Homes have outdated water delivery systems and these are still being used today. Water shut off valves are a great way to overcome water scarcity. This is becoming more prevalent around the globe, water damage, wastage and safety are of the utmost concern to home owners and Watersavers.
Plumbing technology advances, specifically, water shut off valves, have made it possible to address these kinds of issues at a high level.
But, which types of water shut off valves are the best fit for your home or next building project?
Explore the different types of water shut off valves and the pros and cons of each so you’re better equipped to effectively manage the delivery of water and so much more going forward.
3 Common Types of Water Shut Off Valves
Today, most homes are fitted with water shut off valves. A significant majority of these are manually operated valves that are installed in one or more areas of a home or business (i.e. where the water comes into the house from a municipal line or under a sink tap), but remote controlled/auto shut off valves are becoming increasingly popular.
The usage of these water saving devices is being driven by stricter regulations, most notably by countries like Norway, where more stringent rules pertaining to the mandatory use of manual or auto water shut off valves are being enforced.
Preventing water damage and wastage, as well as promoting safer drinking water starts with making sure you’re using the right kind of water shut off valve.
With that said, let’s take a look at 3 different types of water shut off valves in use today:
The manual water shut off valve
The manual water shut off valve is the most common of water shut off valves and the most affordable. These valves can corrode over long periods of time. For most homes, they are located under the sink, crawl spaces or near the water meter. Here are some common manual water shut off valves:
Sweat Fitting Water Shut Off Valve:
Sweat fitting valves are non-removable and non-leaking, or, at least they are designed to be so. These fittings must be soldered to a copper pipe and installation may require a few extra tools like a solder, flux and propane torch. If an improper joint is made, leaking will begin immediately.
Compression Fit Water Shut off Valve:
These valves can be used with PEX or copper water supply inlets. Compression fit water shut off valves are available in quarter and multi-turn varieties. The multi-turn needs many turns of the stem to stop the water flow. As these start to age, they tend to leak.
Push Fit water Shut Off Valve:
Push fit valves are a newer technology. They are easy to install, but not as cost-effective as other shut off valves. The supply line must be square cut, and the push fit is pressed on.
Barbed Fitting Water Shut Off Valve:
A barbed fitting is made for PEX piping. It requires a crimp ring and tool to complete the installation.
Compression Nut (Female) Shut Off Valves: This compression nut valve is for threaded galvanised steel pipes. For installation, pipe thread compound is needed to screw the piece onto the supply pipe.
They are easy to install
Manual shut off valves are by far the most affordable and commonly used
There are valves for every situation and pipe material available
If the homeowner is not at home to detect a leak, they won’t have time to shut off the valve before water damage occurs
Depending on the types of pipes used they might require different materials/tools for installation which may complicate things
Metal can fatigue and corrode over time, and disuse may make valves more challenging to use
Remote controlled water shut off valves
Remote controlled water shut off valves can be controlled by a smartphone or a special remote panel. Most remote control systems do not have leak detection integration, and this needs to be installed as another component to ensure protection from potential leaks.
Ideal for integration with home automation systems that make water control and delivery easier
Remote water shut off is convenient and means you don’t have to worry when you have to leave your premises
These systems tend to be more expensive than manual shut off valves
Some remote-controlled water shut off systems have button pads that must be within a short distance of the transceiver. If the system does not include a leak detection system, having a remote control shut off may not be any more helpful than a manual shut off.
Auto water shut off valves
Auto water shut off valves work with water sensors that are placed throughout the home. When a leak occurs, a signal is sent to the main controller, which in turn shuts off the water supply. Some automatic types of water shut off valves fit over existing manual valves, while others have a more streamlined installation.
When offsite water supply is shut off
Water pressure in the pipe supply can be regulated better to minimise the risks of bursts
One button turns off incoming water. Having this feature is convenient for many homes and businesses, especially when water conservation is a concern.
Cleaner, safer water becomes possible, especially if a system like this is integrated with PEX manifolds
Some automatic systems do not have remote or “smart” remote access
The initial investment in an auto shut off valve system is higher than both manual and remote access systems