The Isolation Valve

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The idea behind the isolation valve is really quite simple. If a tap is dripping it is easier to isolate the tap on its own rather than a whole system. This type of valve contains a ball bearing, but it has a hole drilled through it. When the ball is rotated in line with the pipe it will allow a flow through the hole and when rotated again at right angles to the pipe it will block the flow. This is low maintenance with few parts. To make this operate you can use a screwdriver. A groove is fitted in the pipe which can be turned either on (in line with the pipe) or off (at 90 degrees to the pipe). Hither Green Plumbers fit isolating valves.

This type of valve can also be operated by a lever, in which case it is called a ‘lever’ valve. The lever makes it much easier to operate. These valves are functional but not pretty on the eye so are nearly always put away in cupboards or in the loft. The lever valve is known as a ‘full bore’ lever valve as it has a hole drilled in the internal ball bearing that is the same diameter as the pipework. They are fitted in showers where you want a strong and uninhibited flow of water. These isolation valves come in compression and also push-fit forms, the latter often being made completely of plastic. A Hither Green Plumber is experienced with valves. When plastic is used the groove for the screwdriver can often be replaced with a stubby handle. You sometimes may come across an isolation valve of the push-fit type with a groove made from plastic but since the groove is prone to wearing due to the constant use of the screwdriver for adjustment it is probably a good idea to avoid this type.

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