Whenever people call us for an emergency water or leak situation, we always ask if they shut off the water valve leading to the pipes. It always surprises us how many people have no clue what a water valve is, let alone where to find it and how to shut them off. In this article, we will discuss the different types of water valves and where you can typically find them.

What Do Water Valves Do?

Water valves shut off the flow of water when need to. There are two main water valve designs:

Multi-turn shut off valves
Quarter-turn valves

What Are Multi-turn Valves?

Multi-turn valves shut off the water by lowering a small rubber gasket into the center of the valve does prevent the continuing flow of water.

What Are Quarter-turn Valves?

Quarter-turn valves have handles that only need to be moved in a quarter. When pulling or pushing the handle, a metal ball either drops down or raises up. The metal ball will restrict or allow for the flow of water.

Shut Off Valve Composition

The most common shut-off valves are made out of metal. The most common types of metal are brass or copper due to the durability of those metals and their ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Valves that for low water pressure situations might be plastic or polypropylene. These are most common in aquarium settings or water filtration devices.

Shut Off Valve Locations

You can find shut-off valves throughout many locations in a house. Essentially, any pipe that provides water into the home will have a shut-off valve attached to it. Typically, you can find the shut-off valve behind or underneath fixtures to offer convenience in emergency cases but not be an apparent aesthetic blemish. The following are common areas to find shut-off valves:

Every sink will have a shut-off valve underneath it. The shut-off valve is typically against the wall hidden in a cabinet.
Every toilet will have a shut-off valve behind it. The shut-off valve is typically near the base or floorboard behind the toilet.
Every house has a main shut-off valve. If your house has a basement, then the shut-off valve might be in the basement. However, most shut-off valves are on the perimeter of the house on the side facing the street. A great way to find the main water valve to a home is to find the water meter. The water meter is usually near the main water valve.

What If The Shut Off Valve Has Been Damaged Or Is Not Working?

If the shut-off valve is damaged or not working correctly, you should call a professional to assess the situation. The worst scenario is when you need to shut off the water but cannot due to some defect in the shut-off valve that could potentially avoid. If you suspect that your shut-off valves might be faulty or damaged, contact the professionals at Conyers Plumbing. Our team of trained professionals will inspect the problem and offer affordable solutions designed to protect your family and home.