Can I replace Ball Valve Unit without shutting off water?


Postby TipCat » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:09 pm

The overflow from my ground floor loo is leaking outside and the problem appears to be within the valve unit. (The float is undamaged and the leak stops when I raise the float) I've got a new ball valve unit. However, I cannot turn the handle of the tap which stops the water intake. It has been untouched for years. A plumber tried it a few years back and failed too. It is located behind some tiling with only a small opening and despite dropping some oil onto it. it won't budge. Typical - I've got visitors coming for the weekend! Any suggestions welcome. Thank you.
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Postby htg engineer » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:09 am

There'll be a stop tap outside - if you cannot find it contact the water board and they will locate it for you. They have a l;eagal duty to provide a working, acessible stop tap.

Once this is found - renew the internal stop tap. As if you ever have a burst pipe your house is going to flood and you'll have no way of stopping it.

Other way - open all cold taps in the house, cut pipe and fit an isolation valve - doing it live, you may get wet especially if no don't have much plumbing experience. Opening the other taps - take abit of the pressure away. Then renew ball valve.

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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:45 pm

if the leak stops when you raise the ball valve then it may just need a simple adjustment. see if you can lower the float so that the water level pushes it closed a little sooner.

don't touch that isolator tap - if it's seized and you try and force it you could break it and end up with a big leak on your hands.

as htg says you should be able to isolate the mains coming into the house from outside somewhere - look for a cover in the driveway or on the pavement outside (you might share a cock with your neighbours so check outside theirs too).

alternatively if there is enough room you could use a pipe freezing kit. if done correctly it will give ample time to change the ball valve.

[quote] "I cannot turn the handle of the tap which stops the water intake." [/quote]

i assume you are talking about the stop cock to shut off the mains to the whole house, usually located under the kitchen sink rather than an isolator for the toilet itself. don't touch it - if it's seized and you try and force it you could break it and end up with a big leak on your hands.
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