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Install & Replace


Shut off valve

How do you fix a shut off valve. The one I have that leads to my outside faucet in my basement does not turn the water completely off. What should I do to fix this. Need to repair the pipe outside for my hose to attach.

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Posted 2011-05-14T23:12:44+0000  by blackend blackend

Welcome to the community blackend!


I'm ChrisFixit from the Atlanta area Home Depot. A leaky shut off valve is a fairly common problem and can be a fairly simple fix in most cases.


Now the first step you'll want to take is to shut off the water to the house. The shut off for the house can be located either outside the home (and will require a water shutoff key), or near where the water supply enters the home.


Once the water is shut off drain the system from the lowest point in the home. After the system is drained we can begin to take a look at the valve.


The valve in the basement may look something like this:

main water shut off valve round handle.jpg


Now depending on exactly how the valve is connected and the level of damage you may be able to fix the valve without actually having to remove it from the line. The parts of a valve that typically go bad are the parts that make up the core. Provided you can identify the type of valve you have simply head to your local stores plumbing department, buy a matching valve and then remove the old core and replace it with the new one. A plumbing associate will be able to explain the process of removing the core in the store.



If the problem with the valve is related to its connection to the water line like at a compression or solder joint, you may want to have a plumber take a look at it for you. Soldering is definitely a skill that comes with practice and a water valve in your basement may not be the best place to try your hand at it for the first time. If you do end up having to get a plumber take a look at it for you be sure to stick around and ask a few questions. You'll learn a ton by just hanging out and watching the work being done by a pro. I hope this info helps you make this repair an easy one and if you have any further questions be sure to get back to us.




EDIT: faulty image



Best Answer

Posted 2011-05-15T13:46:24+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL

How would I re-solder ? Can you elaborate on that process such as cutting the lines and re-soldering? Thank you. ---Tim.

Posted 2012-02-27T19:02:59+0000  by timothygalvin4
If you're pipe is soldered to the shut off valve you can also consider using a Sharkbite connector instead of re-soldering.
Posted 2012-02-28T05:06:18+0000  by Patrick0459

Hello Patrick0459.  Welcome to the community.


SharkBite fittings are indeed an alternative to soldering copper pipe.  I would like to take a little time to show how to install them.


First off though comes a question on winter. If you live where winters are cold and outside faucets can freeze up, either a valve with a drain or a frost proof faucet will need to be installed.  The drain on the inside valve allows you to purge the piping of water each fall so no damage occurs to the faucet or its supply pipe during the winter.  The alternative frost proof faucet has a long stem that keeps water away from the cold outside and needs no annual draining.  Here are examples:

Cold Climate Valves.JPG



Notice the valve on the left with the plastic ends?  These are SharkBite fittings.  They are a press-in type of connector that work without threads or soldering.  Here is an example of a standard ball valve with SharkBite fittings on both ends:

SharkBite Valve.jpg

These fittings require a pipe that is cut straight and smooth, and use an O-ring to seal the fitting.  Each side of these fitting will need 1" of pipe to enter the connector and seal properly.  These fittings can easily be removed and replaced by using this tool shown below:

Demount Clip Coupling.jpg

Set this tool on the pipe and against the plastic ring of the SharkBite fitting.  Push the tool toward the fitting and just pull the pipe out.  It's that easy.


When you cut off the old valve, try to get the smoothest straight end possible.  I recommend using a tubing cutter.

 Tubing Cutter.jpg

Sometimes when an old valve is removed, the new replacement will not be long enough to fit without adding an extension of some sort.  The amount of play will vary with the pipe length and location of elbows.  If you need just a little extra length, sometimes an adapter or two can be the easiest solution.  To do this, buy a valve with pipe threads on one end, and use an adapter to get the extra length:

FPT SharkBite Valve.jpg


MPT SharkBite Adapter.jpg

Need more length?  Buy a SharkBite adapter with female pipe threads and connect it to the valve shown above with a pipe nipple:

FPT SharkBite and Nipple.jpg



There are other options as well for adapting the new valve.  SharkBite connectors also work with PEX and CPVC pipe.


I hope this helps,


Posted 2012-02-28T16:14:54+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Hello timothygalvin4.  Welcome to the community!


Cutting the old valve out can be done easily with a tubing cutter like this:

Tubing Cutter.jpg

If space is limited, then an open ended hacksaw like this one can be used:

Compact Hacksaw.jpg has an excellent Project Guide on soldering copper pipes and fittings.

You can find it here.


Here are the steps outlined in that guide:



Soldering 1-2.PNG

Soldering 3-5.PNG

Soldering 6-8.PNG


This Guide is pretty comprehensive.  I can only add a couple of tips to this:


1).  When you solder a joint, keep in mind that the solder will flow to where the flux has been applied.  You don't need a thick layer of flux, but make sure it is evenly spread around the male end of the pipe.


2).  The example above shows, (for clarity), soldering done out in the open.  While that is fine for teaching, the plumbing you will solder will likely be in tight spaces with dry wood all around.  In order to ensure that your house does not catch on fire, buy and use one of these:

Heat Shield.jpg


3). When repairing existing plumbing, there will always be some water around, even with the supply turned off.  Leave open any downstream valves that you can while soldering so any steam build-up can harmlessly vent. 


I hope this helps.  Please don't hesitate to follow up with any other questions you may have.





Posted 2012-02-28T17:22:39+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
can anyone tell me what position is off on a cold climawt valve that is inside the house? Is it on when it is inline with the water pipe and off when it is not? Or the other way around? I'm just not sure. It's probably too late now but just wondering for the future.
Posted 2013-01-21T17:53:05+0000  by lfarrell

Hello lfarrell.  Welcome to the Community!


The cold climate valve you are describing is a 1/4 turn ball valve that is meant to shut off the water supply to an outside spigot in the winter.  All ball valves are in the "on" position when the handle is in-line with the pipe.  They are in the "off" position when the handle is turned perpendicular, (either down or up), to the pipe.


The critical part of preventing winter damage to an outside spigot is to drain the water out of the pipe that sits outside the home.  Turning the inside valve off is the first step.


The last step is to drain the pipe.


If the inside valve is above the height of the outside spigot, simply opening the outside valve after turning off the inside one will allow residual water to flow out and empty the pipe.


More often the inside valve is below the level of the outside spigot.  In this case the inside valve should have a drain fitting like the one shown on the left below.  The handle position tells me that this valve is currently open to flow.


Cold Climate Valves.JPG


If you have one of these, then in addition to opening the outside spigot, you would need to unscrew that little knurled fitting on the side of the valve.  Water will then drain out of the pipe between the outside spigot and this fitting.  Have a small bucket handy to catch the water.  When you have drained the pipe, close both the spigot and tighten up the knurled fitting cap.  You now have no water in the pipe that can freeze over the winter.  The waterless plumbing will not be affected in any way by the cold winter, and in the spring all you have to do is return the inside valve to the "on" position in order to use the outside spigot.


Is this what you were looking for?





Posted 2013-01-22T14:36:41+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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