There are a variety of reasons that will propel you to replace the main water shutoff valve. These reasons include age and wear of the valve, excessive leaks, and other malfunctions.

Most of the time it is recommended that a professional perform this replacement, however, if you want to give it a crack yourself, we provide an easy, step-by-step guide for doing so. Follow our easy guide to replacing your main water shutoff valve.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Bucket and towels
  • Shutoff valve
  • Pipe dope or joint compound
  • Heat torch


1. Shut Off the Water Supply

As with most plumbing jobs, begin by shutting off the water supply to the entire house. You will find the main water supply valve by the water meter. When you find it, turn it clockwise to shut it off.

2. Drain Any Remaining Water

With the main water supply completely off, you will need to go through the entire house and drain the water from every faucet to ensure that the plumbing system doesn’t have any water in it during the replacement. This is important to do because it will help minimize the chance of water leaks during the removal stage of the old valve.

3. Prep the Workspace

The area where you work must be set up for a safe and comfortable space. Remove any extra debris or items that will not serve a purpose during this job. Then, put a bucket and towels right under the valve to catch whatever water will flow out as you disconnect the old valve.

4. Disconnect the Old Valve

Locate your wrench and begin loosening the fittings at both ends of the valve to disconnect them. They will need to be turned counterclockwise to be removed completely. If you can tell that the valve was soldered, you may need to grab a torch and heat the joint so that the solder melts. This will help loosen the connections and allow you to disconnect the valve.

5. Install the New Valve

Use Teflon tape and apply it to the threads of your new valve. With the watertight seal created, you can insert the valve between the two pipes and align it so that the flow arrow is pointing in the opposite direction of the water source. Secure all the fittings tightly with your wrench and solder as needed.

6. Test for Leaks

When the new valve is in place, you will need to test the system to ensure that there are no leaks. Begin by turning on the main water supply and checking the new installation for leaks. If there are any leaks, you will need to turn off the water and tighten all of the connections again. You may also want to apply pipe dope or joint compound to ensure a tighter seal.

7. Restore the Water Supply

With everything tightened as needed and the system tested for any leaks, you will be ready to restore the water supply to normal. Make sure that all the water faucets you opened in step #2 are closed to build water pressure. When the water supply is restored, you must check each faucet to ensure proper water flow throughout the house.

Call Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Restoration Today

Though our guide is simple, the process of replacing the main water shutoff valve can be tricky. For an efficient and quality replacement, call us and allow one of our plumbers to do the job for you. With our skilled plumbers, your valve will be replaced in no time.

Related Content: What a T& P Valve Is and How to Fix It in Your Florida Home


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