Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-13-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 410
Share |
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


I am trying to find the shut off valve for my outside faucet for the winter. I've got a bunch of mysterious shut off valves in the basement. Each one when I went to turn broke off.

Should I have loosened the packing nut a little first?

They look like this, but no where near as nice:





Can I simply remove the packing nut (with the water shut off upstream and other faucets, etc. opened to drain the water in the pipes), and go find another valve with the same size nut and stem or am I going to have to change the entire fitting?

pcampbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 08:26 AM   #2
Long-Time DIYer
 
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
Posts: 1,460
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


If the stems are so corroded that they just snap off, you can almost bet that the seats that seal against the washers are too.
I would replace all of them with good quarter-turn ball valves.
If you don't care to solder and all of these valves are clearly visible at all times, you can simply use good compression-fitting ball valves that are installed with two wrenches (one tightening, the other as back-up).
You can find them at almost any plumbing supply. Also get some emory cloth or sandpaper to clean up the ends of the copper pipes before installing the compression fitting ball valves. You don't need any teflon tape or pipe compound with compression fittings. The threads don't seal them, the brass ferrule ring does the sealing when compressed onto the pipe by the nuts on the valve.
Good luck!
Mike

Mike Swearingen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 410
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Thanks... Looks like I just needed a little gentle force. I loosened the nut a little, and was able to work both the hot and cold free. Now one does not have a knob - might be able to extract the screw off or???

What happened is actually the SCREW on the stem snapped, not the stem itself. I know it is probably OK to be able to shut it off with locking pliers but ??? I prefer to have the knob I guess.

Last edited by pcampbell; 01-13-2009 at 02:25 PM.
pcampbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
Long-Time DIYer
 
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
Posts: 1,460
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


You can use a small screw extractor, but those cost about $20 bucks per set, and you can buy a new ball valve for less.
Mike
Mike Swearingen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
Member
 
WaldenL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Nassau, Long Island, NY
Posts: 338
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
...but those cost about $20 bucks per set, and you can buy a new ball valve for less.
True enough, but then you have the screw extractor to use elsewhere, always a handy thing to have around (or borrow a neighbor's) where the ball valve you can only use once.
WaldenL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,264
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
If the stems are so corroded that they just snap off, you can almost bet that the seats that seal against the washers are too.
I agree that Mike's suggestion to replace the valves with ball valves is a good idea, but theres good reasons why I can't agree with the above statement.

Small valves like this are cast out of BRONZE, not brass. The stem and screws will be made of brass, but the valve body itself (including the seat will be cast out of bronze).

Bronze is much more water resistant than brass. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, whereas brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and zinc is a highly reactive metal. It's that zinc content that results in brass corroding more rapidly than bronze or pure copper. And, depending on the amount of zinc in the brass, it's properties will change. Brasses with a high zinc content machine well, and it's these kinds of brasses that will be used to make the brass washer and handle screws. Brasses with a lower zinc content will be used to make the valve stem.

It's the different zinc content in the brasses used to make screws and valve stems that's the reason why the screw on an old water valve will often crumble under the force of the screw driver when you try to remove it, but the lower zinc content spindle will still be strong.

And, it's the fact that the valve body is made of bronze that's the reason why the valve body itself is never deteriorated or crumbly like the screw or spindle. And, the copper piping is the most corrosion resistant of the lot.

PCampbell: I think your best bet is to take that valve down to some of the homecenters and hardware stores where you live and see if you can find new valves with the same thread on the bonnet nut so that you can just replace the cartridges and handles in the existing valve bodies. Look on the handles for any indication of who made these valves.

PS: The "word" for copper in ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics is the same "Ankh" symbol that was used for eternal life, or life after death. The ancient Egyptians were undoubtedly well aware of copper's natural resistance to corrosion.

PS2: That natural resistance to corrosion of copper comes from the fact that copper "rusts", but the oxide film it forms is highly impermeable and as it grows in thickness, it better and better protects the underlying copper from further oxidation. This is why new copper piping is kinda orangy gold, old copper piping is brown. Copper oxide is brown in colour.

Ya gotta know this stuff to get your DIY'er armbadge in plumbing.
__________________
Bashing my head against the walls in some of the internet's finest chat rooms.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Or just "park" your small vise-grips there and you'll always know where they are
__________________
LIVING THE DREAM
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 04:24 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 410
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


So...if I shut off the water up stream, unscrew the packing nut, will the stem pull out???
pcampbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


in theory yes, then you can replace the washer on the bottom, sometimes I get'em out easy, sometimes, tug and tug and they won't budge, maybe I just haven't had to do enough of them.
__________________
LIVING THE DREAM
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 06:43 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,264
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Quote:
Originally Posted by pcampbell View Post
So...if I shut off the water up stream, unscrew the packing nut, will the stem pull out???
No, don't touch the packing nut.

Unscrew the valve stem a bit to ensure the washer isn't tight against the seat.

Then put the closed end of a wrench (if possible) over the "bonnet nut", which is the 6 sided thing that screws into the valve body.

Sometimes the bonnet nuts on valves can be on awfully tight (but it prolly won't be on this kind of valve). If it is, slip a pipe wrench on to the back side of the valve body to hold the valve body steady while you break loose the bonnet nut. Then unscrew the bonnet nut.

Look for a gasket between the bonnet nut and the valve body.
__________________
Bashing my head against the walls in some of the internet's finest chat rooms.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-13-2009 at 06:47 PM.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


I stand corrected, oops, sorry, I would like say that this is a very good example of why I like this site, Nestor to his credit (thanks) was able to give the correct advise and didn't throw me under the bus, I appreciate that.
__________________
LIVING THE DREAM
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 09:52 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 840
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Nestor as usual had GREAT advice. One more thing,stick your finger in there as well as looking and make sure the seat is smooth and not cracked, pitted, or tracked!!!
4just1don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2009, 11:05 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,264
Default

Replacing shut off valves with broken off handles


Quote:
Originally Posted by DUDE! View Post
and didn't throw me under the bus, I appreciate that.
Naw, throwing someone under a bus is for "girly men".

Now, this puppy you could use anywhere, not just at a bus stop...


__________________
Bashing my head against the walls in some of the internet's finest chat rooms.

Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 01-13-2009 at 11:08 PM.
Nestor_Kelebay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
replacing shut off valve DIYGST Plumbing 1 01-08-2009 01:06 PM
shut off valves on cast iron radiators bdw2677 Plumbing 2 10-21-2008 07:07 PM
Best 1/2 inch water shut off valve. Nestor_Kelebay Plumbing 10 07-25-2008 11:16 AM
replacing shut off valves glassman Plumbing 1 03-28-2007 10:26 PM
Shut Off Valves Coach Gordon Plumbing 2 04-24-2006 03:13 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.