Every homeowner is familiar with outdoor faucets. But most of them are not familiar with the shut-off valve for outdoor faucets.
And it may very well happen that your outdoor faucet does not have one.
Whether it’s spring or winter, it is very important that you check your outdoor faucet for leakage or wastage of water.
So, what should you do if you have no shut-off valve for outside faucet?
Keep on reading to know the basics of a shut-off valve, where to find one, and the available options for an installation.
What Is A Outside Water Shut Off Valve?
Shut-off valves control the water flow of the pipes inside your home. There are different kinds of shut-off valves that are used in different pipelines.
It isn’t necessary that all types of shut-off valves will be used in your home.
The main shut-off valve controls the water supply to the whole house. Some installations may have individual shut-off valves.
This helps to prevent any water overflow or flooding during repairs or if a plumbing issue occurs.
How Do I Find The Shut-Off Valve For Outdoor Faucet?
Before we get to the discussion on what to do when there is no shut-off valve for the outside faucet, let’s talk about how to find the shut-off valve.
It’s essential every homeowner knows about this.
Shutoff valves can be installed inside the house or outside the property line. Different home constructions have different locations for the shut-off valve.
But we will help you identify them.
- For basements, the shut-off valve is usually placed near the front foundation’s wall. The valve is supposed to be within five feet of the main water line.
- If your basement has a crawl space, the shut-off valve may be inside that crawl space.
- In case you have a slab on grade construction, the shut-off valve would be under the kitchen sink.
- If you haven’t found the shut-off valve in these locations, then check out the water meter outside. There should be a metal cover written “water meter” for your outside water valve shut off.
How To Deal with Outdoor Faucets With No Shut-off Valve in Winter?
Before the temperature drops, there are a few things you should do to prevent the faucet from freezing and damaging it permanently.
- Disconnect the Hoses
Since your outdoor faucet does not have a shut-off valve, the first thing you should do is disconnect the hoses and drain them.
Open the faucet and check if there is any water remaining. If there is, drain the pipe.
This will prevent any water from being shut inside to freeze and damage the pipes. In addition to this, you should keep the faucet open during the winter.
- Find out If Your Faucet is Frost-free
Faucets with perpendicular knobs are usually frost-free. To be sure of this, check your faucet.
Check if there is a metal stem inside the spout. If your faucet has it, then it is frost-free.
- Install frost-free Sillcocks
Frost-free sillcocks with 6- to 12-inch-long stems prevent freezing of the faucets during winter. It will drain out water if you turn off the faucet.
So, installing frost-free sillcocks with a downward pitch will prevent any damage to the faucet during winter.
- Winterize Your Faucet
It is very important you winterize your outdoor faucet to prevent damages during winter. The process of winterizing your faucet is very simple.
Follow these steps for this process:
- Remove all hoses and splitters from your outdoor faucet before winter sets in.
- Double check the faucet for any leaks or dripping. Repair it if there is any before winter arrives.
- Try to drain the pipes by keeping the spigot open for a few hours. This is a very crucial step for outdoor faucets with no shut off valve.
- Lastly, place faucet covers over the outdoor faucet to prevent it from freezing. This is important for frost free faucets as well. Try to buy covers with a thick padded fabric to properly insulate the faucet.
Types of Shut Off Valve: Pick For Your Outside Faucet!
If your outside faucet comes with no shut-off valve, then it is important you install an indoor shut-off valve that controls supply to the faucet outside.
Based on your plumbing situation, there are a few shut-off valves you can check.
- Gate Valve
This valve contains a circle handle on the body, which is rotated to raise or lower the gate inside the body. The gate completely blocks the water.
- Ball Valve
This is a large metal valve with a quick turn-off option for the attached lever handle. The valve contains an internal ball with a hole.
The hole stays aligned with the water pipe’s direction when the valve is opened. This allows water to flow.
When the handle is rotated, the ball rotates at a 90-degree angle to block the hole.
- Compression Stop Valve
This type of valve has a coupling nut screwed inside the body. The coupling nut consists of a compression sleeve.
So, when you tighten the coupling nut, the compression sleeve presses against the pipe to seal the water flow.
This valve is usually used in copper water pipes.
- Globe Valve
This valve looks similar to the ball valve but functions differently. The valve has a water-flowing port inside a baffle.
The handle attached to the valve can be used to seal the valve partially.
So, this type of valve can be used to control the water flow.
- Angled Fixture Valve
These valves come in different variations as they are used in lines that require shutting off without obstructing flow to other areas.
The angled fixture valve may contain a compression stem or small ball which shuts down the valve when the handle is rotated.
- Straight Stop Valve
If the water supply is coming from underneath the floor, straight stop valves are used.
The handle of this shut-off valve is situated in the middle of the valve’s body.
This type of valve prevents the water from flowing back to its source.
- Three Way Stop Valve
This sophisticated valve has multiple outlets. Thus, allowing it to be connected with multiple pipes.
You can control the flow of water in a specific pipe. It can completely seal off one pipe allowing the water to flow with full force in another pipe.
This valve comes in three different structures.
- Two outlet ports in opposite directions
- Outlets with L configuration
- Outlets with Y configurations
- Copper Sweat Stop Valve
This valve is well known for its durability. This type of valve is soldered to fit the copper pipe.
So, once you install it, it will be hard to remove it.
- Iron Pipe Shut Valve
For iron pipes, this is your best option. It is very easy to install one of these as you just have to screw it onto the iron pipe.
On top of that, you can install it on other pipes with the help of an adapter.
Now that you know what you should do if there is no shut-off valve for outside faucet, you can prevent water wastage and damages to your faucet.
So, even if you have taken all measures to keep your faucet damage-free, always check for leaks.
If you think your faucet requires repairing, do not hesitate to call in a professional.