Preparing for Unexpected Plumbing Problems
Installing a stop valve in your bathroom before you actually need to use one is the safest and best way to prepare for emergencies or unexpected plumbing mishaps in the future. Shut off valves allow you to turn off the water supply to an individual bathroom fixture, but still leave the water on in the rest of the house, so you don’t inconvenience others. Stop valve installation can be located under your sink, behind toilets or behind a conspicuous, easily accessible panel on your bath wall.
Unfortunately, this is not what is done, and some homeowners only find that they need to install a stop valve when a water main burst or cracks unexpectedly and then they have to run all the way downstairs to their basement to disconnect the main pipe that sends water to their entire house.
This plumbing scenario could have been easily avoided if the necessary steps were taken to install a shut off valve for individual taps and faucets in your lavatory. Installing a stop valve in the right places can also help to save water and money from having to pay for leaks that were not detected in time to avoid water damage.
A shut off valve is the first mechanism that a plumber or a DIYer will need to access to fix a leak, change faucets or during bath renovation so this is why installing a stop valve in your washroom is so important. Below we have prepared some important tips that you need to know before installing a stop valve and all the steps you have to implement to get a shut-off valve safely installed in your lavatory.
Step # 1- Identify Where You Need to Install a Stop Valve
You cannot go about installing a stop valve in just about every corner or on any pipe that you find. This is why it is important to have the layout of your current plumbing system to see where all your individual faucets and taps are located. You will need a shut-off valve at each entry point regardless if you have hot or cold water. So, let us say for example that you have a pipe entering your shower and two entering your bathroom sink (hot and cold water)—you will put a shut-off valve in all of these individual areas.
Before you go about installing a stop valve, you will also need to know where is the best point to put a stop valve, and this is explained in the next step below. A checklist of possible areas you will need to install a shut-off valve in your powder room include:
- Water heaters
Step # 2 – Install a Shut Off Valve at Strategic Points
Your shut off valves should be located at strategic points and not in areas that are difficult to reach or see. Some tips to bear in mind when installing a stop valve at strategic points in your bathroom are:
- Stop vales should not be located behind tile walls and in areas that require excessive digging.
- They should be easy to see by anyone in the family.
- They should not be located in hazardous areas.
Step # 3- Know the Stop Valve You Need
The type of stop valve controller that you will be installing will depend on the material that your present pipe is made of. When you are installing a stop valve, you should ensure that pipes that are made of copper then you will need to install brass valves on these.
If on the other hand, you have pipes that are made of plastic, then you will need to think about installing a stop valve made of plastic. Metal stop valves are ideal for galvanized pipes so ensure that you know the type of pipe you have in your bath walls..
Step # 4 – Get Transition Fittings
When you are installing a stop valve, you will notice that the diameter just before the valve is slightly different. You will need transition fitting to facilitate the change in diameter and also material.
Step # 5 – Measure the Supply Tube Length
You will need to know the length of the tube that will be leaving the stop valve and entering the faucet in your bathroom. This distance will allow you to know just how long your tubes should be before you start installing a stop valve.
Step # 6 – Get the Right Tools
The plumbing tools that you will need to get before installing a stop valve include:
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe Tape
- Channel Locks
- Pipe Cutter
- Pipe Wrench
Step # 7 – Install the Stop Valve Shut off Mechanism
You will need to shut off the main supply of water throughout the house before you start installing a stop valve. This is normally located in your basement or laundry room. Once you have closed off the water supply, then you can turn on all the faucets in your bathroom to ensure that the water in the pipes run out before you start installing a stop valve and not before you put the stop valve in place.
Cut enough from the existing pipe to make room for both the stop valve and compression fitting by using the pipe cutter to do this
You will notice that the ends of the stop valve are different, this is because on one side you will install the incoming tube and on the other hand you will install the compression lines.
To continue with your stop valve installation, you will need to use the pipe tape to wrap the tube before you start installing a stop valve onto it. You will need to use the adjustable wrench and pipe wrench to make this possible. Insert and tighten both ends of the pipe after using the pipe tape.
Install a stop valve allows you to shut off the water in your lavatory right away in case of an emergency or just to save you the hassle of having to run all the way up and down stairs when you’re renovating your bathroom.
Every faucet and toilet in a home should have its own stop valve so you can easily make repairs and upgrades. If you install a stop valve, it will also save you the trouble and inconvenience of shutting off the water to your entire home for a single sink or toilet repair.