View Full Version : Replacing sink & toilet shut off valves

02-16-2007, 11:41 AM
We're in the process of renovating our small guest bathroom. When removing the old fixtures, we had a real problem getting the shut off valves to turn. We ended up using penetrating oil and really had to work to get them shut off.

We had hoped that we could just swap out the fixtures ourselves, but it's probably wise at this point to change the valves. Is this something a fairly competent diy-er with no plumbing experience could do? If it involves cutting and soldering pipe, then I'll call a plumber. If we can just shut the water off at the main and use a wrench to remove the handles/valves, then we could do it. How do I determine what is involved with this project?


02-16-2007, 12:31 PM
Can you see threads where the valve attaches to the pipe? If so, they you can just unscrew.

If copper without threaded adapters, then you have to cut but can replace with compression valves that you just need two wrenches to install.

If you can find the same brand/model, you can unscrew the old "works" and replace with the "works" from the new one. Along this line, you can also get a repair valve that will attach to the outlet of the current valve.

Plastic poses another set of problems/solutions.

There are probably other options.........

02-16-2007, 04:26 PM

I think I've gotten lucky. I can see the threads at the base of the valve. I plan on shutting off the water and trying to do the replacement tomorrow.

Many thanks for your feedback!


02-16-2007, 05:07 PM
Make sure you have some pipe dope and or teflon tape. While it doesn't take much skill, the tape takes more than just brushing on the pipe dope. The pipe might unscrew in the wall. Not catastrophic. Put some pipe dope on it, and reinstall after you get the valve off - you should be able to tighten them both up at the same time. Try some penetrating oil on the threads of the valve first - let is sit for awhile and this is less likely to happen.

02-16-2007, 07:48 PM
Are they compression valves with a nut tightened onto the valve to secure it. If so disregard all the previous advices because they refer to valves screwed onto steel or brass pipe coming out of the wall.

02-17-2007, 03:49 AM
HJ makes a good point, but not completely. The following still applies, particularly the "repair" valve that adds on to give a working shut-off:

If you can find the same brand/model, you can unscrew the old "works" and replace with the "works" from the new one. Along this line, you can also get a repair valve that will attach to the outlet of the current valve.

02-17-2007, 06:00 AM
Around here, most of the " builders " valves for the last 40 years have been the brand with the little round white knob and integral corrugated flex line. The stem retainer holds the stem in the body with about 1 1/2 plastic threads. They are a disaster waiting to happen, and the flex lines after many years snap off if you look sideways at it. Flood cleanup companies have thrived for many years on the business these valves generate. Do not even think about just replaceing the guts.

As far as the takeoff stop, the most common leak on angle stops is the stem, so a takeoff stop does not help.

For the original poster, we have not established if your have a PIPE with threads going into the valve, or a VALVE with threads and a nut. You can replace either. Let us know because we will have different advice depending.


02-17-2007, 06:07 AM
1. The "repair valve" is not much better than the original one, and is strictly a "quick and dirty" repair.
2. Why keep a defective component?
3. Replacing just the mechanism means he will be doing it again the next time he needs to shut the valve off.
4. Unless he has the coarse thread compression nut, all he has to do is unfasten the nut and tighten it to the new valve.
5. If he has the one piece valve/riser, they should be changed to the individual pieces.

02-17-2007, 09:58 AM
Listing possibilities, not necessarily recommendations.

Personally, in my "new to me" 22 year old house, as I've been replacing fixtures I've been removing shut offs and sweating on new ones, or new male adapters to take screw on, and all the new ones are quarter turn ball valves.

People who don't sweat may make other choices.