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Thread: Protecting cabinets from leaking valves

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Taylor's Avatar
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    Default Protecting cabinets from leaking valves

    My kitchen cabinet under the sink has been pretty well ruined by a slow leak of a fixture shutoff. Since I'm replacing water lines, I have the opportunity to think about how to avoid this next time. I think I can cover the damage by screwing plywood into the inside of the cabinet, but I'd rather not take out DW's various cleaning bottles a year from now and find that that's been ruined too.

    Is there anything one can do to protect the inside of a cabinet from leaking valves? I've thought of styrofoam glued to the sides, with borders caulked, but that's a fire hazard. I could put plywood and fireproofing paint over it, but then the edge shows, crappy looking (there's about 1" either side of the door for more surface). 15# felt paper stapled behind the new plywood, with edges folded over any holes? At least it would limit the damage to the surface. 30# felt paper overkill?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    My preference is to replace any shutoff valve in a cabinet that is over 20 years old anytime I replace a faucet.
    I like to use the 1/4 turns for replacement.

    The old shutoffs tend to develop leaks around the stem.

    Not every customer wants to spend the extra for that, and it's not necessary all the time. But I do it on my own stuff.

    To answer the question above, I would slide a plastic tray near the wall, below the valves.
    That way you can pull it out and dispose of any water that is collected.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-16-2008 at 10:42 AM.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Taylor's Avatar
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    Thanks, I have a tray there now, but with all the cleaning stuff in there, it sometimes gets pushed out of the way.

    The valves are soldered. I will be replacing with compression-type when I replace the water lines, with the idea of regular (10-20 year) replacement. They only cost peanuts.

    On a related note: how do plumbers feel about garbage disposals? It makes it very hard to get around under the sink, and it's been a source of leaks in the past (hint: dishwasher repairmen should reconnect the trap before they leave!). I've heard from a plumber that they always lead to clogged drain lines, our sink only has 1-1/2" drain. We rarely use it as a result, and I'm inclined to just get rid of it. DW wants to keep it "just in case."
    Last edited by Taylor; 07-16-2008 at 05:32 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Disposer

    If you do not use the disposer, and it is just there for JIC, then get rid of it. Disposers do not like to be ignored and if it is not used periodically it will corrode and become a liability, and it WILL cause a drain problem with that sink bowl.

  5. #5
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Thanks, I have a tray there now, but with all the cleaning stuff in there, it sometimes gets pushed out of the way.
    I use a large, shallow, stainless tray and put the cleaning supplies in it. The tray is large enough to catch leaks from the valves, trap fittings, etc. and if you pull out a bottle of something out with a wet bottom, well, you know you've got a leak.
    -Sam Smith
    Licensed Professional Geologist - AL, TN, KY

  6. #6
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I check my cupbaords each and every night before going to bed with a torch. I caught all my old valves leaking very slowly that way. Sometimes from the stem, sometimes from compression fittings.

    All have now been replaced with ball valves that screw on to brass nipples.

    I love nipples.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I check my cupbaords each and every night before going to bed with a torch. I caught all my old valves leaking very slowly that way. Ian Gills
    Of course there is that way to get ready to wind down.
    I like a glass of wine myself, and maybe a little Jay Leno before bedtime.
    If I say any more than that, I will have to ban myself.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-16-2008 at 01:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Replace them with 1/4 turn stop valves!

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