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What is a stopcock?

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tameside handyman services logo 2 Stopcock,What is a Stopcock

When it comes to our homes, there are many little features and appliances that we never really see in action. That can be quite confusing, at least at first. There will be lots of little tools and devices that you see active, but do not actually know what they do. This is especially true when it comes to your main household utilities like energy and water.

With that in mind, you might be wondering what a stopcock is. You might have heard about it but you might also have little to no idea what a stopcock actually is. Well, this article will break down what you need to know so that you can become stopcock certain in the future.

stopcock repair handyman tameside before Stopcock,What is a Stopcock stopcock repair handyman tameside after Stopcock,What is a Stopcock

If you have an old brass stopcock that has seized is dripping or just won't shut off the water when closed you need to get a new one.

What is a stopcock?

A stopcock is a control tap that is used in conjunction with your mains water.

Basically, if you need to turn your water off for any reason, you need to know where your stopcock is. This small device is very important as it allows you to shut off the water supply quickly. That might sound like a bad thing – why would you want to turn your water off?

The main reason can come down to structural issues. Let us say, for example, that you have suffered a burst or broken water pipe. This will mean water is spewing out somewhere, probably internally, and ruining part of your home. If you have a burst water pipe it usually becomes apparent by the dripping and/or dampness appearing on your walls/ceilings. When that happens, you would want to switch off your water so that it does not get worse, and the damage can be dealt with by a professional.

If you do not know where your stopcock is, I strongly recommend that you find out as soon as you possibly can. Knowing where the stopcock is located can be the difference between trying to contain a puddle or a flood. Without being able to reach and turn off your stopcock could lead to your home becoming severely damaged before a plumber can arrive to correct the issue.

Of course, like most household appliances, there are multiple types of stopcocks. What are the main types you’ll find?

What are the different types of stopcock?

Typically, you have different types of stopcock to look out for in your home:

Internal stopcocks. These are, as the name suggests, inside your property. This stops water from leaving the supply pipe and entering your home. It will shut all of the water off in your home, meaning that you can have things like water pipe damage dealt with and repaired.

External stopcocks. You also get an external edition; this external valve is used to control water coming from the mains that serves your home or sometimes more than one house and in some instances the entire street. If your supply pipe has been broken or ruptured, then shutting this off means you do not have water coming into the building during repairs.
Additionally if you have a faulty stopcock inside your home you would be well advised to locate the external property stopcock just in-case. This will also aid in replacing/repairing that faulty internal stopcock

Finding your stopcock

First off, you need to know what a stopcock actually is. most of the time, they are going to look like a tap, so look for something that has a tap-like head but does not have an outlet for water to come out. It should typically sit between two pieces of piping, and will normally be a distinct colour that makes sure it stands out from the pipes that it connects.

Since your stopcock acts as the connecting point, if it is switched off then water cannot flow through into your home. If you have to find a stopcock, then the first place that you should look for is in your property.

External water mains stopcocks are almost certainly going to be on the street. This is typically outside of the property boundary, so just have a look around the street. Sometimes, it might be in your front/back garden area, so you will need to scout around the property a little to find your stopcock.

Most of the time, you will find that a stopcock is locating in places like:

Every home is different, so you should do some looking around to find out where your stopcock is actually based. Most of the time, it should be easy enough to find. If you cannot locate your own stopcock, you should perhaps think about asking a neighbour or someone who lives in the kind of property as you. They are almost certainly going to be in the places that we have listed above, though, outside of very unique property designs.

Turning off your stopcock

If for any reason you need to turn off your stopcock, then you just need to carry out the following steps:

Every home is different, so you should do some looking around to find out where your stopcock is actually based. Most of the time, it should be easy enough to find. If you cannot locate your own stopcock, you should perhaps think about asking a neighbour or someone who lives in the kind of property as you. They are almost certainly going to be in the places that we have listed above, though, outside of very unique property designs.

What about an internal stopcock?

To turn off an internal stopcock, you just need to:

The bottom line is that knowing where your stopcock is located can be very important. Make sure you take the time to look into this, and you are much more likely to avoid problems with your water in the future. Get your stopcock lubricated and turning properly, and you can quickly avoid disaster should any water problems come into your home. Best of luck!

Stopcock Replacement Service

If you find you have a faulty stopcock it may be possible for me to replace it.

In some cases I will ‘replace’ but where necessary I may have to abandon the replacement and fit a new one.

This may be one of several types of tap/valve depending upon either your requirement, accessibility or necessity.

If you can provide me with a photo of your existing stopcock I may be able to advise better. However, it may be that I have to come and assess your requirements and pipework first.

Examples of the types of stopcock/isolator I will fit are shown here –

surestop stopcock

Surestop Stopcock

A simple lockdown switch allows the entire water supply to be turned off when required.
easy fit isolator

EasyFit Isolator

Emergency stopcock that can be fitted to a LIVE hot or cold feed.

When you need to switch off the water but can’t use an Aladdin EasyFit Isolator to isolate the water. They are quick and easy to fit to live HOT or COLD pipes and are WRAS approved.

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Kitchen Tap 11 – Specification
AeratorReplaceable Aerator
BrandEssentials
ColourChrome
Connection TypeCompression
Control TypeDouble Lever Control
Gravity Fed SystemsSuitable for Gravity-Fed Systems
Height To Spout216 mm
Hose Bore Size6 mm
Hose Diameter10 mm
Hose Length360 mm
Hose SuppliedSupplied with Flexible Tap Connector
Manufacturer Guarantee10 Year Manufacturer’s Guarantee (T&Cs Apply)
Maximum Bar Pressure5 bar
Minimum Bar Pressure0.1 bar
Model No33A
Mount TypeDeck-Mounted
Pack Size1
Parent ColourChrome
Pieces in Pack/Case1
Pressure SuitabilitySuitable for High & Low Pressure Systems
Product Depth229 mm
Product Height327 mm
Product TypeDual-Lever Mono Mixer Kitchen Tap
Product Width140 mm
Spout Reach193 mm
Spout TypeSwivel Spout
Tap Handle Type (Kitchens)Dual Lever
Tap StyleMono Mixer
Valve Type1/4 Turn