These Are the Types of Water Shutoff Valves

These Are the Types of Water Shutoff Valves

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve learned that the more you know how things in your home work, the better choices you can make when it comes time to make replacements or repairs. One component you’ll probably have to replace at some point is a water shutoff valve.

You’ll find one of these three types of valves on most incoming water lines in your home. They have a simple but important purpose — to shut off the water if you ever have an emergency or need to make repairs.

  1. Washer valves. Most of the water shutoff valves in your home will probably be of this type. They’re inexpensive but tend to wear out sooner than the other types of valves. The reason they’re prone to wear is that they stop water by screwing down a rubber washer when the handle is turned. Rubber, of course, will give out over time. The good news? When these valves give out, they’re simple and cost-effective to replace.
  2. Gate valves. The name of this valve describes the mechanism used to stop the flow of water. When the handle is turned on a gate valve, a metal piece (gate) is lowered into the grooved bottom of the valve. Gate valves should always be fully turned on or off. When left halfway, the bottom of the gate sits in the flow of water. This causes the metal to wear away, keeping the valve from sealing shut.
  3. Ball valves. This type of valve lives up to its name with a steel ball inside. A hole is drilled through the ball. When in the “on” position, the hole lines up with the openings of your water pipes. When in the “off” position, the ball rotates to stop water flow. Even though it’s the most durable type of valve, the ball valve isn’t the first choice of many plumbers because it’s expensive and doesn’t always fit in tight areas. This is because the handle is designed to only make a quarter turn.

For more advice on what water shutoff valve to use in your Portland home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

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