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Types of Water Shut Off Valves

Jan 10 2023
Water Shut off valve

A water shut-off valve is a simple device to regulate water flow to kitchen and bathroom plumbing. The watertight seal of the valve prevents water leaks to your house during an emergency.

Using the valve, you can save your house from flooding when you repair the water supply line, heater, repair the faucet, or other fixtures. If you think of staying away from your house for a long period, you can keep the valve turned off. However, water shut-off valves of a plumbing system are of different types.

Let us discuss those water shut-off valves in detail.

What are different types of water shut-off valves

Different types of shut off valves

Ball Valves

A large ball valve made of metal can be the perfect choice for the main water lines. Integrated with lever handles, these ball valves let you turn off the flow of water. They can be opened and closed by turning the handle with a little effort. The size of the ball valve is the same or smaller compared to your water pipe diameter. Ball valves are available with standard and full ports.

Though durable, a ball valve is a low-priced option for your plumbing system. You can easily recognize the ball valve because the middle section of the valve body below the handle is thicker. In this part, there is an internal ball with a hole.

When you keep the valve open, the hole corresponds to the direction of the flow of water. On the other hand, the closed handle causes a 90-degree rotation of the ball, resulting in the blockage of the hole.

Gate valves

If you are looking for residential water shut-off valves, gate valves can be a perfect choice. A gate valve can work as an isolation valve or a valve for a hot water tank. With an interior gate to stop or reduce the water flow, gate valves can be used as the main shutoff valves of your plumbing fixture. You need to rotate the circular handle slowly of the gate valve to regulate water flow.

Butterfly valves

Designed for both residential and industrial applications, a butterfly valve is named so due to the internal rotating disc. The thick center of the disc retains a thin fin (wing) and the valve stem on either side. That is why these shutoff valves look like a butterfly. By turning the control lever, you can rotate the disk for partial and full restriction of the water flowing through your shutoff valves.

Using the gate valve, you can also control the water supply rate of your plumbing system. But, other water shutoff valves let you switch between closed and open positions only. As the gate valve has a controlled opening/closing mechanism, it is the right choice for solving water hammer problems.

But, one demerit of the gate valve is that the valve nut and the stem may become loose and cause leaks. Moreover, if you do not use the gate valve for a long period, it will become unusable.

Consult with your plumber to know whether you should choose gate valves.

Globe valves

A globe valve is rarely used for 1/2 or 3/4-inch water lines. However, if your water supply tubes have a diameter of 1 inch or larger, you can buy glove valves. Globe valves are bigger than gate valves due to their bulky interior structure.

The overall configuration of the globe valve includes a horizontal baffle with a hole. You can block the opening partially/fully using a plug. Raise or lower the plug of globe valves by twisting the handle and managing water flow.

For a large and complicated residential plumbing fixture, you can choose globe valves.

Iron Pipe Stop Valve

Use the valve for water pipes with male threads. These stop valves are easily installable on iron water pipes with the help of a screw. However, to install them on copper and PVC water pipes, you should use a male adapter. High durability is one of the advantages of iron pipe stop valves. But, you may find it challenging to install them on non-iron water pipes.

Sweat stop valves

These valves are mainly designed for brass and copper pipes. You can use the valves while constructing the plumbing system. It is difficult to uninstall these valves.

Compression stop valves

When you need a quick shutoff of the water supply, you can use a compression stop valve. A brass ring needs to be pushed between the pipes and the valve using a compression nut. So, the process facilitates the operation of the valve. Most copper pipes have compression stop valves. You need a compression sleeve puller to deal with these valves.

Stop-and-waste valve

The sprinkler lines of irrigation systems need a stop-and-waste valve to prevent freezing problems during the chilly winter season. Made of metal, this valve includes 2 openings. One of them is for opening and closing the water flow, while the other one lets your water drain properly from the line.

This valve remains buried in the ground. Using a special key, you can turn the on and off the system. When turned off, the waste hole of the valve allows water drainage.

Make sure that you have installed the valve properly to ensure a long-lasting value.

Needle valves

Building codes in some regions do not allow needle valves, which are also known as saddle valves. However, plumbers use these needle valves for connecting water supply lines to any appliance (like water filters and refrigerators).

The needle valve needs to be clamped onto your pipe so that the hollow needle helps you tap the water. You can attach a plastic or copper supply tube to the valve fitting and enable the flow of water to your appliance.

You will find significant variations in the price of needle valves.

Check valves

Check valves look different from standard valves. Even they cannot stop the incoming water flow. Still, a check valve is essential for residential plumbing systems. This valve type lets water pass through the valve’s inlet side.

