What Is A Shut Off Valve & The Different Types?

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Plumbing issues will put your plumbing network under additional stress. As components are not functioning as they should, other parts of the system will be forced to handle more strain than usual. When this happens, it is best to know what things you can do to relieve the additional demand faced by your  plumbing and avoid any potential costly repairs.

When a plumbing emergency happens at home or in a commercial space, turning off the water supply significantly helps and should be your first step. Stopping the flow of water into the building’s pipes or sewer system reduces the chances of further damage. But how can property owners cut water flow when this happens?

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Your Property’s Shut Off Valve

Shut off valves are designed to safely stop the flow of hazardous fluids or gases. It also regulates compressed air in industrial automation processes when not in use. In plumbing, shut off valves are installed to control water flow. The shut-off valve falls in the same family as other valves. Its function and purpose are similar to that of pressure valves, instrument valves and thermostatic valves, among many others.

The use of a shut-off valve is not only considered a best practice during a plumbing emergency. It also comes with several benefits, including:

  • Safety – Safety, in this sense, does not only refer to the state of your plumbing system. It also includes the safety of those inside the property and the emergency plumber. Without running water, emergency plumbing service professionals can work without worrying about bursting pipes and other accidents.
  • Saves money – With your water flow shut off, it reduces and eliminates damages stemming from a defective plumbing appliance or system. Our expert plumbers recommend shutting off the water supply as it adds another pressure on the already defective system. With the absence of water, there is little chance of damaging consequences and the need to replace or repair them. 
  • Easier maintenance and repair – Deciding to continuously have water flowing while a plumber repairs a malfunctioning plumbing system will make it harder for plumbers to work. With the water supply cut, pipes will be dry, making it easier for 24hr emergency plumbers to work on damaged components. When a plumber arrives to your house, they will proceed to ensure your water is turned off before commencing repairs.

Shut off valves have their mechanisms to stop the water flow. Regardless of its design, it all comes with a lever to turn on or off the flow. Pulling the lever opens or closes a gate-like component that completely cuts off the main water supply or a portion of the plumbing network from the rest of the system.

Different Types of Water Shut Off Valves

Shut off valves aim to cut water from flowing into your  building’s pipes. However, not every valve uses the same mould and design. Some come with a product design for placement into specific places in the plumbing system. 

Here are some common water shut off valves found in residential and commercial buildings:

  • Ball valve – It is commonly used as the main water shut off valve. This valve features a large lever handle for a quick turn off. It also comes with a thicker body in its middle portion where the lever is attached.
  • Gate valve – Commonly used in commercial buildings, it comes with a circular handle used to open or close the gates blocking water flow. As the ball valve, it is an all or nothing valve. It completely shuts off the water supply.
  • Globe valve – This valve is usually in places where variable control of water flow needs is a must. It is commonly used in controlling pipes leading outdoors to water spigots. 
  • Angle fixture shut-off valve – This shut off valve type allows a small amount of water to flow while repairing. This valve only isolates the problematic part of the plumbing system without affecting other areas. 
  • Straight fixture shut-off valve – Like the angle fixture shut-off valve, it is commonly used where the plumber intends for water to flow directly into the plumbing appliance.
  • Stop-and-waste valve – It is the valve mostly used in sprinkler lines in suburban homes. 
  • Needle valve – Also called saddle valves, existing regulations no longer permit its use. It formerly connects a water supply tube to the refrigerator or other appliances.

Where Is The Location of Shut Off Valves

Shut off valves are commonly situated near the water source. In residential buildings located in Australian suburbs, homeowners can find the water shut off valve outside. It is usually beside the water metre near the road. For those living in an apartment and other buildings, it is usually located in the kitchen or bathroom, under the cupboards.

How To Turn Off Water Supply?

A properly shut water supply helps with plumbing repairs. The need comes from the several benefits associated with having an isolated defective plumbing system. But how to know that a water supply is fully turned off.

After locating the shut off valve, property owners need to cut off water flow. Turning off the tap, commonly clockwise, shuts off the water supply. For those finding it difficult to shut off, using gloves and tools helps turn the lever to cut off the flow.

Contact Sydney’s Best 24 Hour Plumber Today!

For Sydney locals who need a fast response time and fully qualified emergency plumbers, we at Optimised Plumbing Services are always ready to help. Each of our team members is licensed and insured per the requirements set by NSW Fair Trading. It means that they have completed the Certificate III in Plumbing course and an apprenticeship. These requirements not only allows them to receive an NSW plumbing licence but also equips them with the skills necessary to do plumbing installations and repairs. By meeting these conditions, we assure our clients that every work they deliver not only lasts for a long time but also complies with The Plumbing Code of Australia and other related regulations. To experience the best emergency plumbing service in this side of Sydney, contact Optimised Plumbing Services now!

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