When a plumbing issue arises in your home – whether it’s a clogged toilet or leaky faucet – one of the first things you should do is turn the water off at the shut-off valve. You can find the shut-off valve underneath the sink or behind the toilet. With a few twists, you can cut off the flow of water to that specific outlet, so you can take care of the rest of the problem.
Why you may need to replace a shut-off valve
However, just like most plumbing parts, shut-off valves wear out and need to be replaced eventually. If you find a shut-off valve in your home that is difficult to turn, or there’s a leak coming from the valve, it’s time for a replacement.
You may be surprised to learn that there a many different types of shut-off valves, each intended for different uses or type of plumbing.
Shut-off valves for metal pipes
Compression shut-off valve
- Commonly used on copper pipes
- When nut is tightened, a rubber ring compresses around the pipe to form a seal
- Relatively easy to install (may require a special tool called a compression sleeve puller)
Sweat shut-off valve
- Instead of using threading, the valve is soldered on to copper pipes
- Creates long-lasting connection
- Requires soldering tools and experience
- Difficult to install and remove for most homeowners
Straight shut-off valve
- Typically used when the incoming and outgoing pipes follow a straight line
- Handle is positioned in the middle of easy access
Angle shut-off valve
- Designed for when the incoming and outgoing pipes form a 90-degree angle
- The shut-off handle should be positioned in the front for easy access
Three-way shut-off valve
- Has two outlets and one inlet
- Most commonly used in kitchens to supply water to both the sink faucet and dishwasher
- Available in multiple configurations
Shut-off valves for plastic pipes
CPVC shut-off valve
- Includes an insert that is glued onto the CVPC pipe
- A gasket and nut screw into the valve
- Does not require special tools
PEX clamp shut-off valve
- Has a ribbed fitting that works specifically with PEX plastic pipes
- Easy to install
- Can be attached with either a ring or pinch clamp
- Least expensive option for PEX plumbing
PEX push-fit shut-off valve
- Is pushed on to pipe and locks into position without external clamp
- Very easy to install
- Requires at least 1 inch of exposed tubing to properly install
- Can be used on PEX, copper, CPVC, and other materials
Replacing a shut-off valve isn’t something you need to do very often, but it helps to know which style you have when the time comes.
Fixing a plumbing issue isn’t something every homeowner wants to deal with. Whether it’s a small leak or main water line issue, you can trust the experts at Emergency Plumbing & Solar. For 24/7 plumbing services in Oahu and Maui Island, call us at (808) 691-9309.