What is a shut off valve?
A shut off valve is exactly that: Shut off the valve. In other words it can be described as a lever which you can either find at the tap of the hose or outside your home near a box under a concrete slab or even in the home under the sink or in the garage on the wall.
Ever had a leaking or burst pipe underground and you cannot work under pressure? You need to shut off the main supply to the home. This is a plumber’s nightmare? Not knowing where the shut off valve is located in another person’s home.
This valve can also shuts off the water to one sink without disrupting the flow of water to another. In the event of a flood in your home, the shut off valve will provide a quick way to turn off the water. Also note that the climate of the area will depend on where your shutoff valve will be located. If it’s cold then we would normally find the shut off valve inside the house. Normally in the basement etc.
Here are many types of shut off valves. The most common valve known to us is a ball valve. The other common valve we find is a check valve. There are valves used for many different things. There are valve kits for controlling and mixing water, chemicals and inert gasses. We normally call these valves, solenoid water valves. Shut off valves are also used to prevent backflow from contaminating clean water.
Below you will find a pic of 2 different types of ball valves. The one on the right is the one most homeowners are very familiar with.
Where do I find my shut off valve?
It’s always best to familiarize yourself with a shut off valve and where to locate them. Don’t wait until you have a flood or leak or an underground burst pipe. Most water meters will have one main shut off
Look between the water main in the street and the meter. There you will find a stop valve. Also note that the climate of the area will depend on where your shutoff valve will be located. If it’s cold climate then we would normally find the shut off valve inside the house. Normally in the basement etc.
Tip: For the DIY “Plumber’ with an old home, install supply stops at every fixture. You could save yourselves a lot of grief to install a shut off valve at every fixture. Don’t dry wall or plaster over these fixtures. Let them be very accessible just in case disaster strikes you.
Most homes built today have shut off valves installed at the supply lines for the toilets, washing machines, dish washers, faucets, prep bowl etc. So no need to fret. Locating them and closing them will then be your only con concern.