Different Types Of Water Shut-Off Valves: How To Identify?

The water shut-off valve is essential when it comes to house plumbing because this thing can help you when you have a water leakage, control your water flow, or help you comfortably replace any of your fixtures without wasting water. So if you want to find one for your home you may need to take a look at the types of water shut-off valves and their descriptions. 

Several types of water shut-off valves are used in households. Some are used for the main water supply lines like ball valves, or gate valves. And some are used as a brunch line shut-off valve-like compression valve or angle stop valve etc. So let’s take a look at those water shut-off valve types. 

Here we have discussed the most common types of plumbing valves, sink valves, how you can replace them when the valve is not working, and many other important things that anyone should know about. 

Different Types Of Water Shut-off Valves | A Complete Guide

two types of valves are used for the mainline and the brunch line. Check below the list and keep on reading to find more about them:

Plumbing Valve Or Main Shut-off ValveSink Valve Or Pov Valves 
Ball valveStraight stop valves
Gate valveAngle stop valves
Globe valveThree-way stop valves
Check valveCompression stop valves
Butterfly valveCopper-sweat stop valves
Needle valveIron stop valves
Plug valve PEX shut-off valves
Push-fit shut-off valves

Types Of Plumbing Valves 

There are a few types of valves that you should know about when studying for the AREs. So if you are also looking for the same thing then read the list below about different types of plumbing valves:

Gate valveThe gate valve is one of the most well-known valves out there and they are mainly used for maintenance purposes. They are produced for fully open or fully closed service. 
If you could see its inner workings you would see that the wheel handle controls the internal gate which can be lowered to seal the flow of water or retracted into the body of the valve to let water flow through.
Globe valveThe globe valve is primarily designed to stop, start, and regulate flow. These are used in locations such as faucets for frequent and repeated use. They have a high-pressure drop even in fully open conditions and offer substantial resistance to fluid flow.
Check valveIt allows flow in one direction and automatically prevents backflow when fluid in the line reverses direction. They don’t require assistance to open and close and are self-automated.
Ball valvesThey are also like gate valves, used for on-off applications, not to control flow. Inside there’s a ball with a hole running through it. The valve opens when the ball’s hole is in line with the flow and it gets closed when it’s pivoted to 90-degrees by the valve handle.
Butterfly valveButterfly-valve gets its name because of its shape. The shape of the plug and the way it drives. To obstruct the flow the disc makes a 90-degree rotation on the normal access. 
Needle valveIt controls the amount of air or oil passing through it by controlling an opening inside the valve with a needle. This needle controls the air cylinder.  
Plug valveThis valve balances the pressure of the plug code and plug installation method

Types Of Fittings 

Fittings are fabricated pieces of pipe that are used to make changes of direction like elbow, tee, reducers, etc. Pipe fitting is also very important in piping industries. 

Fittings name Description 
90-degree Elbow It is the most common fitting to change the direction by turning up or down left or right; any angle in between. They can be classified as long-radius elbow, short-radius elbow, reducing elbow, and mitered elbow. 
Coupling The standard connection to make two pipes extended is a coupling and that allows just to put the tube or pipe on both sides making a shoulder joint. They can make straight, 22 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees which are also called elbow joints. 
Tee It is a three-way fitting used to make a perpendicular connection to a pipe. Line it to connect to the main run of pipe is known as brunches. The main run of a pipe is often called a header. There are two types of tee: equal tee and reducing tee. 
Reducers They allow changes in pipe size to meet hydraulic flow requirements of the system or adapt to existing piping of a different size. Reducers are usually concentric and eccentric reducers.
Bends are made from seamless pipes where they use heat or bending tools or machines to bend the pipe at different angles. Return or U-bend is also made by bending process. They are mostly used in vents or tanks. 
Cross is also known as four-way fitting all for brunch line. It has one inlet and a tee outlet. Cross is common in fire sprinkle systems but not very common in plumbing 
Swage nipple The function of the swage nipple is the same as a reducer. The only difference is that they are generally used to connect butt-welded pipe to a socket welded on the screwed pipe. 
Olets are used when a standard size of the fitting is not suitable according to the requirement. Sometimes the inlet pipe size is larger compared to the outlet pipe. 
Stub-in & stub-onFor stub-in, all the brunch while extending to the main pipe. The hole in the main pipe is usually bowled to allow full penetration built. For stub-on they stub they extend only to the outside of the main pipe. 
Closure The plug is a component of plumbing that is generally used to close pipe openings during inspection and repair. Plug generally contains male threads. Cap is a type of fitting which is the same as the plug but the difference is, that it contains female threads. Which screw on the male thread of pipe. 

