Do you know what a stopcock is and how to use it? If not, you are not alone. Many homeowners are unaware of this important device that can help them control the water supply in their homes and prevent water damage in case of a leak or burst pipe.
A stopcock is a valve that can be turned on or off to regulate the flow of water from the mains to your home. It is usually located under the kitchen sink, in a cupboard, or near the water meter. By turning the stopcock off, you can stop the water supply to your entire home, which can be useful if you need to do some plumbing work or if there is an emergency.
We will explain what a stopcock is, how to find it, how to use it, and how to install one if you don’t have one already. We will also introduce you to emergency plumbers in london, a professional stopcock installation company in London, UK, that can help you with any stopcock-related issues.
What is a stopcock and what does it do?
A stopcock is a type of valve that can be opened or closed to control the flow of water from the mains to your home. It is also known as a water shut-off valve, a main valve, or an isolation valve.
A stopcock has two parts: a female joint and a male joint. The female joint is attached to the water pipe that comes from the mains, and the male joint is attached to the water pipe that goes to your home. The male joint has a T-bar handle that can be turned clockwise or anticlockwise to open or close the valve.
The stopcock has holes bored through it which allow the tubes attached to the female joint to be connected or separated with partial turns of the stopcock. Most stopcocks are solid pieces with linear bores although some are hollow with holes to simple holes that can line up the joints tubing.
The purpose of a stopcock is to allow you to turn off the water supply to your home when you need to. This can be useful for several reasons, such as:
- – Doing some plumbing work, such as replacing a tap, fixing a leak, or installing a new appliance.
- – Preventing water damage in case of a burst pipe, a frozen pipe, or a leak.
- – Saving water and money by reducing water consumption when you are away from home for a long time.
- – Testing your water pressure or checking for leaks.
By turning off the stopcock, you can isolate your home from the mains water supply and avoid wasting water or causing further damage.
How to find your stopcock?
Finding your stopcock can be tricky, especially if you have never used it before or if it is hidden behind furniture or appliances. However, it is important to know where it is and how to access it in case of an emergency.
The most common location for a stopcock is under the kitchen sink, where it is usually attached to the cold water pipe that comes from the mains. However, it can also be located in other places, such as:
- – In a cupboard under the stairs
- – In a utility room or garage
- – In a basement or cellar
- – Near the water meter
- – Outside your home
To find your stopcock, you can follow these steps:
- – Start by looking under the kitchen sink and check if there is a valve with a T-bar handle on the cold water pipe.
- – If you don’t see it there, look for other possible locations in your home where there might be a water pipe coming from the mains.
- – If you still can’t find it, ask your neighbours if they know where their stopcock is and see if yours is in a similar place.
- – If all else fails, contact your water supplier and ask them for help.
Once you find your stopcock, make sure it is easy to access and not blocked by furniture or appliances. You may also want to label it or mark it with a bright colour so you can spot it quickly in an emergency.
How to use your stopcock?
Using your stopcock is simple once you know where it is and how it works. To turn off the water supply to your home, you just need to turn the T-bar handle clockwise until it stops. This will close the valve and stop the water flow.
To turn on the water supply again, you just need to turn the T-bar handle anticlockwise until it stops. This will open the valve and restore the water flow.
If the T-bar handle is across the pipe, this should mean the mains are shut. If it’s in line with the pipe, the mains should be open.
You should test your stopcock regularly to make sure it is working properly and not seized or stuck. To do this, you can turn off the stopcock and then turn on a tap in your home to see if the water stops running. If it does, your stopcock is working fine. If it doesn’t, your stopcock may need some maintenance or replacement.
How to install a stopcock?
If you don’t have a stopcock in your home or if your existing one is faulty or damaged, you may want to install a new one. This can be a DIY project if you have some basic plumbing skills and tools, or you can hire a professional plumber to do it for you.
To install a stopcock yourself, you will need:
- – A new stopcock of the right size and type for your water pipe
- – A pipe cutter or hacksaw
- – A tape measure and a marker
- – A wrench or spanner
- – Some PTFE tape or jointing compound
- – Some push-fit connections or compression fittings
To install a stopcock yourself, you can follow these steps:
- Turn off the water supply at the mains and drain the water from your pipes by opening the taps in your home.
- Locate the cold water pipe that comes from the mains and measure 34mm on the pipework for the 15mm push-fit version.
- Mark the pipe where you want to cut it and use a pipe cutter or a hacksaw to cut it.
- Clean the ends of the pipe and apply some PTFE tape or jointing compound to them.
- Insert the push-fit connections or compression fittings onto the ends of the pipe and tighten them with a wrench or spanner.
- Insert the stopcock into the fittings and make sure it is aligned with the pipe.
- Turn on the water supply at the mains and check for any leaks.
- Test the stopcock by turning it on and off and checking if the water flow stops and starts.
Alternatively, you can install a remote stopcock, which is a type of stopcock that can be controlled by a switch instead of a handle. This can be more convenient and easier to use, especially if your stopcock is in a hard-to-reach place.
To install a remote stopcock, you will need:
- – A remote stopcock kit, which includes a valve, a switch, and a cable
- – A drill and some screws
- – A cable tie
- – Some push-fit connections or compression fittings
To install a remote stopcock, you can follow these steps:
- – Turn off the water supply at the mains and drain the water from your pipes by opening the taps in your home.
- – Locate the cold water pipe that comes from the mains and measure 34mm on the pipework for the 15mm push-fit version.
- – Mark the pipe where you want to cut it and use a pipe cutter or a hacksaw to cut it.
- – Clean the ends of the pipe and insert the push-fit connections or compression fittings onto them.
- – Insert the valve into the fittings and make sure it is aligned with the pipe.
- – Choose a suitable location for the switch, such as near the sink or on a wall, and drill some holes to fix it with screws.
- – Connect the cable from the valve to the switch and secure it with a cable tie.
- – Turn on the water supply at the mains and check for any leaks.
- – Test the remote stopcock by turning it on and off with the switch and checking if the water flow stops and starts.
Why choose us for your stopcock installation?
If you are looking for a professional, reliable, and affordable stopcock installation company in London, UK, look no further than us. We are a team of qualified and experienced plumbers who can help you with any stopcock-related issues, such as:
- – Installing a new stopcock or replacing an old one
- – Repairing or maintaining your existing stopcock
- – Finding your stopcock or accessing it
- – Turning off your stopcock in an emergency
- – Advising you on how to use your stopcock
We offer fast and friendly service, 24/7 availability, competitive prices, free quotes, and guaranteed satisfaction. We serve all areas of London and we can handle any type of plumbing job, big or small.
Whether you need a standard stopcock, a remote stopcock, or any other plumbing service, we are here to help. Contact us today and let us take care of your stopcock installation needs.