How to replace a water shutoff valve for a washing machine

Written by danny donahue
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How to replace a water shutoff valve for a washing machine
Close the stopcock. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The washing machine in your home is fed by two water valves. One supplies cold water and the other supplies hot. These valves should be replaced if they start leaking so the water coming from them does not damage your walls or floor. Although you can repair these valves, it generally is less expensive and labour-intensive to simply replace a faulty water-supply valve. Once the valve has been replaced, you can hook your washing machine back to the line and resume doing your laundry.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tongue-and-groove pliers
  • 90 cm (36 inches) of tie wire
  • 2 Stillson wrenches with 30 cm (12 inch) handles
  • Plumber's tape
  • Replacement water valve
  • Rags
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Shut off the stopcock to the washing machine. Turn off the outflow valve coming from your water heater if you are replacing the washer's hot-water shutoff. Turn off the cold-water valve on the main line above the water heater if you are working on the machine's cold-water shutoff. Open all the taps in your house to purge the lines of water.

  2. 2

    Locate the hose coming from the shutoff valve to the washing machine. Grip the adaptor on the hose with your tongue-and-groove pliers. Turn the adaptor counterclockwise to remove it from the valve. Hold up the end of the hose so any water in the hose and washing machine do not spill onto the floor.

  3. 3

    Wrap the end of the hose with the tie wire. Loop the free end of the wire loosely around the control knob on the front of your washing machine to keep the hose upright. Pull the machine away from the wall so you have enough room to work on the valve.

  4. 4

    Grab the pipe under the shutoff valve, using one of your Stillson wrenches and making sure the tips of the wrench jaws are pointing left. Grip the hex seat on the shutoff valve with the second Stillson wrench, making sure the jaws point to the right. Pull on the wrench holding the valve to loosen it from the pipe. Remove the faulty valve and discard it.

  5. 5

    Wipe the threads of the pipe with a rag to remove any moisture or other residue. Wrap plumber's tape around the pipe threads.

  6. 6

    Twist the new valve onto the pipe with a clockwise motion to tighten it. Be careful not to cross-thread the valve on the pipe. Snug the valve, using both Stillson wrenches to prevent loosening the pipe from its seat below.

  7. 7

    Wipe up any spilt water. Untie the hose from the washing machine and connect it to the valve. Snug the hose with your pliers.

  8. 8

    Push the washing machine back into place. Turn on the water-supply valves. Turn off the taps around the house after the water runs from each of them without air in the lines.

Tips and warnings

  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when working with hand tools.

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