I am trying to replace the valve connecting the water line to the sink in my bathroom. The piping and sink were installed in 1975. I'm stuck trying to remove the valve under the sink (see picture below). When I try to unscrew the valve it will rotate but it's not actually unscrewing from the water line. I thought maybe I needed two wrenches (one on the nut closet to the pipe and one on the valve itself). But if they do rotate independently then I couldn't break the seal.

Is there some trick to getting this model of valve off? I tried searching online but I just cant find any info. Likely Im just butchering the terminology quite a bit which is hurting the search.

I'm quite a bit new at doing this type of project so its possible I'm looking right past the obvious.

Sink Valve

3 Answers 3


While I hate plumbing, I do quite a lot for close friends and family. I don't know exactly what you are doing, but I know a couple of things, and I hope these will help. When you loosen the gland nut closest to the wall, you probably need to turn it clockwise. Normally when you loosen something, you usually go counter-clockwise. In this case the nut stays on the pipe, not the valve. Always you a back wrench like you were talking about to keep from twisting the pipe.

Here's a You Tube video that shows it. I hope that this helps and is not exactly what you have done before. Did I say I hate plumbing?


Cut the copper line as close to the offending valve as possible and solder a new 1/4 turn ball valve with a 3/8" male threaded end in it's place. Now you can use standard flex supply lines if you like. Sometimes the hardest route is actually the easiest way.

  • Good call. Why mess around with wrenches, when you can use a saw!
    – Tester101
    Feb 3, 2012 at 13:21
  • Yes, soldering...a little sandpaper, the solder, flux,a torch, marshmallows, the phone set up to call 911... I remember it well.
    – lqlarry
    Feb 4, 2012 at 1:52
  • I wouldn't solder a new valve on there. I would solder a 1/2" threaded pipe adapter, and screw the new valve to that. That way, when the new valve gets crusty and old in 10 or 20 years, you just have to unscrew it.
    – Fake Name
    Apr 2, 2012 at 8:26

It looks like a compression fitting, in which case, you loosen the nut and pull it off. You shouldn't need to completely take the nut off in order to slip the valve off, in the event its stripped or otherwise damaged.

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