Shut-off valves

Do you report on the presence or absence of shut-off valves at fixtures, etc on the plumbing system?

I just report on the main water shut-off location. On second thought, I’ve never ran into a fixture (toilet/sink faucet) that didn’t have it’s own shut off. I probably would report on that as an FYI.

I do now, I did an inspection in june, noted that water heater was 10 + years old. No problem we will change to gas after we move in. Received a call after the closing, mild complaint that it cost them extra to have it replaced due to no shut off valves and they needed to be installed. I agree they should be able to isolate the tank to change it or service, I think it may even be code. So yes I do now.

Good point - “I’ve never ran into a fixture (toilet/sink faucet) that didn’t have it’s own shut off” - but what would you did if you did run into a plumbing system that did not have them (other than the main shut-off)?

I agree that it should be pointed out as an improvement for servicing and replacement of fixtures.


I would think that it would be of importance to the homeowner to know this information.

Actually, I think it should be in the Ontario Building Code requirements-Part 7

For the clients information only.

For single family dwellings, the national code (Section 6.1.3 POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS) requires shut-off valves at:

  1. water service pipe where it enters the building
  2. every water closet
  3. supply water line to hot water tanks (close to the tank)

Hi Brian,

It is a little bit more complicated then what you have stated my friend. I will not go into it, but do yourself a huge favour and read the OBC again before you offer code advice.

Snarky are’nt we Mr. Lee?

I report presence or absence of shutoffs under all sinks, at the toilets and at the water heater. It’s an easy check of basic plumbing, and a major pain when they are missing at reno time. I recently saw a townhouse with a leaky faucet, no sink shutoffs and no main shutoff except out at the street. :mad:

John Kogel

Re-read the post. The above was listed from the open NPC in front of me!!

Fill me in on the OPC!

What are the OPC and NPC? Your computer keys must have dyslexia; did you mean OBC and NBC?

You mentioned shut off valves at only a few locations Brian; The OBC has many requirements for shut off valves. My beef, it doesn’t have requirements for shut off valves at kitchen/washroom basins. What’s your beef?

Exactly shut off valves are not a requirement of the building code. So why report that which is not a deal blower? Its also not a requirement of the SOP.

Agreed, but it would be nice to have for the reasons stated above.

What are the other requirements, I don’t have the OBC. The NPC requires only the above mentioned shut-offs on the supply system.

The issue in this instance is not code compliance, but rather could home inspectors be possibly overlooking the obvious. In this scenario a client could easily claim that possibly a $1000 in plumbing repairs may be caused by the home inspector simply overlooking shut-off valves. How would you handle such a claim?

This is not my concern, but one brought forward from a dissatisfied consumer. Assuming the plumbing needs updating and the fixtures are going to be replaced. The $1000 does not include the plumbing fixtures.

Far too many to list Brian, here are just couple. Public washrooms

(1) The water supply to each fixture in a washroom for public use shall be individually valved and each valve shall be accessible.
Protection for exterior water supply

(1) Every pipe that passes through an exterior wall to supply water to the exterior of the building shall be provided with a frost-proof hydrant or a stop-and waste valve located inside the building and close to the wall.

and don’t forget about apartment buildings.

Somebody is ripping someone off to install shut off valves for a $1ooo! If its not in the code as a requirement then its not an issue and most likely the client will not prevail in court.

I agree

We established we are talking about single family dwellings!!! And in new housing today that I inspect, frost-proof hydrants are installed…the stop-and-waste valve is not required!! Any other requirements in the supply system for single family dwellings ??

We did?
I referenced homeowners would find this information usefull, but “WE” haven’t establised anything in terms of family dwellings as the topic.
The topic is Shut off Valves.

BTW Where do you do your inspections?