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Electrical Contractor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below is a picture of the shut-off for my toilet. It is very hard to turn, it doesn't shut off all the way, and it looks like it is going to break if I try to repair it.

I would like to install a ball valve so I could shut off the toilet with a quarter turn.

Can someone tell me what type of pipe is coming out of the wall?

It is in a very tight place so installing a Sharkbite shut-off would be optimal, especially because it is exposed and I would be able to see if it ever leaked.


 

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The nipple out off the wall seems to be galvanized - it has got to go. Most likely it's threaded inside the wall to a female elbow fitting.
1. Disconnect the flex supply line from the angle stop to the toilet tank.
2. Using a plumber's wrench, remove the nipple. Having problems? use some force or use a bigger wrench with more torque. Last resort: Cut the wall and assess the situation.
3. Install a new brass nipple, a new 1/4 turn angle stop and a new flex connector. Test for leaks.
 

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FIDO...
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With the dust/grime on the pipe, it's hard to tell what type it is - likely galvanized or copper. I can't tell if it's soldered on or screwed on.

I'm a fan of SharkBites (especially for a shutoff scenario like this), but I would caution you on using a SharkBite with that existing pipe (assuming its copper)...

SharkBites work best on new (or really pristine existing) copper & pex pipes - they seal with a rubber o-ring, so the pipe needs to be true round with no dings/nick/scratches or anything else that causes an uneven surface (like grime or scale).

On a dinged-up, misshapen, or dirty pipe, you may be able to get an initial seal, but it's almost certainly doomed to start leaking soon.
 

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With no disrespect towards dj3 intended.



I would leave the pipe and simply replace the cut off. Unscrewing things where you can't see the other end is always risky business.



The projecting pipe is with 3/8 or 1/2". Co to your favorite store and buy 2 valves then return the one you don't use.
small tube of pipe dope
3/8 IPS female x 3/8 compression angle stop
1/2" IPS female X 3/8 compression stop
probably a new supply line



2 pipe wrenches or 1 pipe wrench + i adjustable wrench



Remove the old install new with pipe dope on the iron pipe threads.
Make sure you have a good bit on the pipe as you do not want it to turn even a fraction of an inch.
 
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I would leave the pipe and simply replace the cut off. ...

2 pipe wrenches or 1 pipe wrench + i adjustable wrench

Remove the old install new with pipe dope on the iron pipe threads.
Make sure you have a good bit on the pipe as you do not want it to turn even a fraction of an inch.
I think that's the route I'd take. Problem is that the OP says the space is tight, so getting two wrenches in there is going to be difficult. That valve is probably below the toilet tank, so it might help to remove the tank. And you might as well replace the tank-to-bowl gasket and bolts while you're at it.

In fact... if the toilet is as old as the valve, it probably wastes water and clogs all the time. It would be even easier to replace the valve if you remove the toilet entirely and throw it away. (And then of course replace it with an efficient modern toilet.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The toilet is about 13 years old, the valve is most likely original which would be 60 years old.

So this is definitely threaded on?

Maybe it's just best if I leave it, the last thing I need is to open up a can of worms and have to open up the tiled wall.
 

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The toilet is about 13 years old, the valve is most likely original which would be 60 years old.

So this is definitely threaded on?

Maybe it's just best if I leave it, the last thing I need is to open up a can of worms and have to open up the tiled wall.
Yes, I agree, it looks to be threaded on. Unless you are willing to do what has been recommended, I agree, just leave it alone.

Dealing with 60 plus year old galvanize pipe never ends well.

You could try some wd 40, work it in and see if that helps with the stiffness.
 

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If no room for a pipe wrench, try vice grips with curved jaws.
 

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You could shut off the main, add a new washer and grease the threads on the stem.


I agree that messing with 60 year old pipes often does not end well.
 

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Colbyt,
You have a point, except: Let the OP remove the angle stop first, and let's see the condition of the thread on the nipple and the amount of rust inside the nipple.
In fact, the OP could be due for a re-pipe job.
Just sayin.
 

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I already agreed with both of you. :)



The old valve with a new washer, grease and maybe some packing will probably outlast anything sold at Blue or Orange.


BTW to the OP: Sometimes valves are hard to turn because someone over-tighted the packing nut, the cone shaped nut just behind the handle.
 

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OP, you should take a metal implement and carefully scratch off some of the crud so you know what the pipe material is. My personal expectation is that it's copper.

As far as working room, getting enough is simply the cost of a few minutes more of your time drain and remove the toilet, plus a $2 wax ring. That cost will easily offset the frustration and extra time you'll spend contorting yourself into that space, and possibly save the sensitive ears of the females in your household from all of your cursing.
 
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