How to turn water off to tub only

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by queen50, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. queen50

    queen50 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Washington state
    We need to rip out a one-piece fiberglass tub/surround unit and redo the bathroom, but can't do it all at once. I figure we will have to shut the water to the house off to demo the tub, since we can't locate any shutoff valves, but would like to be able to turn it on after that until we're ready for the new fixtures etc to be installed. Can I cap the pipes or something?

    We have two other bathrooms that we need to keep functional. Plus the washer is in that same bath; I'd like be able to use it.

    It's possible to access the plumbing by removing the drywall in the adjoining room; but we had it opened 4 or 5 years ago and I don't recall seeing any shut-off valves. Do you think we should take a look anyway?
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,837
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IT would be almost unheard of for there to be shutoff valves there, especially if there is not access to them. You CAN install shut off valve or use "removable" caps to shut them off temporarily.
    SHR likes this.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Water off to the home, have caps ready to go.
    Do you have galvanzied or copper in the wall? It makes a difference in how you will cap it.
  4. queen50

    queen50 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Washington state
    Copper..circa 1976
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    The easier way to do this is with Sharkbite caps. When you cut the pipe, you must ensure that the end of the pipe is both straight and is smooth with no burrs, as the seal in the cap is made by rubber O-rings, and if there's a sharp edge, it can slice them and cause it to leak. They can be easily removed when the time comes to reconnect with whatever you need.

    Another possibility is to use a compression shutoff valve(s). All that needs is two wrenches, one to hold the valve from twisting, and a second one to tighten the compression nut to make the seal. If you do not overtighten the compression nut, you can pull those off later after loosening the nut. Otherwise, you can either cut them off, or use a ferrule puller to get it all off.
  6. queen50

    queen50 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Washington state
    Thanks for the info. We plan to hire a plumber to hook things back up.

    Do you think it would be worthwhile to have the plumber install shutoff valves at that time? I don't mind having an access panel in the other room.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,130
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The sharkbite caps will push on, and they can be removed later by the plumber.
    Some valves can be ordered with stops, or you could have the plumber locate some in the access.
    Most of the time, since we don't know there are shutoffs, we just turn the water off at the meter or main shutoff. Doing a repair on a modern valve is not that hard.
  8. queen50

    queen50 Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Washington state
    Thank you for saving me some $$!
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