Shut Off Valve Repair, Replacement and Installation
Shut off valves are extremely important devices that should be installed for every plumbing fixture in your home.
There are three kinds of shut off valves, fixture shut offs and main shut offs. Here is an explanation of all of them.
Fixture shut offs
If a fixture does not have a shut off valve, then if that fixture causes a plumbing emergency you will have to shut water off to the entire house. You should have a shut off valve on your dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, toilet, refrigerator and all your faucets. Typically, a stop valve will have a body with a chrome finish color and an oval handle.
If you cannot easily open the handle, do not force it or it will probably break. If that happens, the water will not shut off completely if an emergency occurs. If each and every one of the appliances or fixtures listed above does not have a shut off valve, it is imperative that you have one installed.
Main shut off valves
A main shut off valve regulates the flow of water into a home. The main valve is located inside some homes and outside of others. It is recommended that, if you are building a new house, you make sure the main shut off valve is located outside.
It is imperative that you know where your main shut off valve is located. Usually is will be located near the water meter. In fact, there should be two of them, one on each side of the meter. If your home does not have a shut off valve, you need to look for a large pipe entering the house. This is often through the floor of the basement. You should be able to find the valve somewhere along that pipe. If you cannot find your main shut off valve, please call your local water utility or plumbing professional and ask for help.
Intermediate shut offs
There are some instances where a shut off valve will be exposed in a crawlspace, utility room, in an access panel behind a bathtub or in a basement. Usually, there will be one valve for cold water and one for hot water. These intermediate shut offs control the flow of water to certain portions of a home.