That inconspicuous toilet shut-off valve doesn’t see much action. In fact, that valve may sit for years without ever being closed. That’s not a good thing. After going unused for so long, the valve’s rubber washers begin to dry rot so that when you finally give it a turn, it leaks. And since the valve is usually only closed when the toilet isn’t working, a leaking shut-off valve often adds insult to a repair that’s already in progress.
This guide shares how to replace a toilet shut-off valve to get that leak fixed and your porcelain throne back in service as soon as possible.
Before You Begin
It’s vital to assess the type of plumbing you have before getting started with a toilet shut-off valve replacement.
- If you live in a home built before 1980, chances are you have iron pipes. Corroded iron pipes can break and crumble when you attempt to remove an old shut-off valve, turning what was supposed to be an easy repair project into a DIY nightmare. For that reason, it’s best to hire a professional if you’re dealing with old cast iron plumbing.
- You may also encounter copper plumbing. Copper pipes are often joined to toilet shut-off valves through a process called sweating, which involves soldering the joint with a blowtorch. This isn’t necessarily an obstacle for DIYers. You can easily cut a sweated copper joint and replace it with a compression connection, avoiding the need to wield high-intensity…