How to Replace a Main Shutoff Valve | Ask This Old House

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Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows how to replace a main shut off valve that is not closing properly
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Time: 1 hour

Cost: $25

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Replacing a Main Shutoff Valve:
Tubing cutter
Torch
Fitting brush

Shopping List:
Ball valve
Plumber’s sand paper
Flux
Solder

Steps:
1. If the indoor shut off valve is not stopping water flow, the local water department has access to a shut off valve near the street and can be called to shut off water while work is performed.
2. With the water off, open the faucets and showers in the building to drain down any water left in the pipes.
3. Use sandpaper to clean the main water line before cutting into it.
4. Cut into the water line using a tubing cutter. When the line is broken, there may be residual water inside that needs to drain out.
5. Use the fitting brush to clean the inside of the valve.
6. Apply flux to the outside of the pipe and the inside of the valve.
7. Hold the torch to the fitting until the flux bubbles, then touch the solder to the pipe opposite the flame. If it’s the correct temperature, the solder should melt and fill in all gaps.
8. Call the water utility to turn back on the water.

Resources:
Ball valves and soldering tools are available at home centers.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Replace a Main Shutoff Valve | Ask This Old House
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