Types Of Water Shut-off Valves Under The Sink

Name of the valveDescription 
Straight stop valves They are typically found when the water supply pipe comes up from below the floor or cabinet. The supply tube connects in the same line as the supply pipe. 
The handle of this valve is located in the middle of the valve body between the inlay and outlet ports. 
Angle stop valves are used while the water line rushes out from the wall. Also, the outlet side of the valve will be vertical to the inlet side. The handle of an angle valve stop valve is parallel to the wall and usually faces the front for easy excess. 
Three-way stop valvesThey have an inlet and two outlets. They are often seen under the kitchen sinks where they are used to feed both the hot tap of the faucet as well as the dishwasher. 
Compression stop valves are Most commonly used to install a shut-off valve on a rigid copper pipe. This type of valve has a brass ring called a ferrule and a compression nut that squeezes the ferrule into the pipe connection to make a water-tight seal. 
Copper-sweat stop valveIs created o be perspired or soldered to a rigid copper pipe. This requires soldering tools like a torch, flux, or emery cloth. 
Iron stop valvesHave a threaded female inlet port. This type of valve is commonly found on galvanized or brass threaded pipes but it can be adapted to other types of pipes by using a male iron adapter that connects to the pipe and then screws into the shut-off valve. 
PEX shut-off valvesHave a ribbed inlet port for entering inside the tubing. They work with either ring type or pinch type PEX clamps. 
Push-fit shut-off valvesare very easy to install and can be used with copper PEX and CPVC pipes. These valves simply push onto the pipe. The valve grips onto the pipe with metal teeth and creates a water-tight seal with a plastic O-ring. 

Types Of Water Shut-off Valves For Sinks

Shut-off valves that you use underneath the sink can also be used for the sink. So the list is the same.

  • Straight stop valves
  • Angle stop valve
  • Three-way stop valve
  • Compression stop valve
  • Copper-sweat stop valve
  • Iron stop valve
  • PEX shut-off valve
  • Push-fit shut-off valve

How To Identify A Faulty Water Shut-off Valve

Usually, when the water shut-off valve is too old and you haven’t repaired it for a long time it may fail to turn off your water supply fully as it may get debris stuck inside the valve. Again the water supply of your house has lime in it then the valve may get corroded or rusty and may get stuck, then it will get stuck and won’t move. 

Another reason for a faulty water shut-off valve is a loose seal or not being properly installed which may result in water leakage. Lastly, the most common reason for a faulty water shut-off valve is putting too much pressure during the tightening process which may result in a cross-thread. 

How To Find A Water Shut-off Valve Outside

Knowing how to find the water shut-off valve and shut the water off to the house is something that everyone living in the house should know; including the kids. To turn off the water supply to need to identify where the main shut-off valve is. 

Before the water goes into your house from the city water line there’s a meter with a shut-off valve just outside your house. Technically you can shut the water off to the property but professionals don’t recommend messing with it. So this is kind of a last resort option to shut the water off. 

From the meter the water line continues into your house after it goes through the foundation, there should be another valve pretty close. Mostly it’s right before the pressure regulator or PRV. but if you are still not sure where the water valve is then you can apply a rule of thumb. 

Which is, if you can find the water meter it’s usually a straight shot into the house from there, and then along with that wall if you look inside you should find the main shut-off valve.

Replace The Shut-off Valve Without Turning Off The Water

There may be various reasons for not being able to turn off the main water shut-off valve. Like leaving in an apartment complex where you can not shut the water valve. So to replace the shut-off valve you’re going to need a ½ inch PEX ball valve where there will be an input and an output and a couple of buckets to hold down the water. 

When you cut the water supply line there will be water gushing out so be prepared. Keep the pipe inside the bucket and you can easily insert the ring inside the pipe. Now you need to put the ball and make sure when you put the valve, it is in the open position. 

Don’t put the valve in the close or it will just pop out. You put it in the hose and her3e it strong and fast. Now pit the valve ring in the right position and then use the clincher to tighten the ring nut. Make sure to do two turns to nicely seal the valve. And then shut it off by just turning the valve handle and the water will stop. 

6 Easy Steps To Know How To Replace The Shut-off Valve Under The Kitchen Sink

Water shut-off valves are commonly found around your house on toilet supply lines, under kitchen or bathroom sinks, and often on bathtubs or shower fixtures as well. They are designed to control the flow of water to a particular fixture so that you can isolate and shut it off without shutting the main supply valve so that you can work on that particular fixture without an issue. 

