem. In another embodiment, a retainer carrier for the ball includes slots for receiving integrally formed projection tabs on the underside of the valve handle which are spaced and sized to interfit with the slots of the threaded retainer carrier such that, if ball or seal replacement becomes necessary, the valve handle itself can serve as a removal tool for the retainer carrier.

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