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CathrynH 01-09-2008 06:16 PM

Bathroom Sink Shutoff Valve, Supply Lines, Removing
Hello, I am a 54 year old woman with no handy type male relatives or friends. A newbie at plumbing, so please don't assume I know anything.
I am replacing a 40 year old bathroom sink and faucets. My questions are
with the taking them out phase.
I have taken out the trap and the piece that goes up to the sink (tailpiece?)
In trying to remove the supply lines to the faucet, some leaks have started from the shut off valve assembly, I think. The supply lines are really old and the solid metal kind, not copper and not plastic and not braided flexible.
I way loosened a nut that seemed to attach the supply line to the valve thingy, but the pipe just seems jammed in there. Should I just cut it off with a hack saw? Then on the wall side of the assembly can I cut that off too? I have used over a half can of WD 40 but everything still seems frozen. I have about 8 inches of copper colored pipe coming through the wall
before it gets to the shut off valve assembly. Should I cut it off there too?
The guys at the hardware store said to bring them the old one to know what kind of new one to get.
Sorry I can't hire a plumber, then I couldn't afford the new sink and faucets or have the satisfaction of doing it.
Thank you for any tips (once you have stopped laughing).
Cathy H

Bondo 01-09-2008 07:17 PM


I have about 8 inches of copper colored pipe coming through the wall
before it gets to the shut off valve assembly. Should I cut it off there too?
Ayuh,......... If I read this right,........ You'll have a Gusher if you Cut it there......

You'll have to follow the pipes Upstream to find another shut off valve, to stop the water, to be able to cut the pipe there.......
You are planning to replace this shut off valve,..??.. Right,.??
If that Copper colored pipe is Copper Tubing,....
You can use a Compression Fitting to join your New Plumbing to the old pipes where you cut them.....
No Soldering that way......

Any chance you could post a Picture,..??....

A Tubing Cutter leaves a much nicer end/ edge to work with when going back together,...
A Hacksaw really Isn't the Best Tool for the task........

CathrynH 01-09-2008 07:39 PM

Hello Bondo
Thank you for your quick reply (while I was at Lowe's quizzing their guys).
I had already turned off the water to the house out front, so no gusher, just some trickles. I bought one of those copper pipe cutters and I'll try that
now, for where the copper pipe comes out from the wall side before it goes into the valve. I will try to take a picture in there, I got a new digital for Christmas.
So I will keep you posted. Yes, I am planning to replace the shut off
valve under the sink. I'm sorry my post was so rambling. I'll only use a hack saw for the old lines going up to the faucet.
Thanks again for your help, I think I have some work to do, I'd like to get this thing off before the hardware store closes.
I guess the new one will be attached with a compression fitting? Do I need any special preparation on that? Plumbers tape, teflon stuff or anything?
Its ahead of myself, but if its something I should buy while I'm at the store....

biggles 01-09-2008 07:43 PM

the copper lines are the house water cold/RIGHT and the other is hot/LEFT don't cut any copper.... stay on the nut side of the shut off your working..that is soft metal piping even can be loosened the "COMPRESSION nut" and slid it you have a compression ring that is around the exposed pipe going in that drops down from the sink fixture.if the sink is still mounted that line is locked in because it is into the valve a up top it goes just as deep into the faucet locking nut also,,,you need to lay on your back and get a wrench up on the nut that holds that end of the line..note your direction when turning it you are going to be looking at it from a different view,,,remember rightty tighty lefty loosy!!!!!!! and nobody is .....:laughing: with both nuts up and off the compression rings now turn the pipe itself with a grip wrench it has to get out push it left to riht or foward back and it will bend a pop out of the valves with the compression ring still on you have the bear valve coming out of the wall that is your shut off for the cold water and the other is the hot both with exsisting pressure as they stand.if you get new lines go for plastic ones so with the new sink is going in you just put the ones the sink first(laying sink on the floor face down) mount the sink lines finger tight then 1/2 turn with a wrench..then mount the sink and the lines are easier to tie in below.then the drain is easy looking in as you install that.Home Depot has the lines in different materials just keep in mind those exsisting shut offs are old so clean the stuff on them when you go in with the new line with the new compression fitting and nut,,again finger tight and wrench it.. 1/2 to 3/4 turns,,open the lines slowly and check for leaks...if you don't have the drain in yet just put a bucket for the water line test...then the drain lines all hand tight again all availivle at Home need to shut the main house supply water and the shutoffs coming out of the wall on the copper are threaded onto the copper or solderered on..VERY imortant to see what it is SWETTING means plumber

CathrynH 01-09-2008 08:22 PM

Hello Biggles and Bondo
I haven't cut anything. I got the hot water supply line up to the faucet off.
The shut off valve on that side is leaky. But the WD 40 seems to have done
its job and I can turn it now. But I am fearful of that gusher. What is upstream? I have the water turned out outside the house, but not at the curb. Do I need to turn water off at some other junctures inside the house?
As I start to turn the nut where the valve attaches to the lines coming from the wall, it starts to spray and spurt some, so I am hesitant to go on.
PLease advise.
Thank you

CathrynH 01-09-2008 09:05 PM

Big Rick
Your male relatives are probably not as dorky with a wrench as you think. At least give em a shot,at least the good looking one with the busted up cartlidge.

Mike Swearingen 01-09-2008 09:37 PM

If you have shut off your main valve to your home and you still have leaking, I would also shut off the meter valve, and then drain off the pressure on both the hot and cold side through a lower faucet than the one that you're working on.
I don't know whether you have a soldered or compression fittings for shut-off valves under your sink. What you need are two new compression fitting 1/2"-to-3/8" shut-off valves, two stainless steel flex hoses (get them extra long and loop them if necessary) to connect the new valves to the new faucet lines.
You don't need any teflon tape, etc. for compression fittings or the stainless steel flex lines. The brass ferrule ring that slips onto the end of the copper pipe after the nut is what seals a compression fitting, not the threads. The flex hoses come with built-in rubber seals.
You will need a backup wrench and a tightening wrench for the compression fittings and flex hoses.
Sandpaper the ends of the straight copper pipe after you cut them off near the old valves with the tubing cutter and also scrape any burrs off.
Good Luck!

scrapiron 01-09-2008 09:46 PM

You can check at another faucet to make sure your main supply is off. Where the problem valve is located, first floor, second floor, etc. will determine how much water will run out when the valve is removed. You may be able to drain some of the water away if there is another faucet at a lower level. Also, depending on its location, you should turn off the valve at the hot water heater to keep from possibly draining it.

CathrynH 01-09-2008 10:25 PM

Thank you all. As you can see from the post above, one of my brothers came and helped me turn off the water at the street (meter). The main water turnoff up by the house doesn't quite get the job done. So now the new shut off (angle) valves are installed and the water to the house is back on so that everyone can have a nice hot bath or shower. We did use the tube cutter to get the old ones off. Thank you for all your help. Ill be back tomorrow when after I pick up the new sink and faucet.
Cathy H.

Marlin 01-10-2008 12:28 AM

I generally recommend against compression fittings on copper, I've seen a couple floods that came out of them. I'd also recommend looking into replacing your main valve so you can shut the water off in an emergency, that's one of the reasons it's there. That valve does need to be sweated or threaded.
In the future when you need to drain down the house shut off the main, open a faucet or faucets on the top floor then open a faucet in the basement. That will let all the water run out of your pipes and if the main is still leaking the little water getting through will go through the open basement faucet and never make it upstairs.

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