Ice water box valve repair or replace

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montreaux

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How can I repair or replace the 1/4 turn valve in the icemaker water supply box? I turned off the water to the fridge to work on the icemaker, and now the valve won't open back up (the handle moves fine, but something's now jammed inside). The ice maker water supply box and valve unit are 8 yrs old: probably never turned off once since then. It WAS stiff to close it , and now the handle rotates easily (it's not stripped though) -- not a drop will come through he valve. It's a chrome 1/4 turn handle mounted inside a white plastic box, and of course drywall blocks a view of how the unit is conected to the supplyline. I've done simple valve repairs around the house, but this one looks like it's beggin to create a Tim Toolman Taylor fiasco if I try to disassemble anything! Better to replace? If so, is that DIY or pro to sweat the old one out and a new one in?
 

Jadnashua

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The valve could be soldered on or it could be a compression fitting. You won't know how hard or easy it will be until you can take a closer look. If the shaft of the valve is plastic, it could have sheared off, and might just pull out if you tugged on it.
 

montreaux

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Photo here

Attached close-up photo of the valve, but you still can't see how the fitting below the box is connected: compression or solder. I notice that the valve looks like a female thread, but I don't know if the nut shown is a lock nut or serves another purpose, and maybe it's not a separately replaceable part (replace the whole water box?). I've tried to loosen that nut, and then the valve itself, but I stopped, not wanting to create a serious leak that would rtequire me to shut off water to the entire house.
 

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Construct30

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You have to turn off the water to fix or replace that valve, you can just lossen the nut below the valve, but then you need the exact same style, maybe even brand of valve to replace it. Be prepared to cut into the wall and redo the box and then give it a go at fixing the valve, or call in a pro. If you can't get the exact same valve you need to open a small hole in the wall below the box to see what you're getting into. Shut off the water first.
 
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montreaux

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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm leaning toward letting a pro do this one, and probably just put in a new water box. Of course I knew to turn off the water before attempting the work, but I was concerned that an attempt to disassemble the valve could damage something and create a leak that would force me to leave the water to the house off until a pro could come in to set things straight. I would not be popular around the house...
 

hj

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valve

You are lucky. That valve is attached with a 1/2" mip thread, so if you can find a new ice maker valve with a 1/2" male thread you can just unscrew the old one and install the new.
 

Construct30

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I got into one of those from a box store once that looked like that and it had some kind of flare type nut so it could turn. I think it was that way because the front of the valve wouldn't clear the back of the box to turn it. I would not bet on that being a threaded valve from a picture. This one doesn't have a jamb nut or flange under it so it might be just a threaded one.
 
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montreaux

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Done (whew)

A timely caution given by HJ! Holding that lowest nut in place with pliers, while using another pair of pliers to turn the valve body, and it eventually it unscrewed. Replaced with ... you got it... a 1/2" MIP-threaded replacement valve. All is well. Thanks for the info.
 

D Thompson

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valve

NO, NO, NO. Do not try to turn that "nut". It is fastened to the piping. You want to turn the valve and unscrew it from the "nut" which is really a female connector.
Thanks! This steered me clear of disaster...
 

rich n

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Fingers crossed someone might still be following this forum... have a similar problem as OP montreaux, except my valve is not completely stopping the water from exiting the valve. just replaced fridge and new one does not have an ice maker nor water dispenser. noticed water was still dripping from valve when it was supposed to be shut, assuming its lack of use over ~13 years has rendered it useless. i'm curious as to how montreaux was able to switch out the valve without having to go into the wall to check connection and replace the whole box? i can't quite get a read on the valves HJ is suggesting can be switched out just by finding another valve w/ male thread. wondering if mine is even the same type of valve as OP. will provide a picture for clarification. thanks in advance for any insight and responses!
 

Reach4

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img_3.jpg


You could call Oatey to try to get a replacement for the piece you need. Or you could buy a new box and and take the part you need off of that. (https://www.plumbingsupply.com/icemaker-outlet-boxes.html) To remove the part you would need to swap out, I think you would unscrew the hose at A. Hold B with an open-end wrench. Turn the valve body C with a wrench or locking pliers, and turn CCW.

You would use pipe dope on the threads when you put the new piece in, I think. I am not a plumber. If the nut is on the hose, you would discard the compression nut that comes with the new valve. You might want to replace the line to the fridge while you are at it.

I don't know how interchangeable these pieces are between brands.

metal_ice_maker_box.jpg
 
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rich n

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Thanks for the altered image Reach4, that is what I thought I would have to do, but wasn't 100% on it. Those replacement valves didn't seem readily available at my local store, but I was given the idea of putting a cap on the end of the valve where the line to the fridge connects - where the leaking was taking place. I picked up a 1/4" compression cap and the brass sleeves to go inside and just tightened that on the end, and it seems to be working fine, no water leaking from anywhere right now. Can you advise on any problems that might come up from going this route? Anything to look out for in the long run, and would it be best to get that valve replaced sooner rather than later? Thanks again for your input- it's greatly appreciated!
 

Reach4

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I picked up a 1/4" compression cap and the brass sleeves to go inside and just tightened that on the end, and it seems to be working fine, no water leaking from anywhere right now. Can you advise on any problems that might come up from going this route?
I am not a plumber. But if it does not leak, I suspect it will continue to not leak. My limited experience with compression couplings and copper tubing was that my leak was because of not using enough torque, because I was afraid of over-doing it. My later efforts, I put Rectorseal #5 in with the ferrule and tightened tighter. The pipe dope was probably not needed, but I wanted to go above and beyond.
 

rich n

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I am not a plumber. But if it does not leak, I suspect it will continue to not leak. My limited experience with compression couplings and copper tubing was that my leak was because of not using enough torque, because I was afraid of over-doing it.

I appreciate the disclaimer, no worries. I made sure to tighten the cap a bit more than I thought was sufficient, compensating for being too timid. It hasn't leaked yet in about 24 hours so I think it's all good. And everything else I have read indicates that there shouldn't be any problems that arise from capping the valve like that. Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate the help.
 

Oldsyd

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Thanks for sharing this info. My Oatey icemaker valve is also not shutting off fully and drips. My question is - where can I find a 1/2" MIP to 1/4" compression shutoff valve? I can't find one at my local hardware store or online. I don't see a part number for this valve. I tried just buying a whole new Oatey wall box, but on the new (green) valves they are one piece with the tail. I really don't want to cut open the wall and mess with the PEX connection. I just want to do what @Reach4 suggested.

oatey-ice-maker-valve-a2.jpg
 
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Reach4

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