Do It Yourself Shut Off Valves

If you have plumbing in your home, no matter how old the home is, you have the potential for leaks and other disasters. You may think that this does not sound like a major issue but the consequences of a water leak can be devastating. Water rots out wood, which can include floors and walls. While the process may take a while, eventually the water damage will catch up and create holes and danger in the home.

The trick of water leaks is to get the water shut off before too much water hits the floor. Now this can be tricky because cost saving measures in some homes mean that only one shut off valve is present in the home, which would be the main valve. The main valve is usually located in the basement, crawl space or outside near the water meter and you can waste vital minutes trying to reach it. So the best and most obvious answer is to attach shut off valves at each area where water comes into the house.

This is not a difficult task depending on the type of pipes that you have. For the sake of this discussion we will use plastic pipes as they are the most common. For this project you will need a pipe cutter, plenty of new shut off valves (buy extra), sandpaper and some plumbers plastic glue.

The first step is too shut off the water to the home. Does this at the main shut off valve. Be sure to warn everybody that you are doing this in the home to avoid problems.

Now you will need to determine how much to cut from the pipes to fit the new valves. The piece that you cut should be small because you will simply be adding an extra couple of inches to the area. If you cut too large a piece you will have to replace the pipe so be careful and measure before you cut. A mistake at this point can be costly.

Now that you have the piece cut you should take the sandpaper and rough up the two ends of the existing pipe. This helps the glue to hold better and provides added strength for the pressure build up.

Dry fit (no glue) the valve into place to ensure that it will install properly. You want to ensure that there is a nice snug fit and that the pipe is not being pulled apart from cutting too big a section out.

Once you have confirmed the fit you should apply a liberal amount of glue to the two sections of pipe and immediately fit the shut off valve into place.

Repeat the steps for all areas of the home. You need to allow the glue to dry for at least 8 hours, so you may want to make plans to take everyone out of the home for that long, maybe on a day trip or so on. Once you return, turn on the water and check for leaks, if no leaks are present then test the strength of the valves by using them.

That is all there is to it.

WARNING: Make sure that you read and follow all the instructions and safety precautions on the packaging for fluids, chemicals, glues, and other parts that you are using to repair the plumbing in your home to prevent illnesses and injuries. Also, make sure to wear the proper protective clothing, such as gloves or goggles, to prevent illnesses and injuries.