Replacing a Washing Machine Valve

Filed in Home Improvement by on December 1, 2013 2 Comments

This was an unexpected and especially annoying repair. I’ll start at the beginning.

About a week ago, I came up with a really good idea. I thought that if I bought an extra garden hose, screwed a big garage hook into the wall above and next to the washing machine in the laundry room and hooked up a two way valve on the washing machine cold water line, we’d have some sort of a fire hose. As it stands right now, we only have one fire extinguisher and the garden hose we already have is 75 feet long and in the garage. It’s got sections of ice in it and if fire ever broke out, I was concerned that we’d be throwing glasses of water at whatever was burning.

The last time I visited Home Depot, I picked up what I needed for the fire hose idea. I came home, installed the hook, turned off the washing machine water valve and hooked up the two way valve. Everything looked good. Until I turned the washing machine valve on again. That’s when I saw the dripping. Drip drip drip. Nothing annoys me more than a lousy valve. And it seems these days that every time I turn a valve, it drips. Granted, they’re all old valves, but still.

So there I was, faced with a repair. I did a quick search on the Home Depot website and saw that they sold the Watts valve I was looking for. I also checked Amazon.com. What I wasn’t sure of and what I was worried about was if I was going to have to pull out the torch to do some soldering. I was really not looking forward to that. Here, take a look at the pipes coming out of the wall to the old valve hookup.

Watts Washing Machine Valve Soldered to Pipes

Valve Soldered to Copper Pipe

Reviews on both websites told me that it was very simple to hook up a new Watts valve. All they had to do was to unscrew the old one and screw the new one on. Let’s just say that since I was unable to find pictures of the “back” of the valve anywhere online, I was a bit skeptical.

Today, I turned the house water off and ran out to the True Value Hardware store in Madison, Maine. Laura and I made an earlier visit to that store just a few days ago. When we were there, I made a quick walk through to see what they offered. I saw a plumbing section, so I was hopeful they had what I was looking for. They did. The only problem was, Home Depot offered the part for around $29 and True Value offered it for $42. Since I wasn’t in the mood to drive 45 minutes to Home Depot in Waterville, I purchased the valve locally.

When I got back to the house, I thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of both the fronts and backs of the old and new valves. This way, if anyone else out there is looking for pictures of the back of a Watts washing machine valve to see if a new one really does screw into the old setup, they’ll see that it, in fact, does.

Front of Old Watts Washing Machine Valve

Back of Old Watts Washing Machine Valve

Watts Washing Machine Valve

Back of Watts Washing Machine Valve

Washing Machine Valve Inlet

Watts Washing Machine Valve Adapter

That last picture was one of two unnecessary adapters that the new valve came with. I merely took the new o-rings off the the adapters and put them on the old ones that were soldered to the existing pipe and screwed the new valve to the old adapters.

The new valve works. I’d say that once I had the new valve in hand, the project would take about two minutes to complete. Turn off water to the house, disconnect washing machine hoses from valve and unscrew valve. Then, follow those steps in reverse and I’d be finished.

Here are some pictures of the installed valve.

Hooked Up Washing Machine Valve

Installed Watts Washing Machine Valve

Check out some related posts or articles about general washing machine plumbing:

Horror of Horrors: Burst Washing Machine Hoses in North Houston, TX
Time to Replace Your Washing Machine Hoses?
Really Simple, Low-Tech, Do-It-Yourself Washing Machine Gray Water

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