Stopcock . Device, generally metal, some alloy or more recently of polymers or ceramic materials, used to make way or cut the flow of water or other fluid through a pipe.


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  • 1 Features
    • 1 Classification
  • 2 taps
  • 3 Types of taps
    • 1 Singles
    • 2 On battery
    • 3 Single-lever
    • 4 Thermostats
    • 5 Gas keys
  • 4 Repair
  • 5 External links
  • 6 Sources


A stopcock is a device made of polymers and ceramics. This has the function of taking the step, in the same way as cutting the flow of water through a pipe. It is for this condition that it acquires the name of cutoff valve, although many call it valve. Another feature that the stopcock has is that it prevents the water from circulating in the opposite direction to that of the reflux.


  • Butterfly
  • Gate
  • Male or ball
  • Ceramic disc
  • Seat and its needle variant

It cannot be ignored that there are faucets that have the function of distributing the water between several pipes that are generally known as multi-way valves. If this device has a tap and a water outlet spout, it is then a tap. Faucets feature a poppet valve, threaded stem, large, thick rubber grommet . The key is in charge of controlling the flow of gas fuel supply.

Keys are also often called valves. Certain keys, in addition to serving to cut off the passage, had the function of preventing the water from circulating in the opposite direction to that desired (reflux), that is, they were also valves in the primitive meaning of the term.

The keys can be :

  • Seat and its needle variant, with a threaded stem that rotates on its axis when the key is operated and sets a closure on the passage of water. This model is precisely the one that also served as a valve, since the closure or sole was free (with a pin housed in a hollow of the clamping rod), and returned to its seat when the water took the opposite direction, working as a valve is piston check. Due to the noise they produced, they were no longer used and the soleta was fixed to the clamping rod.
  • Male or ball, with a tapered male or a sphere with a hole that allows the passage of fluid when it is aligned with the axis of the pipe.
  • Ceramic discs, some ceramic discs have a series of holes that allow fluid to pass when the two coincide.
  • Gate
  • Of butterfly, a disc rotates on an axis closing the passage section of the duct when it is perpendicular to the axis of the latter and leaving free passage when it is parallel. They are used in large diameters.
  • Angle valve, with quarter turn opening and closing. They are used next to each water point in the home, so in case of failure of any appliance, it is not necessary to leave the rest of the house without water.
  • Faucets that serve to distribute the water between several pipes, multi-way valves (used in heating, in purification of swimming pools …), faucets that shut off the flow of water to a tank when the water reaches a certain level, level valves ( used in toilet cisterns, eg).



When it comes to a device that, in addition to the faucet, has a water outlet spout, it forms what is called a faucet, spout, tap or key.

An example of this device for household water with the corresponding seat valve, consists of a threaded stem and at the end a large and thick rubber, leather or rubber washer that, as shown in the image, when turning the knob, It closes the inlet duct and thus interrupts the passage of water. Traditionally the closure piece was leather, which is why in certain countries it is known as cuerito, and in others shoe or soleta, which also remember this origin, although they are currently made of synthetic rubber. Faucets with other valve types are also manufactured. In places with low demand (gardens, garages) ball valve taps are used. In bathroom taps, they are used with ceramic disc valves.

Types of taps


These types of taps are rarely used today, and were the only taps that existed before monoblocks. These are “single water” taps, that is, if we want to have cold and hot water, two different taps must be installed with their respective spouts, allowing the passage of only cold or only hot water and, if you want mixed, you must be done in the basin of the sanitary apparatus.

In battery

Two separate stopcocks are used and, through pipes, generally hidden, the outlets are joined into a single spout, where they mix hot and cold. These types of taps are placed in bathtubs and showers.


These taps are of a single control, which gives way to both hot and cold water. The opening system is a lever, which rises upwards to open the water. The water is chosen by moving the lever to the left or to the right, if we want warm water we will leave it in the center. This type of faucet is the one that is most installed today in sinks, bidets, sinks, bathtubs and showers.


This type of faucet is the most comfortable, since it allows us to regulate the water flow as it suits us; Another auxiliary command also allows us to select the temperature, or to open only cold water or hot water. This saves water and time, since it usually takes a long time to get the temperature to our liking. They are installed only in bathtubs and showers.

Gas wrenches

Although a gas faucet may be a valve that releases any gas, the word is most commonly used to refer to faucets that control the flow of fuel gas (natural gas or, historically, coal gas, synthesis gas). , etc.) in houses (for gas fires or other applications) or in laboratories (for the Bunsen burner). Male wrenches are often used.


A leaky faucet that leaks water is a frequent problem in household plumbing. This has a simple solution, which consists of changing the adjustment rubber or, in the case of single-handle keys, the ceramic cartridges.

  • The cover of the key must be removed (generally marked blue if it is cold water and red if it is hot water.) This can be removed by prying with a bladed screwdriver or with the same fingernail.
  • After removing the cover, the screw that fixes the key handle to the stem will appear (metal part that connects the handle to the water valve).
  • We release this screw with a cross-head screwdriver and immediately remove the handle
  • Once the handle is removed, we release the stem with the wrench and end the damaged rubber to replace it with a new one.


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