Know where your stopcock is.
Not necessarily the first thing people sit and think about, but from a plumbing point of view, it’s vital.
Why? Well, if you get a burst pipe, need to change a tap or tap washer, or need to do any other water based plumbing work in your home then the water will need to be turned off at the mains, and the stopcock is the valve that stops the mains water from entering your property. You may also need to turn it off if you are planning a long trip away from your home in winter to prevent the pipes from freezing up when they are not in use.
The stopcock in most properties is found in the kitchen under the sink; however this is not the case for all homes. Sometimes it can be in a porch, garage, utility room, or front or back porch. So if you don’t know where your stopcock is, how can you locate it?
The best thing to do if you really can’t find the location of your stopcock is to contact your local Stopcocks Plumber and ask her to assist you. If there is no Stopcocks Plumber near you make sure that you check what the plumber will charge you for this beforehand, some plumbers have standard call out charges. They should be able to assist you in finding where your stopcock is.
You should also check your stopcock every so often to ensure that it works properly. To do this, you can simply turn the tap on in your kitchen or downstairs toilet and then go to the stopcock and turn it in a clockwise direction. Go back to the tap and see if it stops running. If it does, then the stopcock works perfectly. Remember to turn it back on afterwards though!
If it isn’t working, this is a serious issue and you will need to call a plumber in to ascertain the problem and get it fixed. The stopcock is important as it is the only way that the water can be turned off in an emergency.
You may need to get a replacement stopcock, and if this is the case you should not attempt it yourself. Always call in for professional help as the stopcock needs to be working perfectly in case of emergency.
If you are plumbing in any new appliances or working on any pipes or taps in your home, you need always ensure that you turn the water off at the mains. This will reduce the risk of any damage to your home and any injury to you from spraying water. Make sure that you regularly check your stopcock too, as with any taps sometimes they may develop a leak and need replacing.
Stopcocks come in two versions – three way and four way. The difference is that a three way stopcock only has three positions that it can be turned to, whereas a four way stopcock can be turned 360 degrees. Four way stopcocks can allow you to turn off water to various points while leaving it flowing in others. They are more flexible and are better for larger homes.
You can switch to a four way stopcock if you want more control over the water supply in your home. Just speak to your Stopcocks Plumber about having a new one put in to your home and she will be happy to fit one for you.