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Jano

@rcn.com

[Plumbing] Attempting to replace vanity / shutting off water

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I'm attempting to take out an old vanity. It's an old building and the setup I've found under the sink does not look like others I've seen on various websites. I'm attempting to shut off the water. In the photo, toward the bottom of the cabinet there are two holes where short pipes were screwed in. I was able to just unscrew the pipes to reveal screws. When I turn the screws clockwise, the water slows but does not shut off completely and I'm afraid to start un-attaching things. First, is this the correct way to shut of the water? And, is there anything else that should be done prior to removing the rest of the vanity? Is this something that can be fixed on my own, or should I be calling a professional?

Thank you in advance for any advice. My first time playing plumber.

Janet


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

Did you turn the screws clockwise as tight as they would go?



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
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reply to Jano

I am *not* a plumber.
My thoughts: those are probably old shutoffs and they are no longer working properly. My guess is you will have to shut off the water to your unit and replace them with proper shutoffs once you get the vanity out.
If your building is anything like my first apartment, "shutting off" the water means shutting off the water to 6 apartments.
In that case, I would call a professional to make sure it gets done fast and right. Neighbors can be very impatient.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

The washers in the shutoff valves have a habit of deteriorating due to chlorine exposure.. Usually get 5-10yrs from a standard globe valve with a washer, before the washer needs to be changed or valve replaced.

If you have no plumbing experience, your best bet is to call a plumber. This isnt a tough job, but needs to be done right.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



tschmidt
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join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
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reply to Jano

Shutoffs are required by code but as others have posted most of the time they don't completely shutoff the water so are pretty much useless.

I'm not a plumber - but I've never seen the shutoffs buried in the wall. They are normally located where the elbow adapters in your pictures.

/tom



RipTides

join:2002-05-25
Dallas, GA

1 edit
reply to Jano

I would bet that those shut-off's had their own type of "key" instead of just using a flathead. All shut-offs should turn off by going clock-wise, but as noted above, the washers inside are probably long deteriorated and water would have to be shut-off for the unit/home.

When replacing be sure to get quarter-turn shut-offs as they work much more like a ball valve, which should theoretically hold up for the life of the plumbing.

EDIT:
And since you asked, I'd shut-off the water, and see if you couldn't install new (straight/inline) shut-off's above the elbows coming out of the wall, then cut the water supply lines to the faucet to fit. I"d just leave the old shut-off's in place, turned on fully, and cover them. Otherwise it's rip out that entire portion of wall, replace the plumbing from the old shut-offs up. Then patch the area back in.


LittleBill

join:2013-05-24
kudos:1

i am not a professional plumber. but i am getting to point where i can prolly pass the license test i do so much of it.

that said. i have found shutoff valves barely work 50% of the time, and when they do, they start dripping afterwards. that being said most of the time now i simply shut off the main water valve in the house, makes life a ton easier, since half the time i ended up having to replace the shutoff valves as well.

your valves look ancient, i wouldn't touch the screws to save my life, if i wasn't prepared to cut into the wall and replace everything



pende_tim
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join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
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Good point, LittleBill.

The stem nut packing is probably dried out also and any turning of the shaft could very likely result in leaks. Having a slow leak inside a wall is a future disaster waiting to happen.

The water will slowly cause things to rot, mold will grow and then 6 leg critters will be in there munching away. Before you close things up, make sure there is no seepage around the shutoff stem.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL
reply to Jano

I replaced a kitchen sink and put a new floor in a bathroom all in one weekend. Out of the five shut offs all of which were gate valves one still functioned. I replaced all of them with quarter turn ball valves. It should last essentially forever now.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.



Hawk
Riding Thermals
Premium
join:2003-08-25
The Desert
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1 edit
reply to Jano

A couple of options that may work as others have mentioned. The shut off's you've exposed might possibly be rebuilt (new flat washer's, seats and O-rings). Water service would need to be shut off to attempt the repair temporarily. Braided stainless steel supply lines could be installed as well to replace the rigid tubing to the fixture. Or, since the vanity is already out of the way, the wall could be opened and the existing shut off valves removed and replaced with 1/4 turn angle stops and supply lines as others have suggested and abandon the existing risers. The issue there may be the condition of the pipe threads in the wall (if their galvanized piping). No way to know without inspecting them.

In both cases, it might be advisable to have a plumber that you trust to assess it and also address any others in the building while the water is off. Rebuilding the would be the cheaper and the least evasive process. Replacing would be the long term repair. Just my humble opinion.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
reply to Jano

Crank those screws as tight as you can. Turn on the faucet that is at the lowest point in the house to drain all the other pipes. See if water is still running slowly at sink. Easy first step to all this.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
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I am not sure what ~opening the lowest faucet in the house~ will accomplish. These valves are only for the sink's faucet; they are not the main shutoff for the house.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL

D'oh, you're right. Please excuse me.