Troubleshooting and Replacing Your Plumbing Shut-Off Valve: A Comprehensive Guide

shut off valve under sink

We get it—you’re pressed for time. So attempting to figure out how to fix your leaking shut-off valve could take up more time than you think. That's why we've put together this handy guide to troubleshooting and repairing your plumbing shut off valves.

Why Shut-Off Valves Leak and How to Identify the Problem

There are many reasons why a shut-off valve can leak, but most of them boil down to a few common issues:

  • The valve is old and needs replacing
  • There is some sort of obstruction in the line (such as rust or sediment) that is causing the valve to stick open or closed
  • The valve has been damaged during installation or repair work on your home's plumbing system; this damage could include cracks in the housing or seat, which causes leakage when pressure builds up inside the valve

How Long Do Shut-Off Valves Last and When to Replace Them

Shut off valves should last anywhere from 5-10 years before needing replacement. If you live in an older home with copper pipes, then it's likely that your valves will need replacing sooner than newer homes with PVC piping.

Tips for Replacing Your Shut-Off Valve

It's not as simple as you might think to replace your water valve on your own. This is why:

If you believe there may be a leak caused by old or damaged supply lines, you should contact a specialist right away. It can be difficult to access old supply lines, which makes it harder to change them.

Without the proper tools, replacing your valve can be challenging, and getting it wrong could cause damage to your house.

There is no getting past the fact that you occasionally need a professional when it comes to plumbing.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

Call a professional if your water valve is old or corroded. Older valves can fail completely and leak more frequently, necessitating expensive repairs or possibly a total overhaul. Also, they are more prone to become trapped in place, which could result in flooding if you don't detect the issue before it's too late. Finally, if your valve has been dripping for some time, there may be further plumbing problems that are to blame; only a trained plumber can identify and address these problems.

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