Also known as fixture shut offs or stop valves, under-sink valves allow you to turn off the water to the sink without shutting it off to the whole house. The number and type of fixture shutoffs you choose will depend on how many fixtures there are and where they're located.
The following guide will take you through different types of shut off valves that can help you identify what you have under your sink.
What is Shut off Valve?
Shut off valve is a valve that stops the flow of fluid in a plumbing system. This valve cuts off the water supply to a pipe once activated. However, shut off valves are not exclusive to plumbing systems.
They're also used to regulate the flow of gasses.
Angle Stop Valve
The Angle stop valve is the most popular of shut off valves, being used in over 75% of homes. The valve can be rotated around its main axis to cut-off water flow. The design of the angle stop valve allows it to rotate easily, but it also makes them prone to wear and more likely to leak.
Also known as a compression valve, an angle stop valve is found on the pipe which exits the wall. It allows you to turn the water off to the specific toilet or faucet when replacing it without shutting all water off to the entire house. Angle stop valves are very durable and can last many years without issues. In addition, angle stop valves are generally found in either brass or chrome-plated finishes.
Straight Shut Off Valve
Straight stop valves are typically found when the water supply pipe comes out below the flow or cabinet. A straight stop valve keeps the water from traveling in the same direction where it came from before entering the valve.
Straight stop valves have handles that point in the same direction as the valve, and handles are located in the middle of the valve body between the inlet and outlet ports. Similar to angle stop valves, a straight stop valve also allows you to turn off the water supply to one specific area. Also, you can do the replacements and maintenance on these appliances without shutting the water supply in the entire house.
Iron Pipe Stop Valve
Iron pipe stop valves are fitted with iron-pipe sized threads to thread a female inlet port. This type of under sink shut off valve can also be adapted to other pipes by using a male iron pipe adapter that can be fitted into plastic pipes or copper pipes.
This shut off valve can be screwed or unscrewed from the end of the water pipe. You'll only need two pliers. One to hold the water line in place and the other to tighten the valve.
Copper Sweat Shut Off Valve
A copper sweat valve is usually at the end of copper pipe sections. They are threaded to screw into the end of the pipes. Sweat is a term used by plumbers for soldering. This type of shut off valve is known as copper sweat valve because it needs soldering to copper pipe, and it's made of copper.
To install these copper pipes, you'll need common household tools like emery cloth, solder, flux, and torch. The copper pipes are installed at the time of building construction. Professional plumbers prefer this permanent and low-cost solution because they last longer.
Push Fit Stop Valves
Push fit stop valves use a collet to grip the pipe. Also known as push on stop valves, these valves are inserted into the end of the pipe, and the pipe is pushed home so that the collet grips the pipe tightly. They consist of a rubber o ring and stainless steel locking teeth.
Push fit stop valves are easy to install and can be used with copper, PEX, and CPVC pipe. The valve grips onto the pipe with metal teeth and creates a watertight seal with a plastic o ring. The small CPVC is inserted inside its intake port, and cement used with CPVC often works with PVC.
However, the adhesive used on PVC doesn't bond with CPVC. It's kind of overwhelming learning about this at first, but once you grasp the idea, you can fit a CPVC stop valve to a pipe by yourself.
PEX Shutoff Valve
PEX Shutoff valves are an innovation to help with fitting a pipe. The one-way valve does not let anything in or out of the line. It's great for reducing water backflow into your home, but it can't reduce pressure or prevent scaling on the inside of the pipe.
PEX shutoff valves are more expensive than copper or brass shutoff valves. This stop valve is often attached to pipes with crimp rings or clamp rings. A ring compression tool compresses the crimp ring against the outside of the pipe while a clamp ring tool squeezes a tab on one side of the ring.
The PEX stop valves can be removed, but you have to cut off the ring, which can cause damage to the pipe. This means that the pipe needs to be shorted to get a fresh section of pipe for the new valve.
CPVC Stop Valve
CPVC stop valves are one of the more expensive types of stop valves. CPVC stop valves are used in CPVC piping systems. CPVC stands for chlorinated polyvinyl chloride. They use a specific type of cement known as glue when installed. In addition, a CPVC valve can be used on PVC pipes. But PVC adhesive doesn't bond well with CPVC material.
