Valve Upgrade for Kitchen or Bathroom Sink
A better shut-off valve for your kitchen or bath.
A 'before' shot. When replacing my bathroom sink, I went to shut off the water, and found the valves to be stuck. If you don't use them very often they will often freeze (same thing happens in the industrial world with much larger valves as well) The valves will have to come out to either be repaired or replaced. For $10 each I'm not going to bother repairing them.
I removed the bad valve and hose while I was at it, and then had an idea...
I decided to replace the home duty valve with a more commercial-duty ball valve. The ball valve was $11, so that part made sense. It has a steel ball inside which is much more durable than other styles. However, I still needed to convert the female ball valve thread to 3/8" compression for the faucet hose.
Off to Lowes for some plumbing fittings.
I found a 3/8" compression/tubing fitting - to - 1/2" male NPT (National Pipe TAPER) at Lowes. The left side of this is actually designed for copper tubing etc, but the threads are the same as the flexible sink hose. I got two adapters @ $6 ea, along with two $10 valves. While I was there I got new hoses as well.
Note: the top pieces (ferrule and nut) are not needed for this repair/upgrade
Because I was using two pieces of brass, I skipped the teflon tape and went straight to the pipe dope. This works much better and will actually seal. Coat the male brass threads and spin the adapter into the ball valve.
(learned this one the hard way before, so don't even bother with the tape)
I used teflon on the galvanized pipe nipples sticking out of the wall, and spun on the ball valves. I tightened with a pipe wrench until snug, and the handles were in a good position. I then held the valve stationary with a pipe wrench, and tightened up the compression adapters
Here are the two assembled valves with adapters. I guess the hot side was missing the chrome flange from a previous home-owner's project.
Here is the faucet supply hose attached to the compression fitting on the Hot side. Since the ball valve was horizontal and the old valve pointed up, I got longer hoses than what was previously installed.
Here are the valves, new hoses (and a new wall pipe/p-trap) under my new sink. I waited an hour to turn on the water after everything was put together and not a single leak. I had to buy new valves anyway, and would have replaced the hoses too. The extra cost of this upgrade over going with identical replacements was probably $15 or so. The ball valves also made it easy to adjust flow for the new faucet to balance hot/cold, and help reduce flow so the new faucet didn't spray out onto my freshly painted counter top (That's another story )
Good luck, and comment if you have ideas that might help other DIY-ers, and feel free to ask questions .
UPDATE: This does require room for both the straight valves and for the supply lines, and obviously isn't going to look good under a pedstal sink or toilet ( I do have a stainless valve or two for a rainy day...) Keep the comments coming.
Here's the new sink and backsplash before I finished caulking. A much nicer look!
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