All you need to know about service valves for plumbing and heating

Service Valve (Chrome Plated)

Every installer knows the importance of regularly maintaining plumbing and heating systems. Not only does this improve the reliability of systems for users, but it can also improve efficiency and reduce the likelihood of problems – such as leaks – occurring.

To aid installers in seamlessly carrying out regular maintenance work, service valves play a vital role. In practice, these components facilitate the isolation of fixtures and appliances, allowing maintenance work – including responding to emergency callouts – to be conducted quickly, safely and without unnecessary disruption.

In this blog, we’ll cover the components that are key to supporting system maintenance and explore how they can be easily built in to streamline future works.

Service valves: what, why, where

Enabling the swift isolation of water to a fixture or appliance, service – or isolation – valves are essential components in creating a plumbing system that removes the complexity from maintenance tasks.

By isolating the flow of water in a particular part of the system, essential maintenance works can be performed without the need to interrupt the flow elsewhere in the system. This minimises both the impact and disruption of the work on the building's occupants. For example, if a leak occurs, or an appliance needs replacing, the specific part of the system requiring attention can be isolated quickly and easily.

Isolation valves should be installed at strategic points within a system – ideally as close to the appliance or fixture as possible. To suit every application, JG Speedfit has a wide range of plastic, chrome-plated and brass service valves with either tamperproof ¼ turn isolation screwdriver slots or easy-to-operate integrated handles to enable fast and simple isolation of a fixture or appliance. Straight or elbow configurations are also available to suit individual project requirements.

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Future-proofing systems for quick and easy maintenance

While service valves are a welcome addition to any plumbing and heating system when maintenance is required, many systems will not have them installed. This includes much of the plumbing that is present in older properties and, as a result, can slow down maintenance tasks when they are required to be carried out.

To prepare systems for future maintenance, installers can seize the opportunity to install service valves where appropriate. The ideal time to do this is when carrying out jobs that have required the system to be shut off entirely. While the benefit of this won’t be felt initially, adopting this proactive approach will make all future maintenance work on the system easier and quicker.

Installing service valves for optimum performance

Removing the complexity from the installation process, JG Speedfit Service Valves feature push-fit technology, allowing the valves to be easily installed – without the need for additional tools.

When installing service valves, there are some key considerations for installers to keep in mind – and they all revolve around simplifying maintenance down the line. Access, for instance, needs to be a priority. As well as ensuring the placement of valves at strategic points across a system, they also need to be easy for installers to access so that appliances can be isolated quickly. When responding to emergency callouts, this can save installers valuable time and ultimately minimise any potential water damage.

Supporting access, particularly in those hard-to-reach places where you need to connect a tap, the Flexi Hose with Service Valve from JG Speedfit is a good option for installers. Featuring familiar push-fit technology, flexi hoses are easy to install and designed to be hand-tightened – negating the need for tools in tight spaces. Plus, with the addition of a service valve, the component serves a dual purpose to support the smooth running of a system. Available as traditional metal braided flexi hoses, or PVC flexi hoses that are easy to clean and reduce kinking, they’re an essential component for every plumber.

Combination service valves can also be used to enhance safety for users. JG Speedfit’s Double Check Service Valve, for example, is ideal for use in fluid category 3 environments – such as domestic environments – preventing the backflow and contamination of water systems.

By keeping an eye on future service and maintenance – even when tackling the smallest of jobs – installers can simplify future callouts, strengthen system safety and performance, and reduce the risk of water damage for customers.

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Richard Bateman

Product Marketing Manager Plumbing and Heating

About the author

A highly experienced and passionate professional, I have over 15 years' experience as a commercial and domestic plumber and hold NVQ Level 3 qualifications from City and Guilds

Since joining RWC in 2015, I began as a technical engineer, utilising my extensive knowledge to provide exceptional support. Currently, I am thrilled to be working with the marketing department as a Product Marketing Manager. 

This role allows me to combine my technical background with a keen eye for market trends, ensuring that RWC's products meet the evolving needs of the industry. With my wealth of experience and commitment to excellence, I am proud to serve as a spokesperson for RWC, sharing our innovative solutions and contributing to the growth of the plumbing and heating sector.