Shut-off valves are important for operating plumbing devices that should be installed for every fixture in
the house or business. Shut-off valves located in every plumbing fixture, will limit the work area, and
keep the other parts of the house functional.
Shut-off Valves Types:
If one of the plumbing devices or fixture does not have a shut-off valve, you will need to shut off the
whole house in a case of emergency. Therefore, shut-off valves are installed in: Faucets, toilets,
refrigerators (for the ice line), washing machines, water heaters, and dishwashers.
A stop valve typically has a body with a chrome finish color and oval handle. If the handle will not open
that easily, do not force it, it will probably break, and wont shut off the water completely in case of
emergency. In case there is no shut-off valve, it will be very important to install one.
Every house should have main shut-off valves, which regulate the flow of water to the house and can
potentially regulate the water pressure too. In some houses the main shut-off is located inside the houses
and in some cases the shut-off is outside the house. It will be recommended to install the main shut-off
outside the house. Always important to locate the main shut-off valve, this is usually located near the
point of the water meter. Two valves should be located, one on each side of the meter. In some cases, a
house that does not has a shut-off valve, search for a large pipe that enters the house, often through the
basement floor. Somewhere along the pipe, you should find the valve. In warm weather, main shut-off
valves would be more found outside the house. In cold weather, the main shut-off valves would be more
common inside the house. An outside shut-off valve is near the point where a pipe branches off from the
utility’s main line to bring water to your home. In some cases you can’t find the shut-off valve, call the
water utility department and ask them form some help. In cold weather, outside shut-off are housed in a
plastic or concrete underground container, sometime called “Underground Container” or “Buffalo Box”.
In colder regions, shut-off will be located below the frost line, at the bottom of the tube covered with cast-
iron cover. A special key or a wrench to be able to reach and turn the water off and on.
In some cases, shut-off valves can be found exposed in a basement, crawlspace, utility room, or access
panels behind a bathtub. In most cases, there will be one for hot water and one for cold water. If water
has been running, you can feel which is the hot part…These Intermediate shut-offs are controlling the
water flow to portions of the house. To find out which valve control specific fixture, close it and go
through the house, turning on the faucets and flushing the toilets. Just remember that toilets will be
needed to be flushed twice, and then listen to the water refilling the tank after the flush. For hot water
heaters, shut-off will be located near the boiler.
It is important to locate the water meter of the house, check the water usage and make sure there are no
leaks that the utility is charging correctly. A water meter (some of them have a digital readout) simply
displays the amount at the start of the billing month. If a major leak is not detected, you will see the
average monthly bill goes up.
For more information, check out: http://www.plumber-denver-co.com/ or http://www.plumber-denver-
I have been in the industry and a business owner for over 30 years.