Your home is equipped with a main water shut off valve. In case of a plumbing emergency, it’s very important to know where that valve is located so that, when necessary, you can quickly stop the flow of water into your home.
Regular Shut Off Valves
What your home may not have is one or several secondary valves that can be used to shut off the water supply to certain sections of your home or to individual taps, appliances or fixtures. These can be particularly useful while completing minor repairs. For example, if you need to replace a washer in one of your taps, you can shut off the water supply for that one location while completing the job, and still have regular water flow to the rest of your house.
They’re also practical in the event of more serious plumbing problems. If one of your pipes develops a leak, you can cut off the water to the affected section while you’re waiting for your plumber to arrive and while the repair is being made, without disrupting your access to water elsewhere in your house.
Automatic Shut Off Valves
The very latest in technology to safeguard your home against flooding due to a damaged connection hose or a leak from an appliance is an automatic shut off valve. These devices are installed near the points of use such as the dishwasher, the refrigerator’s water dispenser, toilets and other fixtures. They use a sensor that is placed on the floor, which can detect water. When the sensor recognizes a leak, it sends a signal to the valve that immediately shuts off the water.
Have you ever considered the amount of damage that might occur in your home if, for example, the hose leading to your washing machine cracked and split only minutes after you left for work in the morning? The water would be left gushing from the hose for hours, potentially damaging the floor or carpet, the drywall, nearby furniture and any other of your precious belongings that might be in the surrounding area. Now imagine how bad it would be if it happened just after you went away for the weekend or on a two-week vacation!
If you think of automatic shut off valves as circuit breakers for your plumbing, you’ll begin to see how indispensable they can be. Much in the same way that circuit breakers or fuses protect your home from possible fires caused by overloaded electrical circuits, automatic shut off valves protect your home from possible flooding caused by damaged pipes or appliances. Some more advanced shut off valves can even be connected to your home’s security system so that the monitoring company can be alerted to a possible flood as soon as it is detected.