How to replace a water shut off valve

Saturday, September 30, 2017

How to replace a water shut off valve


Do you need to replace a water shut off valve? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows how to fix a shut off valve under a sink.

Other plumbing tips.

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For a written transcript, go to How to make a rustic table top

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing" by Kevin MacLeod at


Do you have a crusty, frozen, broken shut-off valve that needs to be replaced?

Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to do just that.


Hi Makers, Builders and Do-it-yourselfers.

Harley here.

Today we're going to remove this old shut-off valve that doesn't work anymore and replace it a bright, shiny new one.

To do this should required just a few minimal tools.

First off, I've turned off the water and drained all the taps so there should be minimal water in the system.

However, there will still be a little residual water that will drain out when we cut into the pipe.

So, I have got a pile of towels to soak up any water that does come out.

We have a couple wrenches we will need.

This is a 15/16th inch open end wrench and this is a 5/8th inch open end wrench.

And we have a tubing cutter that we will use to remove the old one.

And we have our new valve.

Now these valves have compression fittings on them so they just slide on and then you tighten down the nut.

However, once a pipe has had a compression fitting on it, you don't want to put a compression fitting back on the pipe in that same location.

So on the old pipe, we are going to just cut it off since even if we did try to remove it and take off the compression fitting...

First of all it is going to be really difficult and second of all, even it we got it off, we would not be able to use that section of pipe.

So we are just going to cut it off.

It does have plastic lines going into it, so we will remove those plastic lines because those can be reused.

If you have plastic or braided lines going into the output side of the shut off valves, then those can be taken off and reused.

But if you have got hard, solid lines going in there, then again, those need to be cut off as well.

For this particular project, I will be removing the two plastic lines and then cutting off the valve from the main input line.

Put down a towel before opening up the lines to catch any water that might still be in them.

Then a 5/8" wrench loosens the connections until they can be removed by hand.

A small tubing cutter makes quick work of removing the old valve assembly.

Let the towel wick up enough water from the pipe that it won't make a mess when putting the new valve assembly on.

A cleaning brush makes sure we have a good connection to help prevent any leaks at the joint.

Put on the compression nut and then the compression ring.

Fit the valve assembly and make sure it's oriented the way that works best for your environment.

Thread the compression nut onto the valve and tighten it down.

It should be good and tight but you don't need to strong arm it.

Make sure the valves are closed and turn on the main water.

OK. That was a bit exciting.

I made sure before I turned the water on to have the valves all turned off because I have not hooked up the inputs on this yet. Or the outputs.

And I turned on the water because I wanted to make sure that this main input here was tight and did not have any leaks on it.

What I failed to do was turn off the faucet up above and it was turned on in the middle position.

So when I turned the water on, the cold water side got pressurized, went through the faucet, out the hot water side and came out through the unconnected connection.

So, lesson learned: remember, before you turn the water on, to turn off the faucet here if everything is not tightened up and buttoned up down below.

But the good news is we do not have any leaks down here.

And a good way to test that is to use a piece of tissue paper.

Tissue paper soaks up water really easily and just the tiniest drop will cause it to swell up and also change color.

So it is real obvious if there is a tiny leak, even if you can not see it or feel it, it shows up on the tissue paper real well.

And if I run this around here and get it up in the crack of that seal and run it around the top, it's completely, perfectly dry.

There is no change in it whatsoever.

So that tells me that this first connection has a good seal on it.

So let us continue with the last two connections.

OK. A lot of times plastic line on the end here has triangular shaped end on it that is designed to kind of go inside the pipe and provide a good seal on it.

This one does not though.

This one is just straight pipe and then has a compression fitting on it.

You should not really reuse compression fittings once they've been used once.

So I am going to cut this off and then use the new fitting that came with this to connect this up.

And in this case, for the other end, we have braided line, and that has a rubber seal on it, so it can just thread right back on.

And on this rubber stuff, you do not need to really torque it down.

You just need to get it snug.

And again the tissue paper test.

And everything is nice and dry.

And now we have everything connected down below and the valves turned on and we can see we have water on the cold side and water on the hot side, so everything seems to be good.

I didn't see any leaks with the tissue paper.

I like to leave it sit for a couple hours and then test again with the tissue paper because sometimes you have a little bit of seepage that you want to double check a couple hours later just to make sure that there is no leakage.

But I do not think there is going to be a problem with this.

It is rare that I have problems with this side of the plumbing.

Usually when I have leakage problems it is on drain sides, with p-traps, not on pressure sides, interestingly enough.

I am not sure why that is, but that has been my experience.

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