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Water Heater Shut-Off Valve


shut off valveThe moment comes when you have to turn off the water to your water heater. You get a ladder to turn off the knob at the top of the water heater and it keeps turning...and turning. Over the years, the valve has corroded and won't turn the water off.

Your choices at this point are to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the street (here's how to turn the water off at the street), or you may have another shut-off valve at a different location, such as your garage.

At some point you will need to replace the faulty valve at the top of your water heater. You probably have a gate valve (it's about $2 cheaper than a superior ball valve and that's why the builder installed it), but it is far better to install a ball valve. Here is a discussion on a ball valves vs. gate valves. They both will install in the same manner but the ball valve is far more dependable in a time of crisis.

You will need to break out the torch and sweat the new valve on to the water supply line. Here are details on how to solder copper. Once you have the new valve installed you can turn on the water at the street to test for leaks, and the next time you need to service the water heater, this new valve will isolate it from the rest of the house water supply. That means you can flush the toilets to your heart's content while the water to the water heater is off.


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