Many plumbing fixtures and appliances within your home require a shut-off valve that allows you to turn off the water quickly and conveniently in the event of a plumbing emergency. Without these devices, you would spend precious time searching for and turning off the main supply valve to the property, all the while water is pouring into your home. While shut-off valves are mostly low maintenance, as age sets in they are prone to several failures.
What is a Shut offValve?
Also referred to as supply valves, these devices are connected to the main water plumbing lines, both hot and cold, that run throughout your home. They provide a quick response to a plumbing emergency for the applicable fixture they supply. While its function is similar to a gate valve, like the type commonly used to supply your water heater, it is not as heavy duty.
Where are they located?
Shut-off valves are used to supply kitchen and bathroom fixtures, dishwashers and refrigerators. In most cases, they are located close to the fixture or appliance they serve. However, it is not uncommon to find supply valves for the kitchen faucet, dishwasher and refrigerator all in one place such as inside the kitchen sink cabinet. Bathroom applications usually include a hot and cold-water valve inside the vanity cabinet and a cold-water valve located just behind the toilet.
Common Valve Failures
As time takes its toll on these trusted devices, they can become prone to failure. The most common failure found in an old shut-off valve is seizing. This means that you may be unable to turn it off by hand, which is a very, important function. In extreme cases, the valve is so corroded that even a pair of pliers is useless. Another common failure is rubber stops or seals within the valve deteriorate and fail to abate the water flow completely. This is can prove to be an annoying circumstance if you have a plumbing emergency or when your plumber is trying to install a new fixture.
Steps to Take
While these devices do not require maintenance, it is important that you inspect them periodically to ensure they are working correctly. If you discover a frozen or leaking supply valve or one that will not shut off the flow of water completely, schedule an inspection or replacement with your local plumbing contractor.
For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.