Types of Water Shutoff Valves

  • 01 of 06

    Types of Water Shutoff Valve Stops

    water shutoff valve
    Water shutoff valves often come in a multi-turn and quarter turn option. © Home-Cost.com 2015

    The local water supply shut off valve is your friend. Trust me on that. You'll understand when you need to replace a faucet or repair a toilet and find that the plumber provided no way to locally shut off the water to your plumbing fixture. Ugh!

    But local shut off valves can also be a maintenance issue. Older valves, especially the cheaper multi-turn valves can leak when you go to shut them off after a long period of use.

    The first time you go to the plumbing store or your big box home repair store to buy a shut-off valve you'll be faced with seemingly endless choices. So it's good to understand the various types of valves available and how to select the correct type of valve for the type of water supply line you have in your home.

    And that's what we will cover in this tutorial.

    QUARTER TURN AND MULTI-TURN WATER STOP VALVES
    Shut off valves are called 'stop' valves and come in two versions; an 'Angle' (90-degree bend) version and a straight 'Stop' version. In the photo above you'll see a multi-turn valve on the left and a quarter turn valve on the right. They look similar but you can see a difference in the valve stem / neck area. (More about quarter turn and multi-turn valves on the next page).

    TYPES OF VALVE STOPS

    Besides the straight and angled version of the valve stop and the multi-turn and quarter options in the valve itself, there are a variety of water supply line options that affect the type of valve you need to purchase. Here are the most common valve stops you will find. Photo examples of these types of shut off valves are found on the following pages.

    For copper pipe supply lines

    • Compression fit / angled or straight / multi-turn or quarter turn valve stop
    • Sweat fitting / angled or straight / multi-turn or quarter turn valve stop
    • Push fit / angled or straight / quarter turn valve stop

    For iron pipe (threaded) supply lines

    • FIP threaded fitting / angled or straight / multi-turn or quarter turn valve stop

    For CVPC supply lines

    • Threaded fitting / angled or straight / multi-turn or quarter turn valve stop
    • Push fit / angled or straight / quarter turn valve stop

    For PEX supply lines

    • Barbed fitting / angled or straight / multi-turn or quarter turn valve stop
    • Compression fit / angled or straight / multi-turn or quarter turn valve stop
    • Push fit / angled or straight / quarter turn valve stop

    Let's review what these valves look like...

     

     

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  • 02 of 06

    Compression Fit / Angled or Straight / Multi-turn or Quarter Turn Valve Stop

    compression water valve stop
    This valve type is available in quarter turn and multi-turn versions. © Home-Cost.com 2015

    Compression fit stop valves are used with copper and PEX water supply lines. They come in multi-turn and quarter turn options.

    The multi-turn valve stop is marginally cheaper than a quarter turn valve and is made with a plastic stem and compression washers. It requires several turns of the stem to shut off the water flow. As these valves get older and fixed in the 'on' position, they tend to leak when actually used to shut the water supply off.

    The quarter turn valve stop (photo shown on previous page) is slightly more expensive than a multi turn valve but much more reliable and better made. It uses a positive action ball valve to control water flow and shuts water on and off with a quarter turn of the valve handle. Very reliable and problem free. For the price difference I don't know why anyone would buy a multi-turn valve. Both these valves are readily available in any hardware store or on Amazon.com.

    The copper or PEX water supply line will have a compression nut first fit over the supply line and then a copper compression sleeve will slide over the supply line. This sleeve is then compressed by the compression nut as the nut is tightened to the stop valve.

    When selecting the right supply line size for this fitting you need to be aware of the term used to describe the inlet size. That term is NOM Com or 'Nominal Compression' sizing.

    The NOM term relates to the conversion of construction trade dimensions of a copper pipe's inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD). So a 5/8" OD copper pipe will have a 1/2" ID. A 1/2" COM fitting is sized for a 5/8" OD pipe.

     

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  • 03 of 06

    Sweat Fitting / Angled or Straight / Multi-Turn or Quarter Turn Valve Stop

    sweat water shutoff valve stop
    These valve stops are soldered onto the copper supply pipe and come in quarter turn and multi-turn variations. © Home-Cost.com 2015

    Sweat fitting water shut off valves are designed to be used as a non-removable, non-leaking connection to a copper water supply line. Sizing of the water supply line is also COM dimension where a 1/2" COM fitting is sized for a 5/8" OD pipe. (See previous slide).

    These fittings require some skill in installing as they must be soldered onto the copper pipe and may require a copper tube cutter, solder, flux, emery cloth sandpaper and a propane torch.

     

     

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  • 04 of 06

    Push Fit / Angled or Straight / Quarter Turn Valve Stop

    push fit water valve shutoff stop
    Push on water valve shut off valves are the easiest and most versatile when it comes to installation. © Home-Cost.com 2015

    Push fit valve stops are the newest technology available and are also the easiest to install and the most versatile. They used to be pretty expensive but you can get press-fit shut off valves from Amazon.com for almost the same cost as a standard quarter-turn compression valve. That's a great value!

    These valves will work with copper pipe or PEX or even CPVC water supply lines. They install simply, just ensure a square cut on the supply line and press on, that's it.

     

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  • 05 of 06

    FIP Threaded Fitting/Angled or Straight/Multi-Turn or Quarter Turn Valve Stop

    FIP threaded water valve stop
    Water valve shut off valves that connect to threaded galvanized pipe are called FIP connection valves. © Home-Cost.com 2015

    FIP (female iron pipe) shut off valves are used with threaded galvanized steel pipe water supply lines. They require a pipe thread compound and simply screw on and off the supply pipe.

     

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Barbed Fitting / Angled or Straight / Multi-Turn or Quarter Turn Valve Stop

    PEX water shutoff valve stop
    Water shutoff vales that connect to PEX supply pipe can come in barbed and compression versions. © Home-Cost.com 2015

    Barbed water shut off valves are a type of valve used with PEX water supply piping. PEX also can use a compression fitting which allows standard tools for installation. A barbed fitting will require a crimp ring and a special crimping tool to complete the PEX connection.