9 Different Types Of Shut Off Valves (Under-Sink and Toilet)

A Shut Off Valve is a valve that stops the flow of fluid in a plumbing system. To make it simpler, a shut-off valve is a mechanism that cuts off the water supply to a pipe once activated.  However, shut off valves are not exclusive to plumbing systems. They’re also used to regulate the flow of gases.

Your gas tank at home uses this mechanism, too. That knob-like mechanism on the gas tank that you turn on and off every time you want to open or close the flow of gas (i.e. gas range or propane tank on a BBQ grill) also falls in this type of shut off valve. It’s what regulates the flow of gas through a tube, from the gas tank to the cooking stove. 

In this article, however, we’re going to have an in-depth look at different types of shut off valves, but we’re not going to discuss gas tank regulators. This article will be all about under-sink and toilet shut off valves. If you want to understand how these things work a bit more, then read on.

Toilet shut-off valve
Toilet shut-off valve | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Different Types Of Shut Off Valves

Straight Stop Valve

Pushlock UPSSC1214-2 1/4 Turn Straight Stop Valve Water Shut Off 1/2 Push x 1/4 Inch Compression, Chrome
Straight Stop Valve Water Shut Off (Image: Amazon.com)

Stop valves are valves that can be closed to cut off the water supply to an appliance. There’s the angle stop valve and the straight stop valve. A straight stop valve, in particular, keeps the water from traveling in the same direction where it came from before entering the valve. Straight stop valves have handles that come straight out in the middle and are mostly used in situations where the water line is coming from the floor.

Pros:

  • Shuts off quickly
  • Preferable for residential homes

Cons:

  • Ideal only when the water line is coming from the floor

Angle Stop Valve

JG Speedfit ASVPP1LF 3/8-Inch by 3/8-Inch by 1/4-Inch Angle Stop Adapter Valve
JG Speedfit Angle Stop Adapter Valve

While straight stop valves connect to pipes that go through the floor, angle stop valves are attached to pipes that come out of the wall, and their handles are usually parallel to the wall. Several different types of angle stop valves can be used in different situations, it mostly depends on a building’s specification.

Pros:

  • Comes in many different forms for different types of pipes
  • Shuts off quickly

Cons:

  • Ideal only for pipes that come out of the wall

Three-Way Stop Valve

Plumb Pak PP2901VLF 3-Way Stop Valve, 1/2 X 3/8 X 3/8 in, Fip X Compression, Chrome Plated, 1/2" x 3/8" x 3/8",
3-Way Stop Valve (Image: Amazon.com)

Three-way valves are often used for more complex piping systems and are rarely used for under-sinks and toilets. At home, they’re typically used under kitchen sinks that have a hot and cold water supply system. Its purpose is to shut off the fluid flow in one pipe while opening fluid flow in another pipe. I say “fluid” because three-way stop valves could be regulating oil or steam, too, among others.

Pros:

  • Great for complex piping systems
  • Shuts off quickly

Cons:

  • Can be hard to install because of its complex configurations

Compression Stop Valve

SharkBite 23036-0000LF 1/2" Ptc x 3/8" Compression Angle Stop Valve
SharkBite Compression Angle Stop Valve

Compression stop valves are a type of shut off valve that uses a compression nut to squeeze a brass ring into the space between a water pipe and its body. Buildings with copper water pipes often use compression stop valves with a compression intake port. This allows for more compression power and reduces the need for repairs.

Pros:

  • Shuts off quickly
  • Easy to replace

Cons:

  • Can be somewhat hard to install

Sweat Stop Valve

1/2" Sweat Solder C X C Brass Full Port Water Stop Shut Off Ball Valve,Heavy Duty Lead Free,for Copper Tubing,Quarter Turn (1-Pack)
Brass Full Port Water Stop Shut Off Ball Valve (Image: Amazon.com)

This shut off valve that is typically installed during a building or home’s construction phase. Plumbers often braze copper (or brass) sweat stop valves into copper water pipes with a torch. Sweat stop valves are hard to remove once installed as they have to be unsoldered from the copper water pipes but are a sturdy and permanent solution that professional plumbers use.

Pros:

  • Low-cost
  • Sturdy, as it is made of copper

Cons:

  • Hard to remove for repair or replacement

Iron Pipe Stop Valve

LASCO 06-9199 Angle Stop Quarter Turn Ball Valves, 3/8-Inch Iron Pipe Inlet X 3/8-Inch Compression Outlet, Chrome
LASCO Iron Pipe Inlet Quarter Turn Ball Valves (Image: Amazon.com)

Iron pipe stop valves are screwed into water pipes with male threads. This is achieved by fitting an iron pipe stop valve’s threads onto its ends, but a male-adapter fitting needs to be installed for plastic and copper pipes. Male adapters use National Pipe Thread (NPT) which is the U.S standard for tapered threads used on threaded pipes and fittings.

This type of shut off valve can be used for almost all kinds of pipes as long as it has the proper fitting.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • Can be used for almost all kinds of pipes

Cons:

  • Can be a bit hard to install as it requires certain special materials

CPVC Stop Valve

King Brothers Inc. SCC-0500-S 1/2-Inch Compression PXL CPVC Stop Valve, Tan
1/2-Inch Compression PXL CPVC Stop Valve (Image: Amazon.com)

This type of shut off valve often goes with CPVC (Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride, which is a type of plastic) piping. CPVC stop valves use a special kind of cement, commonly referred to as “glue”.

This shut-off valve has a small CPVC inserted inside of its intake port, and the cement used on CPVC often work with PVC; however, the adhesive used on PVC doesn’t usually bond with CPVC. It’s kind of overwhelming learning about it at first, but once you grasp the idea, you can fit a CPVC stop valve to a pipe by yourself.

Pros:

  • Made of durable plastic material
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Some consumers find it to be quite leaky after a short amount of time

PEX Stop Valve

PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene, which is another type of plastic. PEX stop valves are less expensive than copper or brass shut off valves. This shut off valve type is often attached to pipes that have crimp rings or clamp rings. A ring compression tool presses the crimp ring against the outside of the pipe while a clamp ring tool squeezes a tab on one side of the ring.

PEX stop valves are hard to remove like copper sweat stop valves because you have to cut the ring off, and cutting the ring usually damages the pipe so homeowners will mostly have to buy a new pipe.

Pros:

  • Low-cost
  • Made of durable plastic material

Cons:

  • Hard to remove for repair or replacement
PEX Stop Valve
PEX Stop Valve | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Push-Fit Stop Valve

Push-fit stop valves, also called Push-On Stop Valves are a type of shut off valve that slides over PEX, CPVC and copper pipes. Push-fit stop valves don’t require special tools for installation, so even people with only basic plumbing knowledge will most likely be able to install them.

A push fit stop valve has a rubber O-ring (an O-shaped mechanical gasket) and a stainless steel locking teeth. The locking teeth keep the valve from sliding off the pipe, while the O-ring keeps the intake port watertight. This type of shut off valve is among those valves that are easy to install.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • No noticeable drawbacks

While there are many variations of these basic valve types, these are the most common types of shut off valves that are available in the market. I hope you learned a lot from this article and if you have feedback or suggestions, please make sure to leave a comment.

Shut off valves control water consumption
Shut off valves control water consumption | Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Staff Sgt. Christopher Marasky

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