Most plumbing projects start with turning off the water supply from the water shutoff valve. Other than knowing the location of the appropriate valve, it’s a good idea to know more about the type of valve you’re dealing with. Here are the main shutoff valves you’ll find at your home.
These valves have a rubber gasket that shuts off water flow. When you screw a stop valve’s handle down to close it, the valve stem presses down against the water inlet. The washer attached to the valve’s end forms the actual seal. You can often fix a leaking stop valve by tightening the nut below the handle using a wrench. However, if the leak is caused by a worn out washer, you’ll have to replace it. Stop valves are commonly found in sinks, toilets, and sillcocks.
Gate valves are also referred to as full-flow valves. They have a wedge-shaped brass gate that shuts off water flow. When you turn a gate valve’s handle counterclockwise to close it, the gate descends into a machined slot to stop water flow. The gate should be either fully open or fully closed. A partly open gate will be worn away by the water flowing through it. Over time, this will make the valve fail.
Ball valves have a machined steel ball inside that shuts off water flow. The steel allows the valve to be partly open without being worn away. These valves have a lever handle that only turns through 90 degrees. The valve is closed when the lever is perpendicular to your pipes and open when it’s parallel. Ball valves are commonly found under sinks and toilets.
Knowing the type of valves in your home will make carrying out repairs and replacements easier. For more information on identifying which type of water shutoff valve you have, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We serve Monmouth County and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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