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Thread: Replacing Toilet Shut-off Valve

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member starchoice's Avatar
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    Default Replacing Toilet Shut-off Valve

    My toilet has been leaking now for some time and I want to replace the insides which I think I can do no problem. I am a total novice.

    However, when I went to close the shut-off to the toilet, it did not shut off the water but rather started leaking at the valve. It seems to be okay when open but will not shut off the water but rather leaks when closed. I would like to just replace this valve since it's over 10 years old. However, I don't know how the connection works from the supply pipe (plastic) to the valve. There is a packing nut and a nut from the tank to the valve but nothing from the supply plumbing to the valve except a ring. How does this remove? I don't want to start fiddling with this unless I have some idea of how it works.

    Here's a photo (click on image to enlarge):

    Last edited by starchoice; 11-08-2009 at 10:16 AM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    That's gray PB pipe coming from the wall, the shutoff is an insert fitting.

    I don't work with PB, but they do make shutoffs that work on it.

    Revolutionary quick-connect ends work seamlessly with any 1⁄2 inch copper, PEX or CPVC pipe. Simply snap the stop onto the pipe, and it's ready to go. KwikStops require no special tools
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    Last edited by Terry; 11-08-2009 at 10:22 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member starchoice's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick reply. Maybe you missed the comment about me being a novice.

    What's a sharkbit shutoff?

    What I need to know is how does the valve come out of the pipe and reinsert? Do I need a special tool?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    What I need to know is how does the valve come out of the pipe and reinsert? Do I need a special tool?
    Since the valve no longer shuts off, why would you reuse it?
    Just cut the pipe, and slip on a KwickStop.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The hassle is, PB pipe isn't used much anymore, so there aren't many things designed to fit it still available. The shutoff you have has a barbed end that fits inside of the pipe, then that ring is crimped on to hold it in place. www.sharkbite.com makes a valve, and the one indicated above that MAY fit, but they aren't specified for that type of pipe. You have enough pipe sticking out so you would just cut off the shutoff you have, then slide on the crimp ring, then push the new valve into the pipe, then slide the crimp ring over the barbed fitting and crimp it. Or, try one of the shutoffs mentioned that have o-rings for the seal, and toothed grippers to hold it onto the pipe. These also come with a reinforcing insert to keep the whole thing aligned and prevent the pipe from collapsing.

    Another alternative is to use a pex compression shutoff. This is the same as one designed to fit onto a copper pipe, but comes with a SS sleeve that fits inside the pipe so that when you tighten the compression nut, the pex pipe doesn't collapse, and it can make a seal. Copper, pex, and cpvc all have the same OD, so the valve fits on it. I think the PB does too, but not positive. If the pex insert will fit, then the compression fitting should work.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starchoice View Post
    However, when I went to close the shut-off to the toilet, it did not shut off the water but rather started leaking at the valve. It seems to be okay when open but will not shut off the water but rather leaks when closed.
    Just to make sure we are all on the same page here are you saying that it doesn't shut the water off at all? Or that it partially shuts off but leaks through (if so is it a dribble or far more than that?)

    Or are you saying that the water does shut off, but it leaks from the stem past the packing nut when closed?

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    A Shark Bite will work. Be sure you get one that is sized for PB pipe. You must cut the old valve off and be sure to cut the pipe square. These come in 1/4 turn models which is nice for toilets and basins where the valve is is full on or full off.

  8. #8

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    I have never seen a sharkbite listed to fit PB. you could get another multi turn stop and in most cases the stem will work on that older valve. new packing and new washer. If that easy fix won't work for you just replace the washer on that valve its going to be an O or OO washer i forget and just put say 2 wraps of twisted teflon tape around the stem just behind the packing nut. The packing nut is the nut right behind the handle. be sure to turn the water off to your house.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'm not professional, so perhaps I have a misunderstanding of what PB pipe is. It was my understanding that PB pipe is what is used in manufactured homes. I replaced a washbasin and valve in a friends manufactured home and I was sold a Shark Bite valve. It works perfectly, but perhaps this pipe was not PB. If is some other pipe, I apologize for the misinformation and will appreciate the correct information.

