There’s nothing more horrifying than having your family over for the holidays and your bathroom backs up, your sink clogs or there’s a busted pipe somewhere. With today’s Tips of the Toolbox, we have Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical GM Jay Kline here to help us avoid plumbing problems and potential disasters.
It could be something as simple as a little fixture called an angle stop. It can cause a lot of damage or prevent damage.
What can happen to an angle stop?
The angle stop is a shut-off. There is one under all of the sinks in your house and under the toilet. The biggest thing is, if you ever have problems with your hoses, such as if they burst or leak, you can use the angle stop to shut those off. The angle stop shuts off the water supply going to the sinks, the toilet, etc.
If you don’t know where the angle stops are at, you WILL have a disaster on your hands! But what if it’s not working?
That’s a very big thing. Most people don’t know that these angle stops have to be “exercised” at least once a year. All you do is turn it back and forth a few times. I suggest to people at home to go under their sinks and under their toilets to turn the angle stops off and on a few times. Some are going to turn a bit more than others. The most important thing is to make sure they’re working. A lot of them will get corroded and stuck. If they do get stuck, don’t force it. Call us so we can take care of it. Some angle stops will leak after the fact. It shows that the angle stop was going bad. If it starts dripping, give us a call and we’ll change it out.
How long do angle stops generally last?
They only last about 8 years or so. It’s not very long but the biggest issue is that people don’t exercise them. Do it at least once a year. That can extend the life of your angle stops up to 15 years or so. They hang open most of the time and then corrosion gets inside and you can’t work them when you need to. They can also get a bit brittle and then snap. If a hose goes and you accumulate water, it’s amazing how quickly that happens. Normally you can shut them off but if the angle stop isn’t working, you have to go outside and find the main switch while water is pouring into your home.
You should also know where the main water switch is just in case that happens! So are there normally two under the sink?
Under the sinks, you’re going to have two angle stops, one for hot and one for cold. You’ll only have one under the toilet since there’s only cold water going into your toilet.
That’s a lot of angle stops to exercise!
Yes, it can really prevent big issues. I was sitting at a family member’s house and a hose busted, and we knew to shut it off, but hoses can put down quite a bit of water in a few minutes. It’s like a garden hose under your sink.
And if you’re not lucky enough to have Jay at your house when it happens, you better know what you’re doing! Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical is offering Sonoran Living Live viewers a $49 plumbing inspection (normally $99)! They’ll come in an exercise all of those angle stops.