4 Reasons to Consider a Shut-Off Valve Replacement for Your Home
If you have a water emergency in the house, the shut-off valve becomes one of the most important areas to access. A shut-off valve will block all water access to the home and end leaks that could occur in kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas.
The valve itself is most likely ignored a majority of the time, but an inspection every few years will help determine if the valve needs replacement. A replacement valve can make a big difference in an emergency. Learn some of the reasons to consider a shut-off valve replacement and some signs to look for to know when to replace yours.
1. Years of Moisture & Build-Up
A visual look at a shut-off valve can sometimes be enough to determine whether you need a new valve or not. Years of moisture going through the valve or around the area of your home can create the presence of rust. A rusted valve may not turn correctly or could cause erosion on the handle.
If your home has a lot of hard water, then the minerals in the water could create a build-up in the valve, especially since it does not move When you go to turn the valve, the valve may not turn in either the on or off position.
If you go to turn a calcified or eroded handle, the handle itself could lock into place or snap off completely. In a water emergency, a broken shut-off valve handle can make the disaster worse.
2. Valve Shut Off Type
Chances are, if you have an older home, the shut-off valve will look like a round handle, similar to a hose faucet attached to the exterior of your home. While those types of handles have served their purpose for years, they do not offer the quickest way to turn the water on and off. You have to turn the valve to the right pretty hard to ensure the valve is fully off.
Instead of struggling in a water emergency, a plumber can install a lever-based ¼ turn shut-off valve as an alternative option. A lever takes a single pull to shut off. The longer lever is easier to reach, especially if the shut-off valve is located in tight spaces. A lever has two positions, on and off. With the positions, you know exactly when the water access is completely shut off.
3. Water Leakage
Every once and a while, you should check the water shut-off valve area for leakage. At no point should water leak through a valve. Water leakage could result in the growth of mold and may impact the water pressure in your home. Use a flashlight to really examine the area around the shut-off valve.
If you see pooled water or droplets, then you should consider plumbing service and replacement options. Without repairs, a small leak now could turn into major problems for the future. A plumber can also determine the cause of the leak and ways to help prevent a leak in the future.
For example — in addition to a leak in the valve — the pipes connected to the valve corrode and leak. A plumber will go beyond just the shut-off valve replacement to ensure the whole pipe system runs leak free. After installation, a plumber will test out the system to make sure no further leaks occur.
4. Easier Access
Despite being the only way to completely shut off water to the whole home, a shut-off valve often has an inconvenient location. You may find the valve in a basement, located near the water meter, or in a closet that goes underneath the stairs. Instead of crawling or searching for a shut-off valve, you could hire a plumber to relocate the valve.
A relocation of the valve could make a big difference on your access. For example, a plumber could re-route the valve a little higher up so you do not need to crouch down or turn the valve at a weird angle. The easier access could also leave room to install a lever valve that has the space to easily open and shut.
A plumber may have multiple options for the re-route — you may be able to put the shut-off valve in a place you can easily access. Along with the valve, a plumber may install extra pipes to help route the water and move the valve into a proper location.
For more information on shut-off valve repairs and replacements, contact us at Jim Dhamer Plumbing and Sewer, Inc. You can visit our website to see more about our available services or call us directly at (630) 964-2222 to make an appointment. You want to set up an appointment before small problems become costly emergencies in your home.