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    DIY Junior Member starchoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    Just to make sure we are all on the same page here are you saying that it doesn't shut the water off at all? Or that it partially shuts off but leaks through (if so is it a dribble or far more than that?)
    Shut-off does not shut off water but starts to leak - more than a dribble.

    When turned on (allowing water flow), it doesn't leak.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is it leaking around the handle, or into the toilet? If around the handle, try tightening the packing nut a little. This is the nut below the handle, that the handle goes through to the body of the valve.

    If the OD of the PB pipe is 5/8", then you have a chance of a valve designed for pex or copper or cvpc will work. If it is not 5/8", then it won't. PB would probably require the internal reinforcement sleeve as used in pex, but the ID may not be the same, so you'd be at risk of not getting a good seal. Sharkbites come with that internal reinforcement sleeve, that you take out if you use it on copper.
    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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    DIY Junior Member starchoice's Avatar
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    Leaking is not the issue. The leaking is at the valve but it only leaks when I put it in the close position which since it doesn't close (shut off), there is no point putting it in this position. The issue is that the valve does not work so I want to replace it.

    Thanks for the various suggestions but nobody seems to have answered my first question which is how to take off the ring which seems to be holding the supply connection in place? To me, the simplest thing seems to be to replace the valve with a new one with the same type of product and configuration without putting in some new contraption.

    Can the ring then be reused or do I need a new one and how is it crimped on? How does it come off?

  13. #13
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    That question was answered indirectly. You can't disassemble the connection, you cut it off behind the ring and start over. Until I hear differently, this is the same pipe as used in trailer houses and is repairable with Shark Bite fittings. These are quick and simple devices that slip on to the pipe end and are locked in place. They are removable if necessary using a supplied key. Cut the valve off and take it to the plumbing shop so the pipe end can be IDed and the proper Shark Bite matched to it.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You've got plenty of pipe sticking out to cut the old one off and attach a new one. For practical purposes, it's kind of dangerous to have that much plastic sticking out there anyway. There was a class action suit against PB manufacturers as it failed catastrophically. That's why there's a dearth of new bits to work with it. PB has been off the market since about 1995. The stuff tends to get brittle with use, especially if you have high chlorine levels. So, you may find that the pipe shatters if you try to install a new valve designed for it (assuming you can find one). Many homeowners repiped their whole houses. You'll have trouble with yours when it comes time to sell it as most people flag it with a big red flag. Expect to take anywhere up to a $10K hit on the house for having PB pipe in it unless you repipe to get rid of it.

    So, as has been said, you'd probably be safer using a push-on type valve rather than one that is currently there since it is likely to produce less stress on the pipe. But, since PB hasn't been installed for over 14-years, and that type of valve is newer, most manufacturers don't want their product associated with any PB failure, so while it might work, it isn't recommended by them. The barbed fitting you have is a tight fit, then the crimp ring tries to bend it the other way...if the pipe is brittle, good luck. The push-on types use an o-ring for the seal, and metal teeth to hold it in place.

    Good luck...sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but PB is a disaster waiting to happen. You may be lucky, if you have well water, and no chlorine in the water, it could last a very long time. Otherwise, you're on borrowed time (IMHO).
    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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    DIY Junior Member starchoice's Avatar
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    I ask for a bit of plumbing advice and I get fear mongering and real estate advice in its place.

    With all due respect, I think you have misidentified the piping as defective PB. If what you say is true that "PB has been off the market since about 1995" and "PB hasn't been installed for over 14-years", I can further tell you that I moved into my house in 1997 and it was brand new.

    I encourage you to read the following article to educate yourself. You will see that while it pertains to my specific area which incidentally is noted in every post as to my location, geographical differences play a part in this as well:

    http://www.albertapropertyinspection.com/poly b.pdf

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