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15 Different Types of Sink Shut Off Valves

A collage of different kinds of valves.

Do you ever think about sink shutoff valves? Yeah, I didn’t either until I walked into a flooded bathroom, and stood in the water, then had only one thought. Where is the sink shutoff valve as water gushed from the sink faucet?

A man checking on a water valve.

I discovered there are many types of sink shutoff valves. I recognized the importance of sink shutoff valves when a major leak developed. And also where to look to shut them off.

This article covers various sink shutoff valves to help you to know how to turn the water line off if a leak happens.

Related To: Types of Toilet Fill Valves | Parts of a Toilet

What Are The Different Plumbing Water Shut Off Valves?

Plumbing valves shut off main water lines and sink shutoff valves are for branch water lines. These descriptions are for main plumbing valves.

1. Gate Valves

FibroPool Above Ground Pool Gate Valve - 1 1/2 inch - Dual Threaded Shut Off Slice Adapter for Swimming Pools

These valves use a “gate” to seal off the water flow with a lowered gate or open the flow with a raised gate. Gate valves are today used for institutional, industrial, and commercial applications. These valve types are easy to identify if open or closed, with the gate handle being up (open) or down (closed). Gate valves are often found on RV plumbing systems for controlling waste removal.

2. Globe Valves

Mueller Industries 106-003NL Globe Valve, 1/2 in, IPS, 125 WSP, 200 Psi Wog, 0.5"

The globe valve controls water flow by lowering a baffle to block water flow. This design works well but can restrict water flow when opened and are not good to use for full water flow needs.

3. Stop Valves

B & K 105-104NL 3/4" FIP Stop/Waste Valve

Stop valves are valves used where you need a quick shutoff, like in my flooded bathroom. They are often used for fixtures like sinks and toilets. Stop valves control water flow with different devices such as globe, gate, or ball valves. These valves use a stop valve design that has less water flow restriction.

4. Check Valves

DAIRAZAN In-line Ball Check Valve - Stainless Steel 316 One Way (SS316, 1/4"NPT MxF)

The check valve is necessary for plumbing where the water has to flow in one direction from the supply line. Also, these valves are critical for fixtures or drains connected to a sewer system. This connection requires water to flow in one direction only. The various methods of stopping water flow include reversing direction (or backflow prevention).

Water flow regulation is by diaphragms, spring-mounted discs, or flappers. When the water flow reverses, the check valve closes to prevent a backflow situation.

5. Ball Valves

The most popular valve design, ball valves use a rotating ball to manage water flow. On some, a lever provides quick visual verification of the valve’s status (open or closed). The simple, yet effective design makes them ideal for full water flow applications. Ball valves work with stainless steel, brass, PVC, and threaded applications.

6. Butterfly Valves

IrrigationKing RKLV6B PVC Butterfly Valve, 6"

Butterfly valves named for the “butterfly” that controls water flow. The butterfly control rotates by the handle or gripping mechanism. This type of valve is lightweight and used to open or close water flows. Yet compact and efficient, they rely on a gasket that wears out and will need a replacement.

What Are The Different Types of Sink Shut-Off Valves?

Under-sink shutoff valves are also called stop valves or fixture shutoffs. They provide a way to turn off the water in a targeted area without turning off the main water line. These are the primary types of shutoff water valves.

1. Angle Stop Valve

Eastman 10733LF Quarter-Turn Angle Stop Valve, 1/2 inch FIP x 3/8 inch OD Comp, Chrome

When the water line exits the wall, an angle stop valve controls the water flow. The angle stop valve will be perpendicular to the inlet side and parallel to the wall. The valve control will usually face to the front for easy access.

  • Best used for: Water lines from walls with perpendicular valve inlets and outlets
  • Construction: Chrome plated brass
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Teflon, anti-corrosive seats
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

2. Straight Shut Off Valve

Eastman 10755LF Quarter-Turn Straight Stop Valve, 1/2 inch FIP x 3/8 inch OD Comp, Chrome

Usually found where the water supply line comes up from the floor. The straight shutoff valve controls the flow of water, whether the water flow is on or off. The straight shutoff valve controls water flows with Teflon seats and leakproof construction. They shut off water flow when closed.

  • Best used for vertical water supply pipes from cabinets or floors
  • Construction: Chrome plated brass
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Teflon, anti-corrosive seats
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

3. Three-Way Stop Valve

Eastman 04353LF Multi-Turn Dual-Outlet Compression Inlet 3-Way Stop Valve with Removable Metal Handle, 5/8-Inch OD Compression Inlet (1/2-Inch Nom.) x 3/8-OD Compression Outlet x 3/8-Inch OD Compression Outlet, Chrome Plated

Three-way stop valves have two outlets and an inlet. This valve is often found around kitchen sinks where water lines are cold and hot. There may be an extra line for any dishwasher requirements. The three-way stop valve comes in various configurations. These include two outlets in opposite directions with either “L” or “Y” configurations.

  • Best used for: Kitchen sinks or other sink types with many plumbing requirements
  • Construction: Chrome plated brass
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Teflon, anti-corrosive seats
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

4. Compression Shutoff Valve

Brass Craft G2CR19X CD Chrome 1/4 Turn Angle Stop Valve, 5/8 x 3/8-In.

The compression shutoff valve is usually installed on rigid copper pipes. But they are also used on CPVC or PEX pipes. A compression shutoff valve uses a brass ring insert known as a ferrule. It uses a compression nut to squeeze the ferrule into the pipe, creating a watertight seal. These inexpensive valves are easy to install, only requiring wrenches or pliers. Also, it is possible to reuse the valves by removing the compression nut and ferrule. Although it may need a compression sleeve puller to remove the ferrule.

