How to Install a Ball Valve

What You'll Need
Lubricating oil
Petroleum jelly
Wire wool

Whether you need to replace a ball valve because it is defective or are undertaking a bathroom renovation, it can be useful to know how to do it yourself. By following a few steps, you will find that you are able to save time and money.

Step 1 – Empty Cistern

If you are replacing an existing ball valve, you must begin the process of installing a new one by emptying the cistern. Do this by disconnecting the water supply to the toilet and flushing or bailing out the water in the cistern. This will enable easier access to the mechanism and make it easier to work.   

Step 2 – Gain Access

Gain access to the area within the cistern where the new component is to be fitted. Remove the lid of the cistern and set it aside by laying it flat so that it is not at risk of slipping over and breaking. Though the cistern lid should simply lift out of place, the flush lever on the top of the cistern will need to be removed first. A push button flush will also need to be unscrewed and taken out.       

Step 3 – Remove Existing

Once you have exposed the internal mechanism, take a good look at it to make yourself fully aware of where each component goes. You will find that the existing float arm which holds the ball valve is supported by a split pin that can be straightened to enable it to be released and removed. This will leave you free to remove the cap at the end of the cylindrical-shaped component which is known as the piston.

If this proves difficult to remove, drop a small amount of lubricating oil onto the fastener and let it work into the thread to help loosen it. After the end cap has been unscrewed, slide the rest of the piston out of place as well as the end washer.

Step 4 – Install Replacement  

Use the instructions that are included with the new ball valve kit to familiarize yourself with all the components and the manner in which they fit together. Before replacing any components, use a piece of wire wool to remove any debris or mineral deposits from the original stem that holds the piston.

Replace the new washer before reassembling the entire piston and securing this in place. The float arm can then be reattached. To prevent the fasteners from getting stiff again, apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the thread before reattaching the end cap.

Step 5 – Test

After the installation is complete, reconnect the water supply and fill the cistern while the lid remains off. This will enable you to watch the rank fill to make sure it does not highlight any problems with the installation. Once it is filled, operate the flush mechanism to make sure it works properly and does not leak.