Washer water supply valves won't turn

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jerome8283, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York
    Good morning gents,

    I’m about to replace my washer and dryer. I went to turn off my washer machine hot & cold water supply valves and they would not turn at all. What is the best way to approach this?

    1.Turn off the main water supply to the house and replace washer machine hoses?
    2.Replace the valves? If so, what nut do I unscrew?
    3.??

    Thanks in advance!
  2. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Washer supply valves

    This post is worthless without pictures ! !
  3. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York
    Good point. Here you go...

    Attached Files:

  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,247
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    My repair would be to replace the tops of the valves, but you probably do not have access to the specialized part needed. Your picture is from a bad angle, but your valves MAY screw into a fitting coming into the box. If so, the valves can be unscrewed and replaced with new valves shaped EXACTLY like the ones you have, if you can find them. They will be called "boiler drains" not "sill cocks" or "hose faucets".
  5. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York

    Your correct. They do screw into a fitting at the bottom.
  6. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York
    Heres another pic of the bottom screwed on part I think you're referring to.

    Attached Files:

  7. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I had a similar problem and decided to open up the wall below the valves, cut the riser below the valves, and put in new 1/4 turn ball valves.

    If you are like most people, you never turn off the current valves (even assuming they were working properly). Washing machine hose bursts are one of the leading causes of home flooding so we really should turn off the valves when not actually using the washer. Since I've changed over to user-friendly valves, we actually do shut off the water supply between wash days.
  8. dcelite

    dcelite Plumber

    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    You can get a new identical "Oatey" box at the hardware store, OSH, Home Depot, etc. for about $20.00. Then simply take the new valves out of the new box and screw them into the old box.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,247
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    Just buy two boiler drains. They have the handles on top with 90 degree outlets and screw them into the fittings. Unless you are different from 99+% of the people, you hardly ever turn them off, so you do not need 1/4 turn valves.
  10. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York
    I found the two boiler drains. See the pic below. I tried to unscrew the current fittings but cannot get them off.

    Attached Files:

  11. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    With all due respect to HJ, I still say open up the wall and put in some user-friendly valves. Boiler valves are just too cumbersome to use in a small box and thus no one turns them off like they should.

    Having easy-to-operate valves, that should be leak-free for many years, was worth the extra small investment in time, and drywall compound, to me. Took all of an hour to cut the drywall, cut out the old valves, solder in the new valves on short risers, and patch the drywall.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    As mentioned, a split or failed hose can make a real mess of things. They make washing machine shutoff valves - single handle, that makes shutting them off quick and easy. I'd go that route.
  13. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    897
    Location:
    Midwest
    Yes, that is what I have. I admit that I only shut them off for maintenance though.
  14. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    1/4 turn valves shine in rental units because of the constant Tennant turnover every few years...
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,247
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    Use bigger wrenches.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,247
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valves

    People do not shut them off because they do not want to have to turn them back on every time they use the washing machine. And 1/4 turns do not change that. Once a hose breaks, the time difference between a wheel handle and a 1/4 turn, which might be too tight to turn by hand, is almost immaterial. The flood has already occurred.
  17. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York
    Wouldn't there be a greater risk of bursting a hose by turning on/off at every use?
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    Well, I turn mine on and off with each use! So, at least some people do it. If you turn it on, and the hose was going to split, at least you are there to see it. If you leave them on all the time, it could happen while you are away on vacation (or at work, or school), and sit and dump water unimpeded for hours or maybe days. So, if the hose was going to break at that point of turn on, it is just as likely to do it when the washing machine turns the water on and off multiple times during a wash. In fact, it is probably more likley to split while the washer is running, since it turns the water on and off quicker and induces more of a stress on the hoses than just turning the lever to shut it off or on manually.

    Personally, I like to be there when I turn it on, and it is very obvious if you forget...you turn the WM on, it humms, and no water flows...DUH, flip the lever and turn the water on. You have to remember to turn it off when done, but that becomes habit after a short while. Forget, and you're no worse off than you are now.
  19. jerome8283

    jerome8283 New Member

    Messages:
    140
    Location:
    New York
    I understand the benefit of switching to new valves and will do so in the near future. I'm convinced this is the best way to go, thanks to everyones support.

    I need to temporarily plug the valves while doing some other work in this area. What is the best way to accomplish this? Can I plug the hose from the hot to the cold?
  20. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    Creating a cross-over could make all of your water warm, so yes, while you could do that, it isn't the greatest. You can buy some inexpensive caps that will screw onto the valves (like the hose) and then you can turn the water back on.

    My guess is that you just need a little more torque to free up those valves. The washers may be shot, but once you break them free, they'll probably shut things off.
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