When a Tap Does Not Turn Off: Getting to Know the Isolation Valve
When a plumbing problem becomes evident, you’re going to want to have it repaired as soon as possible. If you notice the problem during regular business hours, then this is fine. You can call a plumber and they will be able to deal with it relatively quickly. But what if you happen to notice a plumbing problem late at night or on a Sunday or public holiday? You would still want to have the situation remedied as soon as possible, but calling an after-hours emergency plumber can be an unnecessary expense.
A fairly common problem is when a tap will not turn off. In some instances it can be an emergency, but you can temporarily remedy the situation yourself and then call a plumber, such as those at A and C Plumbing, for a permanent solution. This can usually be dealt with on the next business day, saving yourself rather a lot of money.
Taking Action Now
A tap that does not turn off can quickly become an emergency if the sink in question has drainage issues and there’s a very real threat of the sink overflowing. A plumber will be able to permanently fix the problem, and yet you need to take action now. You might not realise that each tap has an isolation valve, and you can cut the water supply to the tap by simply turning this valve.
The Isolation Valve
Check under the sink; in many cases the isolation valve can be turned like a tap (and it looks just like one). With smaller sinks, you might need to turn the isolation valve using a flat-head screwdriver (as there was not enough space to install a tap sized isolation valve). The tap will then be out of action until repaired, but this is a mild inconvenience when compared to the cost of an after-hours emergency plumber.
When the Isolation Valve Does Not Work
In older homes, it’s possible that the isolation valve has not been touched for years, and so it might not be possible to activate it. Don’t be tempted to try and force it using a pair of pliers, as this can damage the fixture and even rip it clear off the wall. If you cannot easily activate the isolation valve, then it’s necessary to call an after-hours plumber. There is the possibility that the continuous flow of water can overwhelm the sink, and a huge amount of water will be wasted if left for too long. If the plumber is not able to reach you within a short time, you might want to turn off your main water supply to prevent water damage.
It’s a good idea to find each tap’s isolation valve before you need to use it. If the tap should ever not turn off, you’ll know where to look and what to do. A plumber can then fix the tap at a more convenient (and less expensive) time.