What Is an Angle Stop Used for? Types, Differences & Applications

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An angle stop is a plumbing valve that turns on and off hot or cold water to a particular fixture without disrupting the complete water system in your home or business space. It is located under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, your washing machine, the toilet, the refrigerator icemaker, the dishwasher, and the water heater. There are angle stops for both hot and cold water. When you turn the handle counterclockwise, it lets water flow from the inlet port, through the valve body, and out the outlet port to the fixture. Clockwise movement does the opposite and closes the water supply.

Angle Stop Video

Property managers, this little valve can save you from flooding damage that can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars! 💸 It’s called an angle stop, and you can think of them as your property’s water tourniquet, they are there to halt water flow if there’s a leak or breakage in your pipes. But here’s the problem. Property managers often forget to maintain them! So when something goes wrong, they go to shut off the water and the angle stop gets stuck, fails, or just doesn’t fully close. ❌ Our recommendation is to exercise them once a QUARTER to make sure they’re working properly. If you have any issues, give us a buzz. This is an area where a little care and maintenance can save you a world of headaches 💆

Design of an Angle Stop

  • Material: Made from brass, stainless steel, or chrome-plate metal that’s best for durability and corrosion resistance.
  • Shape: A 90-degree angle shape that lets the angle stop fit neatly against walls, under sinks, and other tight spaces.’
  • Inlet Port: Links to the main water supply line.
  • Outlet Port: This end is standardized to fit and connect to the water fixtures (e.g., faucet, toilet).
  • Handle or Knob: Used to open or close the valve either with several rotations or with a 90-degree turn for quick operation.  
  • Compression Nut and Ring (for Compression Type): The nut tightens the connection between the valve and the pipe. The ring creates a seal when compressed between the nut and the pipe. 
  • Washer: Usually made of rubber or a similar material to seal the valve when closed.
  • Seat: The surface against which the washer seals. 

Note: Angle stops can withstand water pressure up to 80 pounds per square inch and work well between 14°F and 266°C.

Types of Angle Stops

Compression Angle Stops

These angle stops use a compression nut and ring (ferrule) to attach to the water supply line to create a watertight seal when tightened. 

Compression angle stops are common in residential plumbing for sinks and toilets and ideal for copper, PEX, or CPVC pipes.


  1. Slide the compression nut onto the pipe.
  2. Place the ring over the pipe.
  3. Insert the pipe into the valve inlet and tighten the nut.

Sweat (Soldered) Angle Stops

Sweat angle stops require soldering (sweating) to attach to the fixtures pipes for leak-proofing. They are perfect for older plumbing systems with copper piping.


  1. Clean and flux the pipe and valve inlet.
  2. Heat the connection with a torch and apply solder to seal the joint.

Push-Fit Angle Stops

Push-fit angle stops have an O-ring and gripping teeth inside the wall to link to the pipe. They are best for DIY plumbing because you won’t require tools or additional fittings and are compatible with copper, PEX, and CPVC pipes. 


  1. Cut the pipe cleanly and squarely.
  2. Push the pipe into the valve inlet until it clicks into place.

Threaded (IPS) Angle Stops

IPS angle stops use male or female threaded ends (Iron Pipe Size – IPS) for connection to corresponding fittings. They are common in commercial and industrial plumbing and are suitable to attach with galvanized steel, brass, or iron pipes.


  1. Apply pipe thread sealant or Teflon tape to the threads.
  2. Screw the valve onto the threaded pipe fitting and tighten it securely.

Multi-Turn Angle Stops

The multi-turn angle stops use a washer and seat mechanism that requires multiple turns to fully open or close the valve to control the water flow. They are very common in many fixtures, such as sinks and toilets. 

Quarter-Turn Angle Stops

The quarter-turn angle stops have a ball inside the valve body that rotates with a 90-degree turn to open or close the water. They are ideal for situations where a quick shut-off is essential and are popular in modern plumbing for their ease of use and reliability.

How Long Do Angle Stops Last?

Brass and Stainless Steel angle stops are good for 15 to 20 years. On the other hand, plastic and composite ones are less durable and need to be replaced within 5-10 years.

However, there are a few factors that can shorten or lengthen the life of an angle stop:

  • Water Quality: Water with a high mineral and acidic content can lead to scale buildup, which is primarily responsible for reducing the angle stop valve’s working and lifespan.
  • Use: Angle stops that are rarely used can become difficult to turn, but regular operation can wear down internal components over time.
  • Corrosion: Visible corrosion on the valve body or fittings.
  • Leaking: Any sign of water leakage around the valve body or connections.
  • Difficulty Turning: The valve becomes hard to turn or seizes up.
  • Installation Quality: Correct installation ensures a secure, leak-free connection and improves the angle stop’s longevity. Otherwise, leaks, corrosion, and premature failure of the valve can occur quite soon.
  • Maintenance: Occasionally turn the valve on and off to maintain the angle stop functionality.

Tip: Even if functioning well, replacing angle stops that are over 15-20 years old can prevent potential issues.

What Is the Difference Between Straight Stop and Angle Stop?

Both straight stops and angle stops are types of shut-off valves used in plumbing to control the flow of water to fixtures. The primary difference between them lies in their design and the direction in which they direct the flow of water. 

FeatureAngle StopStraight Stop
Shape90-degree angleStraight-line
Ports AlignmentInlet and outlet at a right angleInlet and outlet in a straight line
Common UseUnder sinks, behind toilets (wall-to-fixture)Behind toilets, under sinks (floor-to-fixture)
InstallationIdeal for tight spaces requiring a turn in the lineIdeal for direct, straight connections
AppearanceCompact, often more aesthetically pleasingSimple, straightforward design
Angle stop vs. straight stop

When deciding between an angle stop and a straight stop, consider the following factors:

  • Installation Space: Use an angle stop for tight spaces requiring a turn and a straight stop for direct, straight-line connections.
  • Plumbing Configuration: For the most efficient installation, match the valve type to the layout of your water supply lines and fixtures.
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Choose an angle stop based on how visible the plumbing will be.


Angle stops are vital components in plumbing systems that offer control, convenience, and safety. Understanding their function and maintenance can help ensure your plumbing remains in good working order.

Each type of angle stop has its specific advantages and suitable applications.

Choosing the right one depends on factors like the type of pipe in use, the desired ease of installation, and whether the valve needs to be multi-turn or quarter-turn.