Types of Under-Sink Shutoff Valves

Sink pipe under wash basin
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Under-sink shutoff valves, also called fixture shutoffs or stop valves, allow you to turn off the water to the sink (or other fixture) without having to use the home's main shutoff. These inexpensive little valves rarely get used, and when they do, sometimes they leak. If this happens to you, you can simply replace the valve with a new valve that matches the old one. Identifying which type of valve you have is a good first step in replacing it.

Here are the types of shutoff valves to help you identify what you have under your sink.

  • 01 of 09

    Straight Shutoff Valve

    Straight stop valve

    Aaron Stickley

    Straight stop valves are typically found when the water supply pipe comes up from below the floor or cabinet. The fixture supply tube connects to the top of the valve in the same line as the supply pipe. The handle of a straight stop is located in the middle of the valve body, between the inlet and outlet ports.

  • 02 of 09

    Angle Stop Valve

    Angle stop valve

    Aaron Stickley

    Angle stop valves are normally used when the water line comes out from the wall and the outlet side of the valve will be perpendicular to the inlet side. The handle of an angle stop valve is parallel to the wall and usually faces the front for easy access.

  • 03 of 09

    Three-Way Stop Valve

    3 way shut off valve

    Aaron Stickley

    Three-way stop valves have an inlet and two outlets. These are often seen under kitchen sinks, where they are used to feed both the hot tap of the faucet as well as the dishwasher. Three-way stops can come in a few different configurations. Some are cross-shaped and have the two outlet ports facing in opposite directions, some have outlets in an "L" configuration, and some have outlets in a "Y" configuration.

  • 04 of 09

    Compression Shutoff Valve

    Compression shut off valve

    Aaron Stickley

    Compression stop valves are most commonly used to install a shutoff 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 watertight seal. Compression valves are easy to install with just a pair of pliers or wrenches. You can also remove them and reuse them. Sometimes it is hard to get the old nut and ferrule off of the pipe; in this case, you can remove them with a compression sleeve puller.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Copper Sweat Stop Valve

    Copper shut off valve

    Aaron Stickley

    "Sweat" is a plumber's term for soldering. A copper sweat valve is designed to be sweated, or soldered, to a rigid copper pipe. This requires soldering tools, such as a torch, flux, emery cloth, and solder. Sweat valves are not easily removed once they are installed because they have to be heated to melt the solder so you can pull the valve off of the pipe.

  • 06 of 09

    Iron Pipe Stop

    Iron pipe threaded shut off valve

    Aaron Stickley

    Iron stop valves have a threaded female inlet port with iron-pipe-size threads. 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 pipe adapter that connects to the pipe and then screws into the shutoff valve.

    Iron pipe valves simply screw and unscrew from the end of the pipe. The only tools required are two pliers: one to hold the pipe in place, and the other to tighten the valve.

  • 07 of 09

    CPVC Shutoff Valve

    A CPVC shutoff valve has a CPVC insert that allows you to glue the valve onto a CPVC pipe, using solvent cement. Once the valve is glued in place, it cannot be removed and must be cut from the pipe. The solvent glue must be designed for CPVC pipe to ensure a reliable connection.

  • 08 of 09

    PEX Shutoff Valve

    PEX shut off valve

    Aaron Stickley

    The shutoff valves used for PEX tubing have a ribbed inlet port for inserting into the tubing. This type of valve works with either ring-type or pinch-type PEX clamps. Although PEX tools are required for installation (as opposed to push-fit valves), these are often the easiest and cheapest way to go, especially if you are already using PEX clamps or pinch rings.

    PEX stop valves can be removed, but you have to cut off the ring. This often results in damage to the pipe, which usually means the pipe needs to be shorted to get a fresh section of pipe for the new valve.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Push-Fit Shutoff Valve

    Push fit shut off valve

    Aaron Stickley

    Push-fit, or push-in, shutoff valves are very easy to install and can be used with copper, PEX, and CPVC pipe. These valves simply push onto the pipe. The valve grips onto the pipe with metal teeth and creates a watertight seal with a plastic O-ring. They are also removable, using a simple tool sold by the manufacturer.