Compression Shutoff Valve
A compression stop valve is used on copper pipes. It consists of a compression nut that squeezes a brass ring into the space between a water pipe and its body. Buildings with copper water pipes use compression stop valves with a compression intake port. This allows for more compression power and reduces the need for repairs.
A ball valve is a type of stop valve that uses a ball to control water flow. The valve has a threaded body and nut that screws into the water pipe. This valve is quite large and features a lever handle. It's commonly used in places where a quick turn-on is necessary, such as the main pipe.
You can open and close it fully with a simple quarter-turn of the lever. The internal ball will align with the pipe when the valve is open, allowing water to gush. The ball will rotate 90 degrees and completely block the hole when closed.
Benefits of Installing an Under-Sink Shutoff Valve
Installing an under-sink shutoff valve offers several benefits. First and foremost, it provides a quick and easy way to turn off the water supply in case of a leak or other emergency. Without such a device, it would be much more difficult to locate the main water supply shutoff valve. Additionally, installing an under-sink shutoff valve allows for greater control over the flow of water from certain fixtures. This is especially beneficial when it comes to controlling how much hot or coldwater flows through a sink faucet.
Steps for Installing an Under-Sink Shutoff Valve
With some basic plumbing knowledge, installing an under-sink shutoff valve is relatively straightforward. To begin with, you’ll need to locate the main water supply valve and shut it off. This is done by turning the handle clockwise until it stops. Once done, turn on a nearby faucet until no more water flows out. Next, disconnect the existing pipe that supplies water to your sink and install two new valves in its place – one for hot water and another for cold. Connect them to your main supply lines. Finally, make sure all connections are tightly secured before turning on your main shutoff valve.
Troubleshooting Common Issues with Under-Sink Shutoff Valves
When trouble arises with an under-sink shutoff valve, the first thing you should do is check whether the handles are open or closed correctly. If the handle is in the wrong position, simply adjust it to see if this resolves the issue. Additionally, make sure all connections are free of debris and that none of them have become loose over time. In some cases, replacing a damaged shutoff valve may be necessary. To do this, turn off the water supply and follow the same steps as when installing a new one. Finally, verify that no other plumbing fixtures are leaking before tightening all connections once again.
FAQs on Types of Under-Sink Shutoff Valves
Where is the shutoff valve located at home?
The main shutoff valve for the home is generally found on the perimeter of the house. A good place to look is where the water first enters your home. The smaller valves can also be found close to appliances and fixtures such as toilets or faucets.
How do I know when to replace my under-sink shutoff valves?
Under-sink shutoff valves are a crucial part of any plumbing system, yet they often get overlooked until there’s a problem. It’s important to inspect your valves regularly and look out for any signs of wear or damage. The most common indicator is leaking, so if you notice water pooling around the valve, it’s time to replace it. Alternatively, if you notice no visible damage but the valve is difficult to turn on and off, this could be another sign that replacement is necessary.
What are the benefits of installing under-sink shutoff valves?
Installing under-sink shutoff valves offers several advantages for homeowners. Firstly, these valves help conserve water by preventing accidental leaks or overflows. Secondly, if there’s a plumbing issue, you can easily shut off water to the affected area without having to turn off the main valve. This means faster response times and less inconvenience for everyone in the house. Finally, as mentioned above, they also make regular maintenance a lot easier by allowing you to quickly isolate any problem areas.
Are there any special considerations to keep in mind when replacing or installing under-sink shutoff valves?
When replacing an existing shutoff valve or installing a new one, it’s important to choose the right type for your needs. Generally speaking, compression valves are better suited for older homes with copper pipes since they provide better sealing capabilities. Ball valves are usually the best choice for newer homes with plastic (PVC or PEX) pipes as they are easy to use and provide a reliable seal. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that your valve is installed properly and fits tightly against the walls of the sink cabinet. Lastly, don’t forget to periodically test the valve to ensure that it functions correctly!
Final Thought on Types of Under-Sink Shutoff Valves
Shutoff valves are an essential part of any plumbing system. They allow you to turn off the water supply to a particular area, which can come in handy when you need to make repairs or in an emergency. Also, if you’re experiencing low water pressure in your kitchen sink, the first place to check is the shut off valve. Installing these stop valves is an easy task if you know where they are and which type to use.