Refrigerator supply box with broken shutoff valve... help!

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Old 09-21-13, 09:08 PM
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Refrigerator supply box with broken shutoff valve... help!

Alright, so in the process of moving my refrigerator to paint the walls and install a new floor I turned the shutoff valve in my refrigerator supply box to "off" and unscrewed the water supply line for my fridge ... got myself quite a shower while my wife went running to find the outside main shutoff that is buried in our flower beds. It's been quite the day ... lesson learned. Don't trust the valve... check to make SURE it is stopping water before you unhook anything!! Anyways, on to my question.

I am unclear on how to go about repairing this problem. It looks like the current box was kind of rigged to work with some sort of adapter soldered onto the top that is connected to a 1/2" (I think?) plastic tube that is supplying the water. Is cutting the plastic tube above this point the only way to remove/replace the valve?

If so, how do I attach a new valve in this location? Do I just need to call in a professional plumber who can solder something in place for me like the existing connection?

I've currently had to re-attach my refrigerator supply to keep this from leaking but really want to come up with a long term solution.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-21-13, 10:08 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Long term solution ? That's what that is supposed to be. Maybe the valve was leaking and got corroded ? Hard to tell from the picture.

What I find unusual is that normally there is a crimped on brass or copper adapter that connects the white 1/2" PEX tubing to the brass valve. Your line looks like it was crimped and siliconed on.

You can replace the existing valve with a new 1/4 turn ball valve but you'd have to rent or borrow a crimp tool for the PEX fitting.
 
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Old 09-21-13, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for the welcome and the reply!

By long term, that is what I meant ... a new valve in place as opposed to my current "work around" of just not unhooking my refrigerator without shutting off the main water supply.

Is it normal for this type of valve to fail completely? I mean, when I turned the valve it made absolutely NO difference in the water pressure that was spraying out.


So, the only way to connect to the 1/2" PEX tubing is with the crimp tool?
And I would use that to attach something like:
This 1/2" PEX to compression fitting?
And then attach a new supply valve/box onto that? (the top item on that page looks identical to what I have that has failed...)

My apologies if I'm being a bit dense, I just want to be sure I have a clear grasp of what I'm doing before I start fiddling around with my plumbing.
 
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Old 09-22-13, 02:42 AM
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What you have is polybutylene, not PEX, and I would not bother crimping on a fitting. I would use a combination of sharkbite fittings and a new valve to locate it in the same position. Sharkbite will slip over the PB and lock itself in place with no crimping or gluing, etc. If you can find the same ball valve assembly with the same length of shank, all you would need is to cut just above the crimp ring, install a sharkbite female adapter and your new ball valve using thread sealing compound on the threads where it goes into the sharkbite. Install the sharkbite on the ball valve first, then insert your PB into the sharkbite and press it to the where it bottoms out, usually 1/2".
 
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Old 09-22-13, 08:34 PM
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How do I tell the difference between polybutylene and PEX?

So, you mean something like this (Shark Bite 23336-0000LF 1/2-Inch by 1/4-Inch Angel Stop Fitting - Amazon.com)
will just push on the end of the pb tubing and seal well enough to not have to worry about failure around the connection?

Sounds pretty sweet.
 
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Old 09-23-13, 03:02 AM
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Almost too easy. Not quite. You have to jump that gap from the PB to the box, or move the box up so the fitting is inside it, either way. Move the box and use the fitting you showed, or leave the box and use this fitting SharkBite 1/2 in. Brass PTC Female Adapter-U072A at The Home Depot and a new valve like you already have.
Polybutylene is bluish in color. PEX is either Red, White or Blue.
 
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