We’ve all heard, or experienced, the nightmare that comes along with any type of water damage within the home. Whether it’s a flooded basement, a leak in the ceiling or roof, or faulty plumbing, even a small amount of water can do a great deal of harm. It’s a bit of a wonder, then, why something as important as a water shut-off valve isn’t always made of the highest quality materials.

In our experience, most homes are built with compression shut-off valves on the faucets and toilets. Worse yet, most valves even in newer homes are made of cheap plastic. This can be a huge problem when it comes to water leaks and damage. It’s not necessarily a question of IF these types of cheaper valves will fail, but more a questions of WHEN they will fail.

While they may do the job for a short timeframe, compression valves were not meant to last for a great deal of time. It seems most of these compression valves only function properly for about a decade—sometimes even much shorter. Like many mass-produced pieces and parts, speed and low cost is the number one priority for the manufacturer. If they can make a product that will last even a few years, they’re likely happy. Unfortunately, homes require technology that lasts much longer than this short time period—whether the house has the same owner or it is bought and sold many times.

A quarter-turn shut-off valves functions much more effectively than its cheaper comparison because it is essentially a ball valve, which is highly unlikely to fail. This makes for a much safer plumbing “environment” in the home and allows for peace of mind when shutting off the water for any reason, including making regular plumbing-related repairs or replacements.

If you have recently purchased a new home, it’s a great idea to check these valves to see if they are cheap plastic and/or compressions valves or higher quality brass quarter-turn angle-valves. If the former is true, we highly recommend upgrading each of these water shut-off valves to the higher quality and longer lasting versions. It’s a basic upgrade that can potentially protect you from water disaster.

Water damage is perhaps second only to fire damage in terms of the destruction it can bring to your home. Faulty shut-offs can be huge culprits of water damage. Don’t let it happen to you. Save a ton of time, money and hassle by finding a qualified plumber or contractor to make these valve upgrades in your home.

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