An angle stop valve, also known as a compression valve, is the emergency shutoff valve that can be found beneath every water-using appliance and fixture in your home.
Angle stops are a common and inexpensive plumbing fixture that can save you potentially thousands of dollars in maintenance expenses. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is an Angle Stop Valve Used for?
Angle stop valves can be used for various reasons.
Turning off the emergency shutoff valves in the event of an appliance or fixture bursting or springing a leak can prevent considerable water damage from occurring until suitable repairs can be made.
If you are replacing fixtures, or need to repair a single appliance in your home that uses water, you can just turn off the angle stop valve that provides water to the appliance. This allows you to make your repairs without having to turn off all the water in your house. It also allows other appliances to continue being used.
What are the Different Types of Angle Stop Valves?
There are many angle stop valves, but here are three that we commonly find in homes:
- The first is a gate valve; these valves are not as reliable as ball valves and are typically found in older homes. You will want to have your gate valve replaced if possible.
- A ball valve is the most reliable choice for an angle stop valve in your home. A lever is used to control the flow of water and provides for a quicker and easier shutoff.
- The last is a globe valve, these valves are more reliable than gate valves and are easier to repair.
Angle stop valves come in different materials, from metals to plastic. Here are some options with pros and cons:
- Zinc alloy – ages more quickly, providing a shorter life.
- PVC – lasts for a shorter time and doesn’t look as nice compared to metal options.
- Copper – the best option, it provides a great combination of reliability and longevity.
Does My Angle Stop Valve Need to be Replaced?
A plumber or handyman will recommend that you get your angle stop valve replaced for several reasons, including these:
The main reason could be if corrosion or a leak is present around the shutoff valve. Leaking and corrosion are signs that an angle stop valve needs to be replaced before it bursts, causing severe water damage to your home.
Another reason you might need your angle stop valve replaced is most likely due to outdated parts. After years of use, the part of the valve that stops water flow, the compression part of the valve, begins to fail due to wear. This could leave the valve vulnerable to leaks and bursts.
Do You Need Angle Stop Valves in Your Home?
Here are 5 possible points for angle valves in your home:
- Coldwater angle valve for your toilet
- Cold and hot water angle valves on your washbasin
- Cold and hot water angle valves on your under-sink sump pump
- Two cold water valves for your water heater
- A coldwater angle valve will need to be installed if your home is equipped with a water purifier.
As you can see, the “lowly” angle stop valve is an important feature of your plumbing system. When working properly, it gives you the ability to turn off the water to a specific fixture or an entire home. In either case, in an emergency, this can save you from expensive water damage.
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