Shut off valves, or water shut off valves, are vital in your home’s plumbing system. It allows homeowners and plumbers alike the ability to cut off the water pressure when there is a plumbing emergency or while installing plumbing fixtures or performing plumbing repairs. Shut off valves are like doors for water pressure, and allow plumbers and DIY’ers to stop the flow of water in your water supply line, or even your main water supply.
Types of Shut Off Valves
As your home’s toilet, washing machine, icemaker, water heater and sink shut off valves are rarely used, when you do try to cut off the water supply, you may find that the valves no longer function. Whatever the reason, if you need to get a new shut off valve, you will need some basic info on water shut off valves in general, as well as main water shut off valves. As thrilling as that sounds, it really does help to know which valve you need, or if it is time to upgrade to another model.
Here then are 3 different types of shut off valves:
- Straight stop: The handle on this is smack in the middle, easily accessible. This is typically the valve you will see on a water line that runs beneath the house then juts out from the floor.
- Angle stops: You typically will see these on pipes that run out from walls. The handle will be parallel to the wall, and the handle might look like an ovular wheel.
- 3-Way stop: Usually under the kitchen sink, this is a valve with one inlet and two outlets. This lets hot water travel to both the faucet and the dishwasher.
And these are the various forms they can take:
Compression stop: This is the valve you may need for copper pipes, and you install it using pliers or a wrench. It is made of a brass feral that clamps onto the copper tubing, and it is held in place by a nut. Because it is so tricky to take out the nut and feral when you need to remove the valve, you need a compression sleeve puller for the job.
Copper sweat stop: To install this guy, you need to solder it in place. This means utilizing a torch, flux, sand cloth, and solder. It’s a tall order to remove this, as you will have to sweat it off.
Iron pipe stop: You can simply screw these valves into place. While used mostly for galvanized or brass threaded pipe, it just takes a male iron pipe adapter to attach this stop to any other type of piping. It also takes only two pliers to remove and install. You use one to hold the pipe, another to loosen or secure the stop.
CPVC stop: All it takes is some glue and pliers to install this valve, which comes with a CPVC insert. There is also a gasket and nut to screw in place. Removing this valve entirely would take cutting the insert off, and then you would need to loosen and remove the gasket and nut and put another valve over the old insert.
PEX stop: This is easily installed with PEX tools, but to take off, you have to cut off the ring, which rarely leaves the pipe unharmed. You’d have to then cut the pipe and replace both a pipe section and valve.
Push-fit: If enough pipe is exposed, all you need to do is push this valve in place. A barbed fitting will grip the pipe. You can use a push-fit shut off valve on copper, CPVC, PEX, and polybutylene (old gray quest) pipes.
How the flow of water is controlled can vary widely, and these systems can have various features, such as sharkbite angles, quarter-turn shutoffs or quarter-turn valves, compression fittings or compression valves, gate valves, and more.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Shut Off Valve
There may come a time when you have to replace a shut off valve in your home, or even your home’s main water shut off valve. Whether it’s the flow of water not stopping in your faucet after you’re tried to turn the water shut off valve, or you notice leaking from the shut off valve or the spigots, faucets, water pipes, washer/washing machine, or other items that come after the shut off valve in your plumbing system. There can be major water damage if these stop valves, or any type of valve, fail, and you’re not aware of the issue.
Your water meter, and the fact that your water usage is continuing to go up when you have everything shutoff, is another indicator that you may need plumbing repair to service your main shut off valve, or have a new valve installed.
Get Expert Help From A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc.!
If you need to install a new shut off valve, fix a cracked pipe, or diagnose a leak, our Kansas City plumbing team can help you with this and more. Whatever the trouble, our experienced technicians are prepared to offer superior service. In fact, if you have a disaster on the weekend or after business hours, we offer emergency services. Find out more when you reach our team today!