At first glance,replacing leaky valves in your home’s plumbing system can seem like a daunting task. However, it is a relatively simple task that can be tackled with some research and patience. This blog post will cover some tips for replacing leaky valves, specifically butterfly valves and ball valves,in a plumbing system. After reading, we hope you’ll have enough knowledge on how to replace leaky valves to avoid shelling out the money for a plumber. Without further ado,let’s get to work!
Butterfly valves are an extremely handy, inexpensive type of valve that are great for water flow regulation in a home’s plumbing system. These valves consist of a metal disk that rotates along a metal rod across the diameter of a pipe.Butterfly valve installation requires the use of flanges in order to create a tight seal between the pipe and the valve. You can purchase the flanges separately from the valve, or you can opt to buy flanged butterfly valves. If you like to keep spare valves on hand in case of a plumbing system malfunction, make sure to leave the valves in their packaging to avoid dust/debris buildup that can damage the valves’ seals. Additionally, make sure that you are keeping your valves in a temperate, well-ventilated area if you plan to store them for long periods of time.
Removing the Old Valve
The act of butter fly valve replacement is rather simple relative to other DIY plumbing projects, but you can easily make mistakes if you are not paying close attention to the installation. Identifying a leaky valve is quite easy; simply run water through the plumbing system while watching the valve, using the operator to open and close the valve. This should cause the valve to leak if it is faulty. If your butterfly valve is made of metal, you can use the same tool you used to install the valve to remove it from the pipe. If your valve and plumbing system are made of PVC pipe, you will have to use a saw to remove the damaged valve.
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Installing the New Valve
Butterfly valves can essentially be installed in any orientation or position, but it is recommended that you install the valves upright to avoid increased tension on the pipe system. This is essential for larger valve sizes as they take up large amounts of space and installing them in unconventional positions can put large amounts of strain on your plumbing system.
Size and Condition
Firstly, it is extremely important to make sure that you choose a valve that is the correct size and length for your plumbing system. A valve that is a little too long or a little too short will create extra tension that can easily lead to breakages. Secondly, closely examine your butterfly valve and flanges for dust and debris before starting the replacement; these substances can easily damage the valve’s seal and render your replacement ineffective.
Alignment and Finishing Up
Finally, the most part of butterfly valve installation is making sure that your valve and flanges are properly aligned before inserting the bolts. A slight misalignment will cause the system to malfunction and can easily damage the butterfly valve. It is recommended that you leave a small amount of space between the valve and the flanges to allow easy removal of the valve in case of breakage. If you are using a metal valve, carefully install the bolts one-by-one after properly aligning the valve and pipe, taking care not to damage the valve’s seat If you are using a PVC valve, find the proper alignment and then use PVC primer and cement to create a tight seal before installing the new valve. Finally, if you install the valve in a low-use plumbing system, make sure to run water through it at least once a month to prevent natural wear-and-tear and to ensure that the valve is working properly. If you follow these tips, butterfly valve replacement will be a breeze!
Seat Replacement: An Alternate Approach
If damage is done only to the valve’s seat, or the rubber ring inside the valve’s metal casing, some DIYers opt to replace the seat instead of shelling out the money for a completely new valve. This can be done by using a screwdriver to remove the snap ring at the top of the valve, using pliers to remove the valve’s stem, removing the metal disk, and then using a screwdriver to remove the valve’s faulty seat. However,this is a slightly more advanced task than replacing the whole valve, and larger butterfly valves can require extra tools like a vice in order to safely remove the stem.
Ballvalves are another extremely useful type of valve that work great when used in conjunction with PVC piping. Ball valves get their name from the perforated ball that lies within the valve and regulates water flow
Removing the Old Valve
The difficulty in ball valve replacement typically lies in the complexity of the pipe system surrounding it; the only way to remove a ball valve is to remove piping from the pipe system until you have access to the valve. Once you have removed the pipe surrounding the valve, simply remove it; this can typically be done without the use of tools. If you used a PVC valve and cement/primer, you will need to use a saw to remove the old valve.
Choosing a Replacement Valve
When you are choosing are placement ball valve, make sure that you choose a valve whose size corresponds to the pipe surrounding it. Additionally, make sure that it has corresponding end types (threaded, slip, NPT, etc.) with the surrounding pipe as well as the correct length to cover the gap between the pipes.
Freeze Plugs: A Recommended Safeguard
If you are installing the valve in a place that is subject to freezing temperatures, we recommend that you opt for a ball valve with a freeze plug, or a replaceable part not found on standard ball valves. A freeze plug is needed because water builds up in the sides of ball valves, and that water can easily break the valve if it freezes. If your valve has a freeze plug, the freezing will only break the plug, which is replaceable.
Installing the New Valve
Whether you are working with a standard ball valve or a ball check valve, ball valve replacement is relatively simple when compared to butterfly valve replacement. If you are using a ball valve with threaded ends, it is recommended that you wrap Teflon tape or some other type of water-resistant adhesive around the threads to reinforce the valve’s seal. Most ball valves make use of threaded ends, so installing the new valve is usually as simple as screwing it on the pipe system.Once you have installed your new ball valve, simply test the pipe system to ensure that your valve was properly installed.
We hope that these tips for replacing PVC valves have helped you become more confident in your ability to tackle DIY valve replacement in your home or business. Thanks for reading,and happy plumbing!
Mark Ligon is the Marketing Manager at Commercial Industrial Supply. Mark enjoys working on DIY project around his home and providing advice to individuals looking to complete DIY projects of their own.