  • Best used for: Rigid copper pipes without soldering
  • Construction: Chrome plated brass
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Teflon, anti-corrosive seats
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

5. Iron Pipe Stop Valve

EZ-Fluid Fridge Icemaker Angle Stop 1/2-in FIP Female Iron Pipe Threaded x 1/4-in OD Comp 1/4-Turn Chrome Brass Angle Stop Valve Water Shut Off Ball Valve (1 Pack)

An air pipe stop valve has a threaded female inlet designed for iron-pipe-size threads. The iron pipe threads are 1/2 inch where iron pipe stop valves connect. with brass-threaded or galvanized pipes. This type of valve can also work with other types of pipes with a male iron pipe adapter. They connect to the pipe and then screw into the shutoff valve. These valves made in cast iron but or more durable chrome-plated brass and need pliers.

  • Best used for: Brass threaded or galvanized pipes
  • Construction: Chrome plated brass
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Teflon, anti-corrosive seats
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

6. Copper Sweat Stop Valve

Copper sweat valve installation uses sweated or soldered techniques for rigid copper pipes. This method does need a set of tools to “solder” or “sweat” the valve to the copper line. These tools include a torch, solder, emery cloth, and flux. This type of valve is more installed on a pipe and requires re-heating the copper pipe to remove the valve. We recommend using lead-free solder found at local hardware stores.

  • Best used for: Soldering to rigid copper pipes
  • Construction: Chrome plated brass or copper with a nickel finish
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Teflon, anti-corrosive seats
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

7. CPVC Shutoff Valve

Homewerks VBVCPVE3B Ball Valve, 1/2-Inch, Blue

The CPVC shutoff valve uses glue for CPVC pipes. A CPVC pipe is a durable plastic pipe often found in plumbing applications. The CPVC shutoff valve uses solvent glue to create a watertight connection to the CPVC pipe. The valve has a brass shutoff encapsulated into a plastic pipe glued to the CPVC water line. When glued into place on the water line, it is only removable by cutting the water line.

  • Best used for: Attaching to CPVC pipes
  • Construction: Plastic
  • Inlet connection type: Solvent
  • Quality: Plastic
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

8. PEX Shutoff Valve


Plex shutoff valves work with PEX tubing lines. They have a ribbed inlet to insert the valve into the tubing. The valve connects to the PEX tubing with pinch or ring-type clamps. Removal is by cutting off the ring, which may result in having to deal with a shortened PEX pipe. PEX tubing comes in Type A, B, or C, and Type B. The recommended PEX is Type B since it does not leach PBA or other toxins. Types A and C may leach toxins into the water line over time.

  • Best used for: Attaching to PEX plumbing tubes
  • Construction: Lead-free brass
  • Inlet connection type: Ring or pinch-type clamps
  • Quality: Plastic
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

9. Push-Fit Shutoff Valve

John Guest Speedfit PPSV501222WP John Guest 3/8" x 1/4" Push-Fit Shut-Off Valve Elbow, White

These valves are easy to install and used with PEX, copper, or CPVC pipes. The push-to-fit, or push-in, shutoff valves are chrome-plated or brass valves. Push-fit shutoff valves connect to the pipe and have metal teeth to create a watertight seal. If they need replacement, you can buy a unique removal tool for the valve if needed.

  • Best used for: Easy installation with PEX, CPVC, and copper plumbing pipes
  • Construction: Plastic or chrome-plated brass
  • Inlet connection type: Compression
  • Quality: Brass or plastic
  • Functionality: Water shutoff with 1/4 turn of valve handle

Frequently Asked Questions

These are often asked questions about sink shutoff valves.

What Are The Most Common Reasons for Shut Off Valve Failure?

  1. Stuck Valves

    Shutoff valves may become stuck from age, non-use (opening and closing), or sediment. This condition can cause water leakage with the valve being stuck open. First, spray a lubricant such as WD40, loosen the stem nut, and turn again by hand. If successful, retighten the stem nut to prevent any water leakage. If this does not work, it may be time to replace the valve.

  2. Leaky Faucett

    We have all heard the drip, drip of a leaking valve at some time. But, it can grow into a much larger problem if left unchecked. Leaks need tightening or replacing the packing nut, then trying to turn it off/on again. If water leaking persists, it may be time to contact a plumber. But make sure and shut the water feed off first.

  3. Partially Closed

    When you try to close the valve and only close part way, try the WD40 procedure in treating a stuck valve. Loosen the valve with an adjustable wrench then close and open it to get it working. Make sure to retighten and check for proper functioning.

How Long Should Water Shut-Off Valves Last?

A common question is how long water shutoff valves last. This is an important question to know the answer to when the bathroom floods or you are without water.

As a rule of thumb, most residential water shutoff valves last from 10-15 years. If you move into a house with old valves, it might be a good idea to budget for replacing them.

It is much less expensive than calling an emergency plumber. Replace the old shutoff valves to prevent future water line emergencies. Also, don’t forget to reset and use a new 10-15 year valve clock.

Where Is My Shutoff Valve Located?

Shutoff valve locations are under the fixture, such as a sink, or right beside it. These valves are often found and hidden within a cabinet feeding water to the fixture. Once locating the water line, look for the valve handle, knob, or lever to shut off the water flow.

Where Do I Find My Main Water Shutoff?

Around the house, the main shutoff valve is usually located on the outside towards the street. You can trace the water lines back to the main valve or the mechanical area if there is a basement in your home. If the home does not have a basement, an access panel can hide the shutoff valve.

Also, outside your home, there may be a primary shutoff valve. Located on the curbside of the street usually next to the water meter. Some main shutoff valves may need specialized tools to turn on or off.