Each faucet and toilet in your house is connected to a water supply line. Each supply line connection has its own shut off valve (a.k.a. stop valve). Additionally, there is one main shut off valve that allows you to shut off the water throughout your entire home. Keep reading to learn why water shut off valves are important, and how to check if they’re in good working order.
Why Are Water Shut Off Valves Important?
Water shut off valves allow you to cut off the water supply to individual plumbing fixtures throughout your home (e.g., faucets, toilets, dishwashers, ice makers). This is extremely important because if you have a fixture that’s leaking, clogged, or otherwise malfunctioning, you can quickly and easily cut off its water supply—without having to shut down your entire plumbing system. In the case of plumbing emergencies, water shut off valves help keep the problem contained and keep the damage to a minimum.
Note: If you do need to shut down your entire plumbing system (e.g., if you have a large leak and you’re not sure where it’s coming from) you can do so using your home’s main water shut off valve. If you do not know where your home’s main water shut off valve is located, stop what you are doing and locate it right now!
Inspecting Your Stop Valves: What to Look For
- First, locate the water stop valve by looking under and/or behind the fixture.
- Then, turn the valve knob all the way to the left (open) and all the way to the right (closed) a few times. Test to make sure that water flows normally when the valve is open and not at all when the valve is closed. If the stop valve is stuck (i.e., you can’t turn it) or you can’t close it all the way, it probably needs to be repaired or replaced. [NOTE: We’re not suggesting you do this to your home’s main shut off valve; just the ones at your sinks and toilets, capisce?]
- Next, feel around for any moisture around the pipe or on the floor below. If you find any evidence of a leak, close the shut off valve right away. Do not use that fixture until the leak has been fixed. You may need to call a professional plumber to help you identify the source of the leak (the valve? the fixture?) and ensure that it’s properly repaired.
Need help inspecting, repairing, or replacing water shut off valves? Contact us! We provide professional faucet stop valve repair, serving homes throughout the St. Louis area. Call our office at (314) 965-9377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.