8 Different Types of Water Shut-Off Valves You Should Know

April 16 2019

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.

Water Shut-Off Valves You Should Know

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.