Am I able to replace these water valves on my hot water oil heater?

Home Improvement Asked by Jim Kay on May 9, 2021

We just moved into a new house. We had a plumber come out for a non related issue on out oil burning hot water heater and brought these corroded valves to my attention that he said needed to be replaced. I see the corrosion and am wondering if these can be cleaned up or if they really need to be replaced. If they do need replaced can it be done safely by myself? If it needs to be done by a plumber or HVAC tech is it an easy fix? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will attach a couple pictures of the worst water valves. Thank you.

corroded valve

corroded valve

One Answer

I suppose you could disassemble the handle and clean things but if that doesn't work then keep reading.

Sure, you can replace a ball valve yourself. Have you ever soldered (sweated) copper lines before? I'm going to guess not.

The biggest worry is in the second picture. If you go to heat up #2 for removal then you will likely heat up #1 to the point of failure.

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By doing this yourself you will probably spend more money than having a professional do it since you need to buy:

  • Propane torch
  • Solder wire
  • Flux
  • Emery cloth
  • Soldering cloth/blanket
  • New ball valve

This is really a tough job for an absolute beginner to tackle as I fully expect you to ruin your new ball valve by overheating it.

Another consideration is that you need your copper line to be fully drained of water or else you won't be able to heat it properly. If you do heat it hot enough for the old solder to melt while water is in the line then you risk a small explosion because of all the steam pressure you've built up in the line itself.

Answered by MonkeyZeus on May 9, 2021

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