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Thread: How to change water inlet and shut off valve completely?

  1. #1

    Question How to change water inlet and shut off valve completely?

    We have nearly finished our full and half bath remodels. However, one eyesore remains in both bathrooms. Prior, we had all polished brass fixtures (faucetry, etc.) and have switched to stainless/ satin nickel. I hope I am using the correct wording as this is what I want to do. I want to change the water inlet and shut off valve to at least a chrome look, as it is now polished brass and looks pretty tacky. I think I have seen the chrome/ silver toned valves and braided supply lines at home stores, but how do I change the actual pipe coming out of the wall? Pulling the finish/ cover ring out from around the pipe, it comes from a small hole in the drywall. I am assuming that one has to cut out the drywall to get back in the wall and solder a new chrome piece on there? Is that correct? The drywall still needs some patching and wood trim still has to be put in, so not a big deal if I have to cut into it- just not sure what all it entails. The house was built in 1996 if that helps and it is a standard toilet. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are three versions of shutoff valves commonly available: threaded (screw-on), compression (has a nut at the supply side), or soldered on. There is one other possibility, but probably not available when your house was built and that is a push on connection that uses o-rings to seal and grippers to hold it in place.

    Once you determine what you have, your replacement options will become clear.

    In all cases, you should be able to remove what you have and replace with a new valve in the finish you desire. Removal technique will differ, and you should not need to tear up the wall.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

    Question Not the valve, the actual pipe..

    Thanks, but it is not the actual shut off valve I am confused about- it just screws off and I can easily replace the polished brass w/ a stainless or nickel toned one.

    It is the actual water supply pipe coming out from the drywall that I don't understand how to change. [/U]
    It is a pipe about 3 3/4" long that leads to the shut off valve and comes directly out of the wall. It doesn't just screw off- it is solid and disappears behind the drywall. I don't see anyway to get it off other than cut it off and in order to get rid of the polished brass pipe, I would think that would have to be done behind the drywall as it is an extension of the water line bringing water into the toilet.
    I am gathering this water pipe doesn't get replaced often as an online search didn't come up with anything. Everything was about how to unscrew the water valve and put on flexible water lines which I get, just nothing about how to replace that fixed water pipe.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. Can anyone help?

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is the brass dull or polished? May not matter. It's probably screwed into a fitting in the wall. Finding one of those in the desired finish may be tough. You'd have to remove it (unscrew it), see how long of a nipple you need, then get one of those. Then, you could get a screw-on replacement in the color you want. This would mean the escutcheon and the valve would be up against the wall, hiding the pipe. If you really want them extended like they are, your choices are more limited.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    It may be a threaded nipple that goes into the wall,you said the valve was
    threaded so leads me to believe a nipple threaded into a lug ell in the wall.
    If not then it could be a sleve covering the copper.send a pic and it will help.
    If it is a nipple it can be twisted out and replaced.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    If it is a nipple it probably is threaded into a drop eared elbow in the wall.


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    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    If it is a nipple it probably is threaded into a drop eared elbow in the wall.

    Sorry Red we always called them lug ells or dog eared ells.

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    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Drop ears over here. I think it may be a sleeve but I am looking forward to a pic becuase now my interest is piqued.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwhyu2 View Post
    Sorry Red we always called them lug ells or dog eared ells.
    I was just postin a pic for the OP to get an idea what it may be..

  10. #10

    Default Photo!

    It is polished brass. Here's a photo- hopefully.




    If I understand correctly, you all are saying that it MAY still be the type that will screw out of the wall and that the threads may just be behind the drywall? Like a piece similar to the one you posted? Can you tell by the photo?

    I see where I can screw off the valve and replace it with a chrome (or anything other than the dreaded brass) as there are threads there. I just can't figure out how to get a new water pipe extending out of the wall so all the dreaded brass is gone. I know specialty colors (like satin nickel) are expensive any any bath hardware, as I bought the Delta Brilliance Polished Brass anti-tarnish finish braided water lines for each of them years ago and they were about $25 each just for those. At this point I am not picky-plain old chrome/ anything other than the dreaded brass tone, would make me one happy lady. I do the "how to" research on the DIY things, design the tile layout, grout and seal and my wonderful husband gets to do the work. He has done a lot of plumbing but never this particular thing. He'll be really happy if I can figure this out and have the parts ready to go this w/e.

    If it does NOT screw out, am I right that I'd have to tear out the drywall to get to it? Then it would just have to be cut off and another piece soldered to it? I assume there are copper pipes behind there just like when we replaced the shower faucetry? If so, will other metals solder to copper?

    Thanks for all your help- each of you and hopefully this photo will help.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    That brass pipe is probably what is called a nipple. Basically a piece of pipe that is threaded on each end. First. if you take the valve off, measure how much is sticking out of the wall. Then, when you unscrew the nipple, measure how long it is. Subtract enough so that what would stick out is enough to put a new chrome or brushed nickel or whatever eschutchion on and have enough room to screw on a new valve in the finish you want. This will now have the valve essentially flush with the wall, and the actual finish of the bit won't matter. you will need to buy a new brass nipple the proper length. Don't use a galvanized or black pipe steel one, as it will eventually rust.

    If it isn't a nipple, then you will have to tear the wall apart and you could just solder in a new piece of 1/2" pipe. Cut it off at the proper length, then use a compression valve - no threads required.

    Well, if you had a die and handle for it, you could cut that existing nipple down and rethread it, but that would cost more than just buying a new nipple.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Or. you just get a chrome nipple and chrome valve, teflon tape and goop it up, thread it in ,and call it done...

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    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Or. you just get a chrome nipple and chrome valve, teflon tape and goop it up, thread it in ,and call it done...
    Getting technical, are weż

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsotall View Post
    Getting technical, are weż
    Highly Technical!

  15. #15

    Default Getting there..I think.

    Thanks guys! Off to the store I went after your post. I don't know about your Lowe's, but the "Lowe's Knows" motto does not apply at my store so I was 100% on my own except the info you gave and some measurements I took.

    Jim- I think you are right- it does APPEAR to be a nipple- a 3". 3/8" size. I was (amazingly) able to find the nipple, angle valve (hope that is right) and escutcheon in the brushed nickel finish there- all for about $26. That's for one toilet, so may go with just chrome on the other two bathrooms if this one works out. I get carried away with details but not sure how "pretty of a backside " my toilet must have for that price. The angle valve was just a few more dollars but the pipe and cover plate were $16 of the $26 when the chrome would have been less than $5.

    ***Now a couple final questions- I hope! 1. If it IS a nipple how to remove the current nipple? Just put some pliers on it and twist and hope for the best? 2. Assuming it comes off, do I put Teflon tape on the threads of both ends like I did with the shower head threads?

    2. If it is NOT a nipple and is soldered, I guess it just wouldn't budge when trying to twist/ unscrew it off, or worst case, it breaks off and I am back here asking more questions?

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