How To Install Shutoff Valve- Step by Step Guideline
With so many daily chores at work and home that you need to take care of, there’s another one that just got added to that long list – how to install a water shut off valve!
This simple device can be a life-saver when you least expect it. I’m sure there have been times when you have been puzzled by the sound of water gushing from somewhere in the house. You check all the bathrooms and then you find that the floor near the kitchen sink is a few inches deep under the water.
When faced with such situations, we can’t think properly and panic. And God forbid if something like this happens in the dead of night. Who will you call for help at that hour!
Therefore, it’s good to know process of installing a water stop valve so that you are fully hands-on with the type you are installing and how to turn it off or on during emergencies or routine maintenance.
What Is A Water Shut Off Valve?
A water shutoff valve is a mechanism whereby you can control the flow of water throughout the plumbing system of your home. Or, you can stop the water connection in just one part of your home where the pipe supplies water to the faucet, bathtub, or toilet or to appliances like the dishwasher.
The main water shutoff valve disconnects the water flow in your entire house. It is usually located near your water meter outside the house or the basement or on the perimeter wall.
However, you will also find other shutoff valves in different locations inside your home. These are smaller valves that are directly connected to specific fixtures and appliances. You can find these under the sink or the toilet and these cut off the water supply to that particular appliance or fixture.
How To Install A Water Shut Off Valve- Easy Way
Different types of water lines along the plumbing system demand different types of water shutoff valves.
Depending on the material of the pipes, some shutoff valves would be more appropriate than others. Since all of these vary to some degree, installing them is also not the same for all.
The following will give you the basic knowledge and steps on setup water shutoff valve as per the more common types.
PEX Shutoff Valve
PEX is a type of plastic and when you are installing a PEX stop valve, you need special tools like a PEX crimping tool and a PEX pipe cutter. Follow the below steps for a perfect assemble.
- With the help of a PEX pipe cutter, aim at the end of the PEX tube and make a neat, square cut.
- Put on the brass crimp ring on the pipe.
- Look for the barbed end of the shutoff valve. Now, put this inside the PEX pipe until it touches the body of the stop valve.
- Put the brass crimp ring on top of the barbed part.
- Using a PEX crimping tool, crimp the ring over the barbed portion.
- Now turn the handle of the valve in a clockwise direction to shut it off completely. If the shutoff valve has a lever, turn it so that it lies perpendicular to the line and the body of the valve.
- Now turn on the main water supply line to see if there is any leak in the shutoff valve you have just installed.
Compression Shutoff Valve
As this type of valve is used for copper lines, you will need a pair of adjustable pliers. The following are the installation steps.
- Locate the end of the copper pipe and make sure the nut threads face this side.
- Now put the compression sleeve over the pipe, ensuring that it is an inch away from the pipe-end.
- Push the valve over the pipe so that it engulfs the pipe.
- While the pipe is inside the valve, locate the threaded inlet of the stop valve. Put the compression sleeve over against this inlet.
- Put the compression nut on the sleeve and onto the threads of the valve inlet.
- Tighten the nut until you are sure it is fitting properly.
- With one adjustable wrench, take hold of the shutoff valve body.
- With the second pair of wrenches, tighten the compression nut.
- Turn the handle of the valve clockwise to ensure it is shut. In case there’s a lever instead of a handle, turn it so that it is in a perpendicular position to the valve body and the pipe.
- To check for leaks, turn on the main water connection.
Iron Pipe Shutoff Valve
These are used for steel water supply lines that are galvanized and have threaded fittings.
- Locate the end of the pipe and apply pipe dope or plumber’s tape thread sealant to the threads.
- Follow the threads to put the valve onto the pipe.
- While holding the body of the valve with one pair of pliers, use the second pair to tightly close the connection of the valve. Make sure that the outlet of the valve faces the right direction.
- If the valve has a handle, turn it clockwise to stop the connection. If it has a lever, position it perpendicular to the valve body and pipe.
- Check for leaks in the installation by turning on the main water supply.
Copper Sweat Shutoff Valve
This valve is used for rigid copper pipes only. Its installation needs traditional tools like torch and solder. By following the steps below, you can install this this one easily.
- Take off the washer and handle from the shutoff valve as otherwise, they will be affected by the heat application.
- Using emery cloth, clean the outer part of the copper pipe and the inner part of the fitting seat in the valve body.
- Put flux on the parts mentioned above.
- To properly distribute the flux, twist the valve body after you have put it onto the pipe.
- Use a propane torch to heat all parts of the ensemble.
- By putting the solder-end to the connection point, check the temperature. The connection point or joint is hot enough when the solder turns fluid when you put it at the joint.
- As you continue to apply heat, put solder around the pipe where the joint lies.
- Put the propane torch away and clean the valve with a damp cloth while the joint is still warm. Refrain from moving any of the parts until the solder has solidified.
- Put back the washer and the handle on the valve.
- Turn the valve handle clockwise until it is stopped. If it has a lever instead of a handle, turn it so it stays perpendicular to the valve body and pipe.
- Turn on the main water supply to check for leaks, if any.
Push-On Shutoff Valve
This Push-On valve is suitable for all types of pipes – PEX, copper, and CPVC. Its installation needs a square and neat cut at the end of the pipe. The following steps detail out how the installation can be done.
- Use a tube cutter to make a square cut at the pipe-end.
- Now use a deburring tool to deburr the part where the cut is.
- Clean the pipe. Make sure the cut is absolutely clean, square and free from deburrs. Otherwise, the connection with the push-on valve will not work.
