I never forget the time I lived in this old house that had out dated sink plumbing and electrical wiring. I remember being faced with sink plumbing problems every week it seemed. Every time I had to work on the sink or any other plumbing fixture I had to shut off the water to the whole house. I then decided enough of this and installed shutoff valves under the sinks. Since then, I replace many plumbing fixtures in my 38 plus years in the renovation business that I own and operated.
For those who are faced with that same problem or if the shutoff valves need replacement and want to save some money. Follow the steps below.
- Mini tubing cutter
- Basin wrench
- Adjustable wrench or wrenches
- Screw driver
- Reamer brush
- Propane torch
- Flux brush
- A Fire extinguisher if available in case of a fire – or have some water readily available.
- Plumber’s emery cloth
Usually sinks and toilets have a fixture shutoff valve. Shut off these valves if you are working on any of these fixtures. If the job involves cutting water lines supplying a kitchen sink or a flush tank and there is no fixture shut off valve, I suggest that this is the perfect time to install one.
To install a shut off valve.
Turn the water main off and turn on the faucet of the fixture you are working on. Also, turn on a faucet from a lower level to drain the water lines that you are working on. Disconnect the supply line from the faucet and heat the fitting that is soldered to the ½ inch water supply line and separate it from the water line by pulling and twisting it with pliers. Be careful not to bend the pipe out of round.
Use a cloth to wipe off as much solder as possible while the solder is still hot. Wear gloves to protect yourself from getting burned. Let the pipe cool off and clean it with plumbers emery cloth and dry fit the fixture shutoff valve to make sure it fits. If it does not fit, clean it again until the valve fits. Clean the inside of the valve (the end that goes on the copper pipe)with a reamer brush.
After taking the shutoff valve off, separate the stem from the valve by undoing the nut that keeps it in place. If you don’t the seals will get ruined from the excessive heat when soldering. Apply flux to both the end of the copper pipe and the inside of the shutoff valve. Fit the shutoff valve back on the copper pipe and heat it near the end that goes on the copper pipe. When the flux start to sizzle apply the solder around the joint where the valve meets the copper valve.
Note: Bend the solder into a hook 2 or 3 inches long and start soldering from left to right until it start dripping from the bottom.
Wipe off the solder with a cloth while it’s still hot and then let it cool off before putting the stem back on. Follow the same procedures for both supply lines.
Shut the valves off, turn the water main back on and test for leaks
Next step is to connect the new supply lines to the sink faucets I like to use the braided stainless steel type. They are easy to work with and lasts a long time. Tighten all connections and check for leaks this time turn on the shutoff valves. If you encounter leaks, tighten the fitting where it is leaking until the leak stops.
Now you can tell your better half what you have just accomplished and reap in the rewards. Haha!