Change washer hookup --- but no shutoff valve in sight!

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by fixhouse, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. fixhouse

    fixhouse Guest

    In my basement I have a standard washer hookup. Hot and cold supply
    lines lead to a single valve with a vertical lever that, when down,
    allows hot to go to the hot washer hose and cold to the cold washer

    The single valve with the vertical lever (I do not know what it is
    called) is failing. Water is slowly dripping from the interior of the
    lever area, which looks rather corroded. The value is probably 40-50
    years old.

    I want to replace the valve, and it looks like there are two screws
    facing the front that hold it on the hot and cold supply lines. I
    unloosed one of the screws and received a nice spray. This is a good
    sign (even though I got a bit wet) in terms of what the screws do.

    On Monday I am going to go to a plumbing supply place and get a new
    washer valve (hopefully they still make the same size valves...)
    Assuming I do this, I see one problem. For the hot supply line, there
    are no shutoff valves between the washer valve and the hot water
    heater. For the cold supply line, the only valve between the washer
    valve and the supply line for my house is a shutoff that will shut the
    water off to the entire house.

    So, I anticipate that I am going to have to turn off my main house
    shutoff valve before I remove the washer valve. Is this a risky
    thing? What is the main house shutoff valve fails?

    Will I have to drain a ton of water after turning off my main house
    shutoff valve? I presume that any water above the washer valve will
    want to come down and out where I am working after I remove the washer
    valve. Should I turn off the house shutoff and then, say, open an
    upstairs sink fixture to get rid of any pressure upstairs before I
    mess with the basement washer valve?


    fixhouse, Dec 5, 2004
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  2. First, if your valve is really 40-50 years old, you probably
    won't find and identical replacement, so expect to do a bit
    of work.

    Second, Yes you need to turn water off to the whole house.
    If you can easily get to the street valve, it would be best
    to turn it off there, but some places frown on that or
    require the turn off to be made by the water company.
    Otherwise, just turn the main shut off valve for the house.

    Third, yes the water above will have to be drained. The
    water in the hot water tank will stay there. Normally there
    is a valve at the water heater on the cold inlet side and
    you should turn that off to prevent possible siphoning. You
    are on the right track. Open hot and cold sink valves on
    the main floor to release pressure and to drain water from
    any floor above. Turn the washer valves off, and disconnect
    the hoses from the washer and put in a sink or in the washer
    drain and then open the valves to drain water from the upper
    floor. Even if you have to catch the water in a bucket, you
    can probably get by with one or two buckets as there really
    isn't that much water that will drain from the system.

    Forth, now is the hard part, removing the valve getting a
    replacement that fits the pipes, and installing it. Good Luck.
    George E. Cawthon, Dec 5, 2004
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  3. fixhouse

    Alan Guest

    except to turn off the cold water?
    Alan, Dec 5, 2004
  4. fixhouse

    Harry K Guest

    Be sure to turn off the water heater before beginning.

    Harry K
    Harry K, Dec 5, 2004
  5. fixhouse

    Speedy Jim Guest


    Sounds like an old Cash-Acme WMC valve.

    In typical fashion the staid old co. was sold and moved and resold, etc.
    It is now part of some Int'l group.

    But the valve is still listed:

    Here's a similar:

    As others said, shut off the main and drain the piping from floor above.
    Do NOT drain the water heater; not necessary.

    Speedy Jim, Dec 5, 2004
  6. fixhouse

    Alan Guest

    which will obviously shut off the hot as well.
    Alan, Dec 6, 2004
  7. fixhouse

    willshak Guest

    They still make those single lever valves.
    That is a possibility. How much trouble you have in replacing that main
    valve depends upon your water source. If you have city water, the water
    company would have to shut off the supply at the street. If you have
    well water, just shutting off the well pump breaker will stop the flow
    of water to the tank. You then open a faucet fully to relieve the
    pressure in the tank before removing the main valve.
    If you replace any in-line valves, get the 1/4 turn ball valves rather
    than a gate or globe valve.
    As my globe valves fail, I am replacing them with ball valves. They are
    easier and faster to open and close.
    Yes, all the upstairs faucets should be cracked open to overcome the
    vacuum in the lines that would hold the water from draining.
    You open them all so that all branches of the supply will drain. They
    don't have to be opened fully, but just enough to allow air into the
    pipes to break the vacuum.
    Another advantage of just cracking them is that when the supply is
    restored, you won't have water coming out of the open faucets at full blast.
    willshak, Dec 6, 2004
  8. fixhouse


    Apr 27, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Will offer. Since there is no easy access for the cold or hot. If you do get a plumber, it may be time to install them. Knowing what you have been through!
    Selfdoz, Apr 29, 2018
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