A Comprehensive Guide to 11 Types of Main Water Shut-Off Valves for Your Home

Valves play a vital role in your plumbing system. A plumbing system has different types of water shut-off valves at various points along the pipes. They allow you to regulate and stop water in emergencies or during repairs. Main shut-off valve types are made of different designs; there are those suited for simple ON-OFF water flow and others designed for adjusting the water flow volume.

The valves also come in different materials, including PVC plastic, brass, and bronze. So when looking for one to fit in your plumbing system, you need to go for the appropriate material for the type of pipe used in your plumbing system.

Are You Still wondering what a Shut-off Valve is?

Okay, this device cuts off the water supply to a pipe when activated. Now, let us know about the main water shut-off valve types.

What are the Different Types of Water Shut-off Valves?

Here are the eleven types of water shut-off valves used in home plumbing.

  1. Ball Valve
  2. Three-Way Water Shut-off Valve
  3. Gate Valve
  4. Sweat Stop Valve
  5. Globe Valve
  6. Straight Fixture Shut-off Valve
  7. Pressure-Reducing Valve
  8. Angled Fixture-off Valve
  9. Check Valve
  10. Compression Stop Valve
  11. Iron Pipe Stop Valve

Let’s discuss each one of them in detail.

01. Ball Valve

Ball Valve

Ball valve water shut-offs are commonly used for branch lines’ shut-offs and the main water shut-offs. They’re designed for quick shut-off because they can open and close with a quarter turn of the handle.

Internally, ball valves have holes connected to the outer handle through their center. The valves open when the water supply pipe is parallel to the handle and close when it is perpendicular. The handle also acts as a visual aid; it helps you know when the water is on or off.

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02. Three-Way Water Shut-off Valve

Three-Way Stop Valve

Three-way water shut-off valves are used to connect multiple valves and are mostly found underneath the kitchen sink. They shut off the flow of fluid in one pipe to allow it to flow under high pressure in the other pipe. Primarily, these valves are used in steam and oil systems.

Three-way water shut-off valves have different advantages. They can be used in cold and hot water supplies and for various fluid types.

03. Gate Valve

Gate Valve

Just like a ball valve water shut-off, a gate valve is the most common valve for water supply systems to control water flow. It uses a twist-type handle located at the top of the valve to lower or raise an internal gate. According to its design, it is either fully open or fully closed.

When turning off or on a water shut-off gate valve, the circular handle turns to lower or raise a metal gate inside the body of the valve. The gate stops the water flow when the valve turns off.

Sometimes its internal metal parts may corrode, making it stuck in an ON or OFF position. Sediment buildup inside the valve body can be the cause for the gate valve not shutting off water entirely. Mostly, these types of water shut-off valves are used in applications where the water doesn’t need to be shut off frequently.

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04. Sweat Stop Valve

Sweat Stop Valve

Another main water shut-off valve type is the sweat stop valve, which is usually brazed to copper water pipes. They’re made of brass or copper. They are mainly used in the construction phase of a home. Since they’re installed into copper water pipes, removing them is difficult, but their durability is high.

05. Globe Valve

Globe Valve

A globe valve looks like a ball valve water shut-off from the outside; it has a slightly bulbous body, hence the name. But unlike the ball valve, it is purposely made to regulate the flow of water that passes through the pipe. It’s mainly used where the water flow needs to be variably controlled, like in outdoor faucets and similar utility faucets.

06. Straight Fixture Shut-off Valve

Straight Fixture Shut-Off Valve

The straight fixture valve operates like the angled fixture valve and is the main water shut-off valve type. However, unlike the angled fixture valve, it’s mainly used where water flow runs straight to the fixture. The valves help stop water from flowing back into the source.

They are commonly used when the water exits the floor rather than the wall. With a straight fixture shut-off valve, you can use a water shut-off gate valve to shut off the water in a specific area without shutting off the whole place.

07. Pressure-Reducing Valve

Pressure-Reducing Valve

As the name suggests, these high-pressure water shut-off valves reduce the overall pressure of water in your plumbing system to the required limits. They have a diaphragm and a spring that can be adjusted to a specific limit depending on the water supply pressure.

Pressure-reducing valves are used mainly in homes that receive water at high pressure from the municipal water supply to avoid damaging appliances and house plumbing systems.

08. Angled Fixture-off Valve

Angled Fixture-Off Valve

Just like the gate valve, angled fixture shut-off valves have a small twist knob or right-angle water shut-off valve or handle that turns to close and open the valve. The valve allows you to shut off the water when doing replacement or minor repairs to the fixture itself without interfering with water flow to other areas.

A fixture shut-off valve is a type of water shut-off valve mainly used for pipes coming from the wall. They control the flow of water to individual plumbing fixtures, including toilets and faucets. The good thing about these valves is that they’re durable and close the plumbing in a specific area.

09. Check Valve

Check Valve

Do you have a back-flow water preventer installed on your sprinkler system and one of your outdoor faucets in your home? If yes, then those are examples of check valves. They are specialty valves that keep water flowing only in one direction.

Most types of these valves are not operational. Thus, they don’t have control handles. Check valves use different inner mechanisms, including diaphragm check designs and ball-check designs.

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10. Compression Stop Valve

Compression Stop Valve

Installing a compression-fitting water shut-off valve stop for an application that needs a quick shut-off is the way to go. They turn off the water quickly. The good thing about them is that they are easy to install. However, they may need complex equipment and tools, like a compression sleeve puller, to install them. These valves are primarily used in copper water pipes.

11. Iron Pipe Stop Valve

Iron Pipe Stop Valve

These valves are used in pipes with male threads. To install them on iron pipes, you’d need a screw. However, you’d need a male adapter to install them on copper or PVC pipes. They’re easy to install and last for a long time.

If you’ve read through the article, you know what you need to know about main water shut-off valve types. Do you use any of the mentioned valves in your home? If yes, please leave a comment in the comment box below and share with us your experience.

Knowing the various types of plumbing valves is essential, as they play an important role in plumbing systems. Look here to learn about different types of water valves –

The Complete Guide to Various Types of Valves in Plumbing Systems

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Author Bio

Jennifer Kiminza – Jennifer Kiminza is a content writer and content marketing professional at Hub Spot, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Jennifer worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors from Nairobi University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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