How To Replace A Toilet Shut Off Valve Fast

How To Replace A Toilet Shut Off Valve Fast

Anthony Barnes

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Do you need to repair a broken toilet? If so, then chances are you need to turn off the water in your home before you can start. 

While this remains a common practice for most homeowners, it can still be a nuisance, as it makes it impossible for other members of your household to access clean water.

Fortunately, there are now ways around this problem, as you can install a toilet shut-off valve to control the water in the basin. 

Toilet shut-off valves make it easier to complete repairs and maintenance, as they allow you to reduce the water in the toilet without sacrificing the rest of the house.

However, this does not mean that these valves are indestructible, as you will need to replace them if they are damaged. 

In this article, we will teach you how to replace a toilet shut-off valve using a fast and efficient method.

We will also discuss the functions of the valve and the materials you will need to complete the task. 

What Is A Toilet Shut Off Valve? 

How To Replace A Toilet Shut Off Valve Fast

In most cases, the shut-off valve will be connected to the water supply, which means you will need to remove the supply line before replacing the shut-off valve.

Water supplies can be purchased for a reasonable price and help to make the overall replacement much easier to complete. 

Since shut-off valves are rarely used, there is a chance that the component can become stuck.

In some instances, the shut-off valve may even leak, which means it will need to be replaced. 

This is because the valve contains a rubber washer, which creates a powerful seal that stops the water from leaking.

Over time, this washer will begin to deteriorate, which can lead to leaks and other problems.

In some cases, the tank will also begin to vibrate, which is another indication of the washer’s condition. 

These vibrations are caused by the washer as it moves through the valve, which is activated by the flow of water.

Once the tank has filled up, you will notice that the vibrations stop, which is another reason to replace the shut-off valve. 

While it is possible to repair the shut-off valve, we do recommend that you replace it instead, as this practice will serve you better in the long run. 

How Many Toilet Shut Off Valves Are There? 

Before you can replace the toilet shut-off valve, you will need to determine the correct model for your toilet.

While there are numerous shut-off valves available, there are 3 models that are considered the most common. 

These models include: 

Compression Valve

In contrast to other shut-off valves, this valve is not soldered or connected to the pipe.

Instead, it features a compression ring, which is made from brass and tightened into place with a nut.

For the best performance, we do recommend using this valve, as it is considered the most effective. 

Threaded Valve

While compression valves are commonly used for copper pipes, threaded valves are compatible with iron.

In contrast to their compressed counterparts, threaded valves are attached to the pipe and are much easier to install. 

Sweat Valve

These valves are considered the most complex to install, as they need to be soldered to the pipe.

Because of this, you will need to use a soldering iron to make the replacement, which can be dangerous in certain conditions.

If you do not feel comfortable using hot tools, then you will need to contact a professional plumber to complete the task. 

How To Replace A Toilet Shut Off Valve Fast 

How To Replace A Toilet Shut Off Valve Fast

Before you can replace the toilet valve (see also ‘Best Toilet Fill Valves‘), you will need to understand the tools and materials needed to complete the job.

Of course, these tools will vary depending on the kind of shut-off valve that needs to be replaced. 

These tools include: 

  • Adjustable wrenches (x2)
  • Emery cloth
  • Soldering iron
  • Flame protection shield 
  • Fire extinguisher 
  • Industrial leather gloves 
  • Sponge 
  • Penetrating oil 

Once you have gathered the correct tools, you can use the following instructions to replace the corrupted valve: 

Step One: Find The Best Valve 

Nowadays, most shut-off valves are universal, which means they are compatible with most sizes.

However, this does not mean that any valve will do, as you will need to remain cautious of the model you intend to use. 

For example, we recommend purchasing a ¼ turn ball valve to ensure the best results, as these valves are simple to install and will not leak.

If your toilet has been fitted with a sweat valve, it is also advisable to swap it for another model. 

However, if you are hoping to replace a threaded valve, then you will need to make sure that you are using a threaded item. 

Step Two: Turn Off The Water 

To replace the toilet valve, you must first switch off the main water source to the house, which will make it easier to drain the toilet tank

In most cases, the main valve can be located in the basement, where it will sit opposite the water heater.

