If you are living in a house that is so old that it is almost considered to be a vintage home, then it is only a matter of time before signs of plumbing issues begin to surface. These are some indications of times when you should consider updating or replacing your shut-off valves:
- Dwindling water pressure.
- Presence of sediments at the bottom of the bathtub or shower after running the water.
- Sagging or leaking pipes.
If you are facing any of these problems in your house, then it might be time to update the water supply shut-off valve. Here is how you can do that at home. However, it would be advisable to call a plumber and ask him to do this since it is a bit complex to be handled by an amateur.
- Shut off the water leading to the valve being replaced.
- Use emery cloth to buff clean the pipe on either side of the old valve.
- Cut through the pipe on each side of the old valve with a mini hacksaw.
- Slip new stop-and-waste valve into place between the just-cut pipe ends.
- Grab hold of the valve with pliers and use an adjustable wrench to tighten one of the valve’s compression fittings onto one of the pipe ends. Repeat for the other pipe end.
- Turn the water back on, then open and close the new valve; check your work for leaks.
It is advisable that these valves be changed sooner rather than later, because if those valves are loose, and are draining water, you won’t be able to shut off the water in case of an emergency.
Staying ahead of your old valves is a sure-fire way to avoid emergency plumbing repairs when you are not prepared for it. Preventive maintenance is always better than reparation costs.
If your house is more than ten years old, then you should get the piping checked for leakages and any damage. Imagine the amount of damage AND effort you will have prevented if those valves aren’t allowed to break and flood your basement.