The incoming water has a force to keep the hinged disk open. So, the check valve does not reduce the water pressure. But, the hinged disk obstructs the flow of water through the check valve in the reverse direction. The force applied on the disk lets the disk be closed.

A check valve serves as the backflow preventer in your residential plumbing setup. Backflow can result in cross-contamination issues between different appliances and plumbing fixtures. When the water pressure in your water tank, sprinkler, and the pump is lower than the main water system’s pressure, it can lead to backflow. Thus, you can install the check valve to ensure backflow prevention.

Angled fixture and straight fixture shutoff valves

Fixture shutoff valves are of different styles, and both angled and straight models are best for individual fixtures. The most common valve has a small silver model with an oval-shaped handle and ribbed edges.

You can grip the handle easily. The angled shutoff valve is perfect for pipes that come out of your wall. The angle has to face upward to supply water to tubes that run to tailpieces on a toilet or faucet valve. These angled shutoff valves are available at a reasonable rate.

If you look at the internal structure, the fixture shutoff includes a compression stem. However, most valves have a small ball in them. Moreover, these valves are available in a range of styles. You may solder the valves onto copper pipes or glue them onto the plastic pipes.

Another option for you is the straight shutoff valve, which works in a way similar to that of angled fixtures. If your water pipe protrudes out of the floor, you can choose these straight shutoff valves. Made of metal, the valves include a small handle to regulate the water flowing process.

3-way stop valve

A 3-way stop valve is one of the valve types to control the flow of water. Use this valve to connect multiple pipes. In most cases, plumbers use the valve under your kitchen sink. You can control the fluid flow in a single pipe. You can choose the valve for pipes that handle the flow of different types of fluids. However, 3-way stop valves have a complicated configuration, and without experience, you cannot manage their installation.

CPVC Stop Valve

CPVC piping systems need this stop valve. Plumbers use a special type of cement to install the valve. However, the adhesive for PVC cannot be applied to CPVC materials. Although CPVC stop valves are durable, they may have leaks.

Push-Fit Stop Valve

It is another category of shut-off valves, also referred to as push-on stop valves. There is a rubber O-ring and locking teeth made of stainless steel. The teeth play a role in stopping the valve from sliding off the pipes. On the other hand, an O-ring is useful for sealing purposes. If you slide them over CPVC, PEX, or copper pipes, you can easily install them.

Pressure Relief Valve

This valve of your plumbing fixture works differently from a regular or standard water valve. It does not restricts or prevents the water flow through your household plumbing system. However, it only protects the system by turning out hot water and steam when the internal pressure is too high.

Often, hot water tanks have deformation, rupturing, and overheating issues because of excessive pressure. You can solve the problem by installing pressure relief valves. The integrated spring mechanism of the valve responds to the pressure and gets compressed due to high pressure. The spring compression opens this valve to turn out water and steam and reduce pressure.

Supply stop valves

Also known as the supply outlet and inlet valves, these supply stop valves are intended for plumbing systems like sinks, dishwashers, toilets, and clothes washers. Supply stop valves are of different types, such as compression, angled, straight, and quarter-turn. So, you should talk to your plumber to know the type of valve needed for your household plumbing configuration.We will find the position of these valves at the time of toilet rough-in measurements.

Some toilet water lines also have supply stop valves that efficiently prevent water flow to your appliances and plumbing fixtures. The best stop valves enable you to keep the plumbing appliances separate. You can also easily repair and maintain the system due to these valves. Buy these valves for water lines related to your sink, washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher.

Plug valve

It is a cylindrical valve designed for redirection and isolation of water flow. A conical plug is present inside the plug valve. You can bore the valve through the center. If the handle is twisted, the plug rotates and receives water flow. On the other hand, when the valve is closed, the hollow central part converts flush to the valve walls. As a result, the flow through your valve is obstructed.

Plug valves have more than one port to divert the fluid flow across different channels. You can also use them as airtight valves and handle water. The overall design of the plug valve is very simple, and it is similar to the ball valve.

If you need to restrict or resist the water pressure, you can invest in these plug valves. Ports of these valves are of different shapes like diamond, round, and rectangular. Rectangular and round ports facilitate unimpeded flow, while the diamond one helps with the restriction of the flow. But, you must not use the plug valve to throttle flow.

One advantage of plug valves is that they are easy to maintain. You do not need to shut down the line fully while maintaining them.


A man shut offing valve
We have discussed different valve types to control and manage the water flow through your pipes. While some valves are for residential purposes, others are intended for industrial applications. Valves of various styles work uniquely. Besides, they are made of different materials to meet your plumbing needs.

Consult a professional plumber to know the type of water shut-off valve needed for your water piping systems.

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