How to Change a Water Valve in Your Home




Introduction: How to Change a Water Valve in Your Home

Call the water utility company and have them shut the water off at the right of way

Be sure that the water is completely off before doing any work on your plumbing. If you are unsure if the water is completely off, please call a plumber. Removing a valve while the water is still ON at the right of way can lead to serious damage.

This instructable will provide you with step by step procedure on how to replace your old leaking or broken water valve without calling a plumber and saving a couple hundred dollars.

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Step 1: Locating the Right of Way Water Shut Off.

While this is usually done by the water provider is is good information for the home owner. The top image are meter pits. Your water meter will be located here which will be in the ground, most likely in your front yard. The image on the bottom, are curb stop lids. These are lids cover your water service valve.

Step 2: Different Style Valves

The top image is a gate valve. These are installed in most older homes and will usually end up breaking or leaking at some point. The image on the bottom is a 1/4 turn ball valve. These are recommended over the traditional gate valve.

List of materials: All Items can be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot, or other major home improvement stores

Ball valve, usually 1"or 3/4"

14" pipe wrench

Wire Brush

Thread sealant or thread tape

Step 3: Typical Inside Meter Setting

This is what a typical valve and meter set looks like inside a home. These are usually in the basement or utility room.

Step 4: Remove the Water Meter

Removing the water meter is very important. It is usually the property of the utility company and you do not want to break it. Also, it must come out in order to remove the troublesome water valve.

Use your pipe wrench to turn the brass fitting/adapter counter clockwise or to the left to loosen it. Sometimes this can be tough. Do not be afraid if it does not come off easily.

Step 5: Removing the Old Valve

Once again, you will use your pipe wrench to unthread the old valve. Turning the valve to the left or counter clockwise, it will begin to loosen. This can be difficult, it will take some effort to get the old valve to loosen.

Step 6: Clean the Old Threads

Cleaning the old threads with a wire brush is important. You must get the old thread tape off of the threads. This needs to be done so new thread tape can be put on and prevent leaks.

Step 7: Adding New Thread Sealant or Thread Tape

Either thread tape or thread sealant will work, I prefer the thread sealant. Be sure to apply a generous amount all the way around the threads.

Step 8: New Valve Installation

It is now time to install your new ball valve. Using your pipe wrench, thread on the new valve turning it to the right or clockwise until you can no longer turn it with the wrench.

Step 9: Add New Meter Swivel

The old valve was straight plumbed into the meter with a bushing. Installing a new meter swivel will make it much easier on you and the water company if you ever have to do work in or around the meter. It too needs thread sealant. The meter swivels can also be bought at Home Depot or Lowes.

Step 10: Finished Product

This is what the finished product will look like. Instead of having that old, untrusting, leaking gate valve, you now have a new ball valve.

Step 11: Work Cited

[Digital image]. (2006). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Great photo of finished product. Thanks!


    3 years ago

    Good walk through on this. I have had to replace a few valves now and this would definitely have helped the first time lol. I havn't used thread sealant before but it looked like it would work better than the old thread tape.


    3 years ago

    Great job, steps are easy to follow and your photos identify the process nicely.


    3 years ago

    Nice instructable. I liked how you gave encouragement throughout your steps and gave explanations of sometimes what may happen if things don't always go as smooth as what they should. It's nice to have a little extra information for the "what if's".


    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing :)