It’s possible you’ve never even heard of an angle stop before, but angle stops are a highly underrated piece of equipment in your home that can save you thousands of dollars in water damage repair costs, time and convenience.
Even though the cost of installing or replacing angle stops is relatively minimal, because people don’t realize the value of angle stops, people fail to realize that their equipment has expired. This in turn runs the risk of having to deal with burst pipes and pools of water inside one’s home. In case you aren’t sure exactly what an angle stop is, here’s a general description of the functionality of an angle stop, where you can locate it and why you should care about how often you’re replacing your angle stop.
An angle stop, also sometimes known as a shut-off valve, is a valve that allows you or a plumber to replace a faucet, toilet, or other appliances without shutting off water to the entire home. The angle stop, with the twist of a knob, effectively blocks off the water flow from the water line. When you need to shut a specific water source off, a quarter turn to a full turn of the angle stop’s knob will stop all water flow to that area.
There are other sorts of shut off valves as well — straight stops, for example. However, the difference between a straight stop and angle stop is that Straight stop valves are utilized for lines coming up from the floor, whereas Angle stop valves are found or used when the water line is coming from the wall. As such, your home’s plumbing design and current plumbing needs will determine which is more efficient for your home.
Angle stops are typically made of a metal or plastic and are relatively small in size; their most common sizes are typically around ¼ inch, ⅜ inch or around a half-inch. Angle stops are usually located underneath the appliances in your home. The sizes and types of angle stops vary depending on what you’re specifically looking for While homes are required to have main shutoff valves, on occasion, some homes don’t have angle stops in place — so if you’re unsure, feel free to call NexLvl Services to help you verify.
As mentioned before, an angle stop allows you to shut off the water supply for just one appliance rather than the entire building. As such, if you have a leak that you can’t take care of immediately, an angle stop allows you to use your home without worrying about water damage while you wait for professional plumbers to fix the problem. Without an angle stop in place, you may be facing thousands of dollars in water damage, or hours of having the home’s water shut off just to fix something as simple as a leaky faucet.
Angle stops are also incredibly valuable when handling home renovations. Whether you’re wanting to install a new toilet or are hoping to replace your old sink, angle stops allow you to complete your renovations at a reasonable pace without having to worry about shutting off water to the whole home.
An angle stop isn’t just saving you money or the convenience of being able to use your house while you wait for your appliance to be fixed. Angle stops also help to conserve precious water. According to Service Masters, “One toilet supply line will flow at 2-3 gallons per minute, resulting in 3-4,000 gallons spilling out in a 24-hour period.” With Arizona currently facing drought conditions, every effort to conserve water is a step in the right direction.
As mentioned before, not having an angle stop in one’s home can lead to major financial losses, serious house damage and water overuse. The same issues can happen if you don’t change out your angle stop, or if you don’t make the appropriate repairs necessary to keep your angle stop in working order. Though angle stops can last a long time, if not routinely checked you run the risk of the angle stop breaking or leaking, which can result in major water damage. According to Fixr, “The average cost of restoring water damage ranges from $2,000 – $5,000, with the average homeowner spending around $3,000 on gray water extraction due to flooded bathroom, including drying and repairs to drywall and ceiling.” For such an easy repair, it’s a risky gamble to leave faulty angle stops in place that may or may not hold back a burst water pipe.
An angle stop should be replaced either every eight to ten years if unused, and immediately replaced after usage. Fortunately, the price to replace an angle stop is relatively cheap, and many plumbing companies offer discounts if you replace (or install for the first time) all of the angle stops in your home.
Even when you aren’t using your angle stop, it’s important to “exercise” your angle stops around once a month. Doing this prevents the angle stop from freezing in place and ensuring they last their full life span. Simply turning the knob on and off a few times should do the trick, but if you happen to find that your knob isn’t budging, don’t try to force it to turn — doing so could cause the valve to break. Instead, contact a professional and have them aid you if needed.
Angle stops are a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment that can save you thousands of dollars in water maintenance costs and convenience costs; rather than having to put your life on hold for one leaky faucet, an angle stop prevents you from having to deal with water overflow until an experienced plumber comes out to fix it. However, while angle stops are relatively resilient, it’s important to check on them on occasion, especially if they have already been used. By being proactive, you can help ensure your home is protected from water damage for years to come.
If you aren’t sure when the last time your angle stops were replaced, NexLvl Services offers realistic prices for angle stops and are free to call and consult. We are committed to helping you understand your plumbing needs and helping you make the best decisions for your home — and as such, if you ever have any questions, or are interested in hearing a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us!