Installing shut off valves can be done by anyone even you. Whether you are replacing water shut off valves or installing new shut off valves the process is basically the same. Performing your own shut off valve repair or installation will save you big money. The cost to install water shut off valves can be quite high depending on which plumber you hire. Whether you are replacing or installing a kitchen or bathroom sink shut off valve or a toilet shut off valve the process is the same.
What is a shut off valve?
A shut off valve or also commonly known in plumbing circles as a mini ball valve is a mechanical plumbing fitting that stops the flow of water when you close it and lets the water flow through to your sink or toilet when opened.
Types of water shut off valves
There are different types and sizes of water valves for a household for different types of water lines. The different types and most common types are ball valves or older valves that you might have already installed which are mini gate valves. The valves you buy now for this application are mostly ball valves.
One end of the valve has to have a diameter large enough to fit your water line into it which is going to be either a 1/2 copper water line or a ½ PEX water line. The other end that the water comes out of and flows to your sink or toilet will most always be a 3/8 opening for either a plastic chrome or braided style water supply line.
You will also be choosing either a straight through valve which is most commonly used when the water lines are shooting up from the floor or an angled mini ball valve which is most commonly used when the water supply is coming out of your wall.
The next thing to look for is the proper water valve for the type of water lines you have. If you have copper water lines you will want to use sweat on valves which are valves you solder onto the copper pipe or you can use compression ball valves which you use wrenches to tighten onto the copper pipe.
If you have plastic or PEX water lines you will have to make sure you buy valves that you can use with PEX water lines. These valves will have a nipple type end that pushes into the PEX pipe and then with a PEX crimping ring and PEX crimper you crimp the ring onto the PEX pipe where the valve nipple or end is pushed into the pipe securing the valve onto the water line.
How to install water shut off valves
Before installing your valves make sure you have turned off the water at the main water meter.
Installing a sweat valve is easy. Using copper pipe cutters cut the copper pipe where you want to install the valve or if you are replacing a valve cut on the pipe behind the existing valve. Once you have done that you now have to sand the copper pipe where the new valve will sit on the pipe. After sanding use some soldering paste or flux and coat the copper pipe and the inside of the valve at the points where they will be touching each other. Now grab your torch and solder and solder your water valve to the copper pipe.
For compression valves on copper pipe you cut and sand the pipe like the soldering instructions and after that you slide the compression nut and then the compression ring on the pipe. Then push the valve onto the pipe and tighten the compression nut until you cant tighten anymore.
PEX valves are installed by cutting the PEX pipe with a utility knife and then sliding on a PEX compression ring over the pipe. Then push the valve into the pipe as far as it will go. Slide the ring over the pipe close to the valve making sure it is over the nipple of the valve that is currently inside the pipe. Now using PEX crimpers crimp the ring onto the pipe which will then tighten onto the nipple of the valve sealing the valve in place.
If everything went well you can now turn on the water at the main water meter to your home. You will now have to hook up the water supply lines that go from the valves to the taps or toilet.
You have just installed water shut off valves yourself and have saved possibly hundreds of dollars.