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  • Elizabeth Kenney

Plumbing Valves: Here’s What You Should Know

If you have ever repaired or hired someone to repair a plumbing issue, you may have been asked to locate the shutoff valve.


Shutting off water valves is a must before any plumbing repairs can be made. On today’s blog, we are breaking down the basics of plumbing valves:

What are plumbing valves?

These valves control the water supply in your home. By turning off the water supply, you temporarily shut off water access in your home.


Before beginning any plumbing repairs, the water supply should always be turned off.


What is the difference between the main shutoff valve and other plumbing valves?

The main shutoff valve controls the water access to your home’s entire plumbing system. In many cases, ball valves or gate valves are used as shutoff valves; both of these valve types offer only two control options, which is water flow on or water flow off.


However, some fixtures have and can be monitored with their own individual shutoff valves. These are also called stop valves. This feature gives you the ability to shut off water access to one fixture, while maintaining water access to the other fixtures in your home.


Fixtures that may contain their own stop valve might include faucets and toilets.


Other types of residential plumbing valves include:

- Pressure-reducing valves, which reduce water pressure within the plumbing system according to a specified limit

- Check valves, which ensure that water flows in one direction and not the other direction

- Globe valves, which regulate the flow of water and are used for applications that may need regular adjustment


Any other tips?

Be sure to tag or in some way mark the main shutoff valve, so that it can be easily located.


Also, in the event that you are not there when the valve needs to be accessed, make sure everyone in your home knows the location of the main shutoff valve.


(Sources: https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/plumbing-basics-ga2.htm and https://www.thebalancesmb.com/valves-used-in-plumbing-844855)

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