- Make a mark about an inch away from the end of the pipe. This mark will show you how much the valve needs to be pushed onto the pipe for complete seating.
- It’s time to push the valve onto the pipe until the mark is reached. For PEX tubes, there is usually a pre-installed hardener that can be taken off. However, it does not need to be taken away in the case of CPVC or copper pipes. For PEX, it must be left there.
- Turn the handle of the valve in a clockwise direction to close it completely. If the valve has a lever instead, turn it so that it is perpendicular to the body of the valve and the pipe.
- Turn the main water connection on to check for leaks in the shutoff valve.
Straight Stop Valve
Straight stop valves are ideal for situations when the water line comes from under the floor or cabinet. For installation, you will need a couple of pliers, two straight stop valves, and some plumber’s tape.
- Disconnect the main water supply connection.
- Remove the current shutoff valves by using two pairs of pliers – one to hold the adapter and the other to loosen the current connection joint. Make sure that you hold the adapter firmly so that the valve can be moved instead of the adapter or pipe.
- If there is any old plumber’s tape on the adapter, remove them and clean the part using a cloth.
- Wrap the iron pipe adapter threads with 4 to 6 layers of plumber’s tape.
- By turning the straight stop valves in a clockwise direction, screw them on the pipe adapter. For this step, use both the sets of pliers; one to hold the adapter and the other to tighten the screw.
- Make sure the position of the straight stop valve is such that it can be accessed easily and shut off.
- Turn on the main water connection to check for any leaks.
Angle Stop Valve
Looking for install a valve in under sinks.then use this one. To install them correctly, read the steps below.
- Cut the copper cap at the end of the pipe by using a pipe cutter.
- Deburr or sand away any uneven edges.
- Push a brass compression fitting onto the pipe and slide it so that the angle stop can be placed at the pipe-end.
- Put the angle stop over the pipe by pushing it as far as possible.
- Place the brass ring on the angle stop valve and tighten the nut with the help of pliers.
- Turn the handle clockwise to shut it completely. However, if there is a lever, turn it so that it is perpendicular to the valve body and pipe.
CPVC Stop Valve
This valve is ideal for areas where the water is aggressive and corrodes copper pipes. CPVC pipes are not affected by such water conditions and don’t allow any deposits on the inside. Follow the steps below for its installation.
- Use a tube cutter to make a square cut in the CPVC pipe.
- Cut the pipe where you want the connection joint. Remove any burrs. You can also use a hacksaw.
- Add a drop of dishwashing liquid on the pipe ends to lubricate.
- On the compression fitting, loosen the threaded nut.
- Now push the pipe into the fitting. A lock ring will grasp the pipe.
- Tighten by using your hands as the design is such that it doesn’t need a wrench.
- Turn on the main water supply line to check for leaks.
Tips And Caution When Installing A Water Shut Off Valve
Before and during the installation of a water shutoff valve, there are some tips and things to be aware of. Let’s start with what to do before you install a stop valve in your home.
1. Shut Off The Main Water Valve
Before installing a new shutoff valve, you must turn off the line of the main water supply by shutting off the main valve. In case you are removing your old one and replacing it with a new stop valve, you have to do the same – disconnect the main water supply.
Along with disconnecting the main water supply, you need to take care of the following before replacing an old shutoff valve.
- Put a pail or bucket under the existing valve so that it holds the water.
- Take two pairs of wrench or pliers. With one, grip the body of the current valve. Work on the compression nut with the second pair of pliers to loosen it.
- The nut should be loosened fully to allow the valve to be removed from the pipe-end.
- Turn and twist the compression sleeve from the line by using pliers. If you find it hard to do so, use a compression sleeve puller. If this doesn’t work, the pipe must be cut off under the sleeve.
- Sand off the pipe exterior with an emery cloth to get it clean.
2. How To Check For Leaks
After you have installed a new shutoff valve, to check that it has been installed properly, turn on the main water valve. If no water seeps from near the valve, then your project has been successful. Otherwise, you have to check if the handle or lever has been tightened enough.
3. Position Of The Lever
After installation of the shutoff valve, if it has a lever, turn it clockwise until it is perpendicular to the valve body and the pipe. Otherwise, you can’t be sure if it has been tightened and shut off properly.
4. Prevent Handle And Washer From Heat
If you are installing a copper sweat shutoff valve, remember to take off the handle and washer beforehand. This will save these from the adverse effects when you apply the propane torch that emits heat.
5. How To Check Joint Temperature
When you are installing a copper sweat shutoff valve, you can check the temperature of the connection or joint by putting the solder-end to it. If the solder becomes fluid, that means the joint is hot enough.
6. Caution About Hot Solder
At the stage of installing a copper sweat stop valve where you have removed the flame, caution needs to be exercised before the solder solidifies. At this stage, do not move any of the parts until the solder has hardened completely.
7. Caution About Square Cuts
When you are installing a push-on shutoff valve and you have made the square cut near the end of the pipe, make sure that it is absolutely clean and free of deburrs. Otherwise, the connection with the push-on valve will be less than perfect.
For your safety and to avoid emergencies, you should know how to install a water shutoff valve.
Installing a water shutoff valve is not at all complicated as it may sound like. It depends on where you want to install it as there are factors like easy accessibility and quick shutoff that need to be considered.
Also involved in the process of installation is a prep stage where you need to shut off the main water supply line. There are a few precautionary steps you need to follow during the installation. That is again due to the location of the shutoff valve as well as the material of the pipe.
Some post-installation tips should be followed to ensure you have done a great job. All in all, once you know the material the pipe and the valve are made from, installing is not a big deal. Good luck!