Imagine walking into a flooded living room due to a pipe burst while you were away. Such scenarios are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. To prevent such disasters, you need to be familiar with your home’s plumbing system. And at the heart of that system is the main water shut-off valve.
The main water shut-off valve sits where the utility line water enters your home. It allows you to shut off the water should a pipe burst, preventing further damage. But what if you get there and the valve won’t budge or fails to turn off? This could happen, especially if the shut-off valves have deteriorated.
Corrosion and buildup can further damage the valve. Sometimes the valve is frozen in place because it has never been used. If the valve is leaking, do not ignore it. A leak of just one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water annually. A leaky main water valve will also affect the water pressure in the house.
But before you call a plumber in Katy, TX, you should understand what a main water shut-off valve replacement entails and the factors that affect its cost.
Main water shut-off valves can be made of brass, bronze, or stainless steel. Brass valves are the most common, usually cheaper, but quite durable. Bronze valves are better in places where the water has a high amount of chlorine.
Stainless steel valves last much longer and can better withstand high temperatures. A professional will help you choose the one that is best suited for the water and plumbing system in your home.
The location of the main water shut-off valve might well be the most significant factor here. Depending on where the valve is located, it will take the plumber more or less time to replace it. Local building codes and the age of the home often determine where a valve will be located.
A main water valve in the basement is usually close to the water heater and is easily accessible. This could be the cheapest and fastest valve replacement if no other factors are involved.
Other times the shut-off valve is under the crawl space, where it is often easy to reach.
Most expensive and labor-intensive replacements involve main water valves buried in the ground. In warmer climates where freezing is not an issue, the main water valve might be in a box or vault just a little below the ground. Sometimes a plumber might not even have to dig.
The valve might be several feet below the ground, where freezing temperatures are a problem. Trenching can be pretty expensive, especially if the repair is done during winter when soil and weather conditions are unfavorable.
There are several types of main water valves you can choose from. The most common ones are gate and ball valves.
These allow you to either entirely turn on the water or completely shut it off and cannot manage the water flow. On the other hand, globe valves let you control the amount of water flowing through it.
Condition of the Plumbing System
The pipes leading to and from the valve might be damaged, too, if the main water shut-off valve fails due to corrosion or freezing. A plumber will have to inspect the whole system to determine the extent of the damage.
Sometimes the professional will have to replace parts of the piping. This will significantly increase the cost, especially if the whole main water line is affected.
The plumber will also take into consideration how the valve is attached. If it is threaded, the job is pretty straightforward. Soldering a new valve into place will take more time, and additional costs may apply.
You must obtain a permit to replace the main water shut-off valve in some localities. This is often the case where the valve sits next to the water meter. A plumber can walk you through the process and give you an estimate of how much the permit will cost.
The permit will often require you to perform certain upgrades or install additional fixtures to comply with current building codes. It will also include an inspection to ensure the job is done appropriately. Your plumber in Katy, TX will be familiar with the additional requirements and have the skills and tools to repair according to the specifications.
Your insurance policy might cover your main water line. So, check with your insurer, as this could greatly offset the cost of repairs and replacement.
To Wrap It Up
To benefit from one of the world’s safest and most reliable water supplies, you should regularly check your plumbing system. You should always check the main water shut-off valve from time to time to prevent it from getting stuck. Also, hire a local plumber to regularly inspect the system, check for leaks and ensure everything is fine.
Contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston for More Plumbing Tips
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston, we take great pride in our customer-centered service. We strive to ensure that each of our clients is happy and satisfied with our services. Our trained and licensed plumbers know that a friendly smile and respectful manner are essential to a great customer experience.
We offer residential and commercial plumbing services, including plumbing repairs, gas leak detection, water and sewer line inspections, drain cleaning, plumbing fixture installations, and leak detection and repair. Our emergency department will come to your aid any time, every day of the year.
No matter your emergency, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of West Houston won’t rest until your problem is solved. Give us a call today to start benefiting from our reliable, punctual, and friendly plumbing service in Katy, TX.