If it takes the form of a wheel, then it will need to be turned clockwise until the valve tightens.

However, if you are working with a butterfly valve, then it will need to be turned 90 degrees until it is perpendicular to the pipe. 

Once the water has been turned off, you will need to turn on the faucets to drain the excess water from the pipes.

It is also important to flush the toilet, as this will drain the water from the main tank. 

When the tank has been drained, take the lid off and place it on one side. You can then use an old sponge to absorb the remaining moisture. 

Step Three: Disconnect The Water Supply 

Once the tank has been drained, you will need to disconnect the valve from the water supply line.

In most cases, this line will be attached to the toilet via a special coupling, which can be loosened by hand. 

To do this, simply grab the coupling and turn it until it becomes loose.

If the coupling remains tight, it will need to be loosened with a wrench.

During this process, it is advisable to place a towel or bucket beneath the line, as this will help to catch any remaining water still inside the piece. 

When the line has been disconnected, you should be able to take a wrench to detach it from the shut-off valve.

In most cases, the wrench will need to be turned in a counterclockwise direction until it comes loose. 

Step Four: How To Replace A Compression Valve 

When it comes to replacing a compression valve, you will need to loosen the main nut and not the toilet valve.

This means taking a wrench and turning the nut in a clockwise direction until it can be detached from the shut-off valve. 

During this process, the nut and compression ring will remain on the pipe, which means you will need to use a pair of pliers to remove them.

While doing this, it is important not to use too much pressure, as this could deform the items.

However, if the piece proves problematic, then it will need to be removed using a hacksaw tool. 

Once the old ring has been removed, you can insert the new one into the pipe.

While doing this, it is important to position the ring away from any dents that the previous ring has left behind. 

Next, you will need to insert the new valve into the pipe and tighten the ring using the compression nut.

This can be done by hand, however, you will still need two wrenches to turn the nut until it has been compressed. 

For the final step, make sure that the valve has been placed in an upward position, as this will make it easier to reconnect the water supply line. 

Step Five: How To Replace A Threaded Valve 

While threaded valves can be very easy to replace, they do come with some drawbacks.

For example, the model does not require a nut, which means you could leave some unwelcome scars on the actual pipe.

It is also important that you turn the valve and not the pipe itself when working with these models. 

To replace the valve, take some emery cloth and wrap it around the pipe. This will make it easier to grab the pipe without causing damage.

If you do not have emery cloth, then you can use another cloth or duct tape instead. 

Take a wrench and use it to loosen the thread on the pipe. Once the wrench feels tight, you can use its handle for support.

With the second wrench, loosen the thread on the valve until it can be easily pulled away.

If the piece remains too tight, then you will need to use some penetrating oil to loosen the thread.

Just spray the product onto the valve and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. 

Once the old valve has been removed, clean the threads and insert the new valve until it is tight.

During this process, we recommend keeping the threads aligned. However, you should not force this, as it could damage the pieces. 

Step Six: How To Replace A Sweat Valve 

To complete this process, you must have a fire extinguisher close at hand.

You will also need to install a flame protection shield around the pipe. These items will keep you safe during the soldering process. 

Once you have done this, you will need to detach the valve stem.

This can be accomplished by holding the valve with one wrench and using the other to unscrew the nut.

This will help to remove the water from the pipe, thus making it easier to replace the valve without causing problems.

You will then need to secure the valve in place with a pair of pliers while putting the soldering iron on its lowest heat and using it to melt the solder.

Once the valve becomes loose, use a wrench to remove it from the pipe. If there is residual solder left behind, use the iron to remove it. 

When all remnants of solder have been removed, you can install the new compression valve using the instructions above. 

Step Seven: Connect The Main Water Supply 

When the valve has been replaced, you can reconnect the water supply line and turn on the main water source to the house. 

During this process, it’s important to remember that the supply line should be connected by hand, as a wrench could damage the thread.

You will also need to turn on all the faucets after the water has been reconnected, as this will remove any unwanted air from the pipes and ensure an even flow. 

Final Thoughts 

Replacing a toilet shut-off valve can be a complicated process.

But if you have the correct tools, you should be able to do it without the need for a professional plumber.

Just make sure everything has been tightened before turning the water back on.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age