How to Install a Water Shutoff Valve

  • 01 of 07

    Types of Water Shutoff Valves

    compression water shut off valve
    Water shut off valves come in many styles such as this compression valve.

    There are several different types of water shutoff valves, or stop valves, designed for different types of pipe. There are also a few different valve configurations, including standard straight, angled (angle stop), and in-line valves. Shutoff valves are commonly available for installation on copper, CPVC, galvanized steel, and PEX pipe or tubing. The following are the basic installation steps for several of the most common types of pipe and shutoff valves. 

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Before You Start

    Shutoff valves allow you to turn off the water supply to a single fixture and are conveniently located near the fixture. But to install a shutoff valve, you have to start by shutting off the main water supply to the entire house. 

    If you are replacing an existing shutoff valve, shut off the main water supply, then remove the old valve as follows: 

    1. Place a bucket under the valve to capture water.
    2. Hold the valve body with one adjustable wrench, and loosen the valve's compression nut with a second...MORE adjustable wrench. Unthread the nut all the way, and remove the valve from the end of the pipe.
    3. Remove old brass compression sleeve from the pipe. If the sleeve is stuck, use tongue-and-groove pliers to carefully twist the sleeve off of the pipe. If the sleeve is not easily removed by the pliers, you can also use a compression sleeve puller or cut off the pipe below the sleeve.
    4. Clean the exterior of the pipe by gently sanding with fine emery cloth.
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  • 03 of 07

    Installing a Compression Shutoff Valve

    compression shutoff valve
    Multi-turn compression shutoff valve. © Home-cost.com / Brasscraft

    Shutoff valves with compression fittings are used with copper pipe and are installed with two adjustable wrenches: 

    1. Slide the compression nut onto the pipe with the threads of the nut facing the end of the pipe. 
    2. Slide the compression sleeve onto the pipe so it is at least 1 inch from the end.
    3. Push the valve onto the pipe so the pipe is fully seated inside the valve body.
    4. Slide the compression sleeve up against the threaded inlet of the valve, then slide the compression nut over the sleeve and onto...MORE the threaded inlet—while keeping the pipe fully seated in the valve.
    5. Hand-tighten the compression nut until it is snug.
    6. Hold the valve body with one adjustable wrench, and tighten the compression nut with a second adjustable wrench, about 3/4 of a turn.
    7. Make sure the valve is closed by turning its handle clockwise until it stops. If the valve has a lever handle, turn the lever so it is perpendicular to the valve body and pipe. 
    8. Turn on the main water supply and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 
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  • 04 of 07

    Installing a Copper Sweat/Solder Shutoff Valve

    sweat shutoff valve
    Shutoff valves that are soldered or 'sweated' onto a copper pipe are called sweat shutoof valves. © Home-cost.com / Brasscraft

    A sweat (soldered) fitting is used only with rigid copper and requires a traditional soldered connection, using a propane torch and solder: 

    1. Remove the handle and washer assembly from the new shutoff valve. This will prevent the washers from being damaged by heat.
    2. Clean the outside portion of the pipe and the inside of the shutoff valve body fitting seat (the part that receives the copper pipe) with fine emery cloth. 
    3. Apply flux to the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting seat.
    4. Fit the...MORE valve body onto the pipe and twist it back and forth to evenly distribute the flux between the pipe and the fitting seat.
    5. Heat all sides of the fitting with a propane torch. Periodically check the joint temperature by touching the end of the solder to the pipe surface at the joint. When the solder turns liquid and flows freely, the joint is sufficiently hot.  
    6. Apply solder into the joint all the way around the pipe while continuing to apply heat. 
    7. Remove the flame from the joint, and wipe the valve with a damp cloth to clean its finish while the pipe joint is still hot. Do not move the parts until the solder hardens.
    8. Reinstall the valve washer assembly and handle.
    9. Make sure the valve is closed by turning its handle clockwise until it stops. If the valve has a lever handle, turn the lever so it is perpendicular to the valve body and pipe. 
    10. Turn on the main water supply and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 
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  • 05 of 07

    Installing a Push-On Shutoff Valve

    push on shutoff valve
    Push on shutoff valves are the easiest valve style to install but are also the most expensive. © Home-cost.com / Brasscraft

    Push-on fittings are compatible with copper, PEX, and CPVC water supply pipe and require a clean, square cut on the end of the pipe:

    1. Cut the end of the pipe, using an appropriate type of tubing cutter. 
    2. Deburr the cut end, using a deburring tool, then clean the pipe as needed. The pipe end must be squarely cut, clean, and free of burrs to ensure a good connection with the push-on valve. 
    3. Measure and mark the pipe at the manufacturer's specified depth dimension (typically about 1 inch from the...MORE end of the pipe). This mark indicates how far the valve must be pushed onto the pipe to be fully seated.
    4. Push the valve onto the pipe until it reaches the depth marking, indicating it is fully seated. Note: Push-in fittings typically include a pre-installed (but removable) stiffener for PEX tubing. The stiffener must be in place for PEX installations and does not need to be removed for copper or CPVC pipe. 
    5. Make sure the valve is closed by turning its handle clockwise until it stops. If the valve has a lever handle, turn the lever so it is perpendicular to the valve body and pipe. 
    6. Turn on the main water supply and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 
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  • 06 of 07

    Installing an FIP Iron Pipe Shutoff Valve

    iron pipe or FIP valve shutoff
    FIP (female iron pipe) shutoff valves are used when connecting to galvanized water pipe. © Home-cost.com / Brasscraft

    Iron pipe valves have threaded (FIP) fittings for use with galvanized steel water supply pipe: 

    1. Apply plumber's tape thread sealant or pipe dope to the threads on the end of the pipe.
    2. Thread the shutoff valve onto the pipe.
    3. Hold the valve body steady with one adjustable wrench, and use a second adjustable wrench to tighten the valve connection. The outlet of the valve should face in the desired direction when the valve is tight, as applicable. 
    4. Make sure the valve is closed by turning its handle...MORE clockwise until it stops. If the valve has a lever handle, turn the lever so it is perpendicular to the valve body and pipe. 
    5. Turn on the main water supply and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 
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  • 07 of 07

    Installing a PEX Barbed Shutoff Valve

    pex shutoff valve
    © Home-cost.com / Brasscraft

    Barbed PEX shutoff valves are designed specifically for PEX tubing and require a PEX crimping tool: 

    1. Make a clean, square cut on the end of the PEX tubing, using a PEX tubing cutter. 
    2. Slide a brass crimp ring onto the PEX tubing.
    3. Insert the barbed end of the shutoff valve into the PEX tubing until the tubing completely stops at the valve body.
    4. Position the crimp ring over barbed area, and crimp the ring with a PEX crimping tool, following the manufacturer's directions.
    5. Make sure the valve is...MORE closed by turning its handle clockwise until it stops. If the valve has a lever handle, turn the lever so it is perpendicular to the valve body and pipe. 
    6. Turn on the main water supply and check for leaks at the shutoff valve.