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Old 11-04-2017, 02:20 AM   #1
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Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Hey guys,

I have drywall ripped out in my kitchen from water damage which has exposed the firewall behind the fridge as well to which the old and slightly dripping ice maker valve box is nailed in and recessed (a square section is cut out around it):



I am wanting to replace this with another unit and am wondering if it's worth DIYing. Do you guys know if this is likely soldered in just from the pic? It *looks* like it's a compression fitting because isn't that a compression nut? How much effort would be required to remove it?

Ideally, I'd like to install a compression or Sharkbite valve box in place. Something like this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-Q...Box/1000182805
Per the dimensions, it *seems* this may be able to drop right into place. No way of telling until I pick it up and check though. I'm assuming I'd want to secure the new one directly to the firewall like the current one is.

The part that worries me most though is removing the current one - I'm not sure how to tell if it's soldered or a compression fitting, nor how best to remove it in either case. I suppose I could use a pipe cutter but I don't want to bite off too much of the piping to where the box won't have enough clearance either.

Better to buy the one I want, roughly dry-fit to make sure it'll fit (as much as I can) and then hire a licensed plumber or contractor just to do the job?

Last edited by jplee3; 11-04-2017 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:46 AM   #2
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


If it is just the valve leaking slightly, you could just rebuild the valve and leave it all in place. Turn the water off to the house and remove handle and the collar nut. The stem will twist out of the valve. Replace the washer at the end and the packing under the collar nut and put it all back together.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


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Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
If it is just the valve leaking slightly, you could just rebuild the valve and leave it all in place. Turn the water off to the house and remove handle and the collar nut. The stem will twist out of the valve. Replace the washer at the end and the packing under the collar nut and put it all back together.
It is a slight/slow drip or leak. Hm, so what kind/size washers would I need to buy for this or should I look for at Home Depot or Lowes? I would have no idea on any of that.

There's also some corrosion especially around the spout (I think you can kind of see it in the picture). Should I just spray some CLR or Limeaway on that and let it soak?

Ah, I found this:
Looks to be pretty straightforward if I can get a screwdriver in there to unscrew the handle haha. Also, would have to make sure I have or get the right washer for that...

Last edited by jplee3; 11-04-2017 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:59 AM   #4
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Ugh, I was just trying to see if my socket wrench with socket and phillips screwdriver head would clear the box but it won't. I *think* I may have one of these guys laying around somewhere:


One of those "crap, where did I put that" moments where you can't find exactly what you need had you only organized everything from day one.

The other thing I noticed is that the liquid coming out of the spout itself is blackish - it *seems* there might be another washer in the valve assembly that is deteriorating, turning the water black as the water flows out slowly. Is that a sign that I should just replace the entire assembly?

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Old 11-04-2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Not really. The rest of the unit is mostly brass, so if it is the washers (likely) deteriorating and causing the blackish water, then changing them should help fix it without doing a lot of change out.
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:20 PM   #6
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


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Not really. The rest of the unit is mostly brass, so if it is the washers (likely) deteriorating and causing the blackish water, then changing them should help fix it without doing a lot of change out.

Thanks! So the only washer in these valves really is that packing washer? I didn't realize that... in that case this should be a pretty simple fix. At least, I'd hope haha.
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #7
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


If you can take the stem with you, it will help you get the right one. Get stem packing washers as well just in case yours are worn. They are softer, often made of leather in layers so they can expand when moisture hits them. They'll be in the same area as the rubber flat or tapered washers.
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:39 PM   #8
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


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Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
If you can take the stem with you, it will help you get the right one. Get stem packing washers as well just in case yours are worn. They are softer, often made of leather in layers so they can expand when moisture hits them. They'll be in the same area as the rubber flat or tapered washers.

I should have gotten one of those push caps last night then. Taking the stem/valve off means having to shut off the water to our unit completely. I'm probably going to have to play a guessing game with figuring out what washer to get. I'm apprehensive about disassembling the valve to see what kind of washer it is beforehand, unless I have time to quickly run to the hardware store and grab a matching washer just to install so that we're not without water for a longer period of time.
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Old 11-04-2017, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


It's going to take you the same amount of time to go to the store either way. Certainly folks can do without active water for an hour or so. If need be, grab an assorted pack of washers and shoot for snake eyes.
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


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It's going to take you the same amount of time to go to the store either way. Certainly folks can do without active water for an hour or so. If need be, grab an assorted pack of washers and shoot for snake eyes.

Good point... we'll see how this goes. Hopefully that's the only thing we'll need. I've found, too many times in my experience, that once I try to fix one thing, I end up having to fix like 5 more things LOL
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Old 11-04-2017, 07:57 PM   #11
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Hm, I'm wondering if I could just pick one of these up too:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCra...SR01/204845385

I think it might be the bib washer that has deteriorated. I was trying to find washers that would fit and the generic Danco assorted ones they sell I'm not confident would fit. Not sure if the valve stems between Eastman and Brasscraft would be interchangeable though.
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Old 11-04-2017, 08:21 PM   #12
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Here, again, it's a crap shoot. The stem must be the same length and width. Carrying the old one with you will make it easier to discern.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:46 PM   #13
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


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Here, again, it's a crap shoot. The stem must be the same length and width. Carrying the old one with you will make it easier to discern.

So I picked up that Brasscraft Valve Stem Repair kit for a couple bucks and it actually is a pretty perfect fit *except* for the actual handle/knob which has different threading, so I couldn't get the original handle on the new stem. The washers were a perfect fit though so I removed them from the new stem and put them on the old stem. No more murky black water and *much* better flow as you turn the handle counter-clockwise. I also sprayed LimeAway around the nozzle and used a flathead screwdriver, scraper and sandpaper to remove the calcium, lime and corrosion that had built up. Looks pretty good now in addition to working much better. No more minor leakage either, as far as I can see. If I ever want a new handle/knob, I have the hardware for it at least. I'm not quite sure where I can find the larger diameter washer if I ever need one of those though... probably Orchard or Ace. I think the smaller bib washer is a 00 sized washer.

Much easier than I anticipated and saved me the big bucks of having a plumber come out. Thanks Chandler48!!
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:02 PM   #14
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Crud, so I just realized that the water remediation company likely trashed the trim/face plate for the ice maker outlet box!



It's a really old style box and I'm pretty sure it can't be found anywhere, and same for the original style trim plate. The only trim plate I've found that fits the dimensions is by Oatey but I'm not so sure since it's a snap on faceplate. The current box has a little 'step' so it wouldn't fit in without cutting off tabs on that Oatey. Other issues is that I'd probably have to order the Oatey face plate online, in which returns would be a PITA if I have to do that in the case that it doesn't work...

Any ideas on how to take care of the trim for the existing box? One solution of course is just to replace the entire darned thing, which sucks because of all the time I spent looking for the washers/repair kit to fix the valve itself.
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Old 11-06-2017, 04:50 PM   #15
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Re: Should I DIY replace an old ice maker valve box?


Make one out of lumber. 1/2" thick cut with miters on all ends like a picture frame. Glue it to the wall. Easy peasy.
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