Types of Water Shutoff Valves
If the extent of your plumbing knowledge is unclogging a toilet or a sink, you’re certainly not alone. As a homeowner, you don’t really need to know a lot about plumbing. However, knowing where each water shutoff valve is located in your home can prevent a common plumbing mess from becoming a major plumbing emergency.
Isolation Shutoff Valve
Take a look behind your toilet or under your sink. You should see a small water shutoff valve. These types of shutoff valves are called isolation valves because they control water flow to a specific appliance or fixture. Turning off an isolation valve allows work to be done to that appliance or fixture, and it can prevent a mess, such as an overflowing toilet.
Washered shutoff valves are the most common type. You’ll recognize these valves as being round or oval shaped. You have to turn them until they completely stop. The most reliable shutoff valve is a levered ball valve. You can recognize these valve types by a straight lever handle rather than a round or oval handle.
Locating Shutoff Valves
It’s very important that everyone in your home knows the purpose of water shutoff valves and where each valve is located for your appliances.
- Kitchen and bath sinks shutoff valves are generally located in a cabinet beneath each sink.
- Toilet shutoff valve is behind the toilet.
- Water heater shutoff valves are located on the pipes leading into and out of the storage tank. These valves may be levered ball or washered type.
- Washing machine shutoff valves are located behind the appliance.
If you aren’t sure where an isolation shutoff valve is located, or the isolation valve fails, you may turn off water to your home at the main water shutoff valve. This is typically a washered shutoff valve located in your basement, utility room or outside.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.