How to Install a Water Shutoff Valve

Basin siphon or sink drain in a bathroom, clean
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Compression water shutoff valve
The Spruce

There are several types of water shutoff valves, or stop valves, designed for different kinds of pipe. There are also a few different valve configurations, including standard straight, angled (angle stop), and in-line. Shutoff valves are commonly available for installation on copper, CPVC, galvanized steel, and PEX pipe or tubing. They allow you to turn off the water supply to a single fixture and are conveniently located near the fixture.

Removing the Old Valve

To install a shutoff valve, you have to start by shutting off the main water supply to the entire house. Then, remove the old valve as follows: 

  1. Position a Bucket

    Place a bucket under the valve to capture water.

  2. Remove the Valve

    Hold the valve body with one adjustable wrench, and loosen the valve's compression nut with a second adjustable wrench. Unthread the nut all the way, and remove the valve from the end of the pipe.

  3. Remove the Compression Sleeve

    Remove the 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 Pipe

    Clean the exterior of the pipe by gently sanding with fine emery cloth. Now you are ready to install a new valve.

Here are the basic installation steps for five common types of water shutoff valves. 

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. Put on the Compression Nut

    Slide the compression nut onto the pipe with the threads of the nut facing the end of the pipe. 

  2. Add the Compression Sleeve

    Slide the compression sleeve onto the pipe, so it is at least 1 inch from the end.

  3. Push on the Valve

    Push the valve onto the pipe, so the pipe is fully seated inside the valve body.

  4. Slide the Sleeve and Nut

    Slide the compression sleeve up against the threaded inlet of the valve. Then, slide the compression nut over the sleeve and onto the threaded inlet while keeping the pipe fully seated in the valve.

  5. Hand-Tighten the Nut

    Hand-tighten the compression nut until it is snug.

  6. Tighten With a Wrench

    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. Verify That the Valve Is Closed

    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 Water

    Turn on the main water supply, and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 

Copper Sweat/Solder Shutoff Valve

Sweat shutoff valve
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

    Remove the handle and washer assembly from the new shutoff valve. This will prevent the washers from being damaged by heat.

  2. Clean the Pipe and Valve Body

    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

    Apply flux to the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting seat.

  4. Attach the Valve Body to the Pipe

    Fit the 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 the Fitting

    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

    Apply solder into the joint around the pipe while continuing to apply heat. 

  7. Stop Heating and Wipe the Area

    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. Add the Handle and Washer Assembly

    Reinstall the valve washer assembly and handle.

  9. Verify That the Valve Is Closed

    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 Water

    Turn on the main water supply, and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 

Push-On Shutoff Valve

Push on shutoff valve
Home-cost.com/Brasscraft

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

  1. Cut the Pipe

    Cut the end of the pipe using an appropriate type of tubing cutter. 

  2. Smooth and Clean the Cut End

    Deburr (smooth) the cut end using a deburring tool, and then clean the pipe as needed. The pipe end must be squarely cut, clean, and smooth to ensure a good connection with the push-on valve. 

  3. Mark the Pipe

    Measure and mark the pipe at the manufacturer's specified depth dimension (typically about 1 inch from the end of the pipe). This mark indicates how far the valve must be pushed onto the pipe to be fully seated.

  4. Push on the Valve

    Push the valve onto the pipe until it reaches the depth marking, indicating it is fully seated. Push-in fittings typically include a preinstalled (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. Verify That the Valve Is Closed

    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 Water

    Turn on the main water supply, and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 

FIP Iron Pipe Shutoff Valve

Iron pipe or FIP valve shutoff
Home-cost.com/Brasscraft

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

  1. Apply Plumber's Tape

    Apply plumber's tape thread sealant or pipe dope to the threads on the end of the pipe.

  2. Thread the Valve

    Thread the shutoff valve onto the pipe.

  3. Tighten the Connection

    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.

  4. Verify That the Valve Is Closed

    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. 

  5. Turn on the Water

    Turn on the main water supply, and check for leaks at the shutoff valve. 

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 Square Cut

    Make a clean square cut on the end of the PEX tubing using a PEX tubing cutter. 

  2. Add a Brass Crimp Ring

    Slide a brass crimp ring onto the PEX tubing.

  3. Insert the Valve

    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

    Position the crimp ring over the barbed area, and crimp the ring with a PEX crimping tool following the manufacturer's directions.

  5. Verify That the Valve Is Closed

    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 Water

    Turn on the main water supply, and check for leaks at the shutoff valve.