If there’s an issue these valves go bad, either they leak or they seize up, so they can no longer control the flow of water to the fixture. In that case, they need to be replaced. So let’s jump into the solution process:

Step 1

The first step is to remove any junk in the area of the valve that you’re going to be working on. Get it all out of the way so you have some room for work. 

Step 2

Next, you’ll need to shut off the water supply for the line you’re working on either at the next available shut-off or at the water main itself. But be aware that you’re house is going to be out of the water so let everybody in the house know that there’s not going to be any water for a bit. 

Step 3

Then you’ll need to bleed off any residual water pressure in the line by turning on the faucet and letting the water run out with the water and pressure out of the line. Now you can remove the faulty valve. 

Step 4

Use channel lock pliers but you can also use a pipe wrench or a crescent wrench to remove the supply line that is coming off the valve. With the lines removed next remove the valve itself either by unscrewing it or by loosening the compression nut at its base. 

The types of valves you’ll see vary. Other pipes may not be threaded so you’re going to use a valve that uses a compression fitting to get it seated onto the pipe. It just depends on what the valve is that you are working on. 

If possible we recommend taking off the old valve and bringing it with you to the hardware store so that you know that you are getting the proper replacement. 

Step 5

With the old valve removed remove the old damaged Teflon tape and replace it with some new tape around the threads before screwing on the new valve. You’ll want to tighten the belt down snugly but you don’t want to over-tighten it so that you can’t remove it next time you go to work on it. 

Step 6 

Reconnect the supply lines for the faucet and any other outlets that are coming off the valve. Before you turn the water back on now is a good time to check your faucet for any corrosion, calcification, or issues with the faucet performing properly. 

Final Verdict 

A water shut-off valve is extremely important when it comes to plumbing installations, fixture replacement, or leaking emergencies. It is a must to have a main shut-off valve installed which can control the water supply of the whole house. And also individual shut-off valves for fixtures or appliances. So our list of types of water shut-off valves can be a great help for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Type Of Valve Is Best For Water Shut-off?

Ball valves and gate valves are most commonly used in households, especially for the main water supply and also brunch line shut-offs. They are really easy to work with and easy to install, and you can fit them on your own if any issues arise. They also go well with most types of pipe fittings. 

How Many Types Of Water Shut-off Valves Are There?

There are two main types that go well for the main water supply valve, which are:

  • Gate valves
  • Ball valves

For the brunch lines there are:

  • Straight stop valves 
  • Angle stop valves
  • Three-way stop valves
  • Compression stop valves 
  • Copper sweat stop valves
  • Iron stop valves
  • PEX shut-off valves
  • Push-fit shut-off valves

Does A Dishwasher Need A Shut-off Valve?

Having a separate shut-off valve is a personal preference. You can either include your dishwasher lines with your sink or you can also add a separate shut-off valve. But it is always a good idea to add a separate dishwasher valve so that when you need to make a fix you can shut off its shut-off valve and to your work without hampering other fixtures. 

Which Way Do You Turn A Sink Valve?

To close your sink valve turn it counterclockwise and to open the valve turn it clockwise. According to your valve, you may need a couple of turns to open or close it. Or you may need a half or a quarter turn. 

Do You Need Shut-off Valves For The Sink?

Shut-off valves for a sink are a must-have and almost in every house, you’ll find one. 

Are All Water Shut-off Valves The Same?

Although the purpose of all water shut-off valves is the same which is to control the water flow. But there are differences between their styles, sizes, structures, and material. So to get one do your research or talk to your plumber. 

How Do I Know What Type Of Valve I Have?

To identify your valve type you need to look into all the types there is available on the market and can also use the picture of your valve to look online. For a general view look at the table down below: 

Gate valveLinear motion
Globe valveLinear motion
Swing check valveRotary motion
Lift check valveLinear motion
Tilting-disc check valveRotary motion
Folding disc valveRotary motion
In-line check valveLinear motion
Stop check valveLinear motion & rotary motion
Ball valveRotary motion & quarter turn
Pinch valveLinear motion
Butterfly valveRotary motion & quarter turn
Plug valveRotary motion & quarter turn
Diaphragm valveLinear motion
Safety valveLinear motion
Relief valveLinear motion

Which Type Of Valve Is Used In Homes?

In households, pressure-balancing valves are the most commonly used valves that have a single handle and single control.