I changed out our kitchen faucet over the weekend and after getting everything hooked up, I'm only getting hot water. Our cold water valve's handle broke off a while back so I just use the screw to open and close the valve. I've unscrewed it all the way and even used pliers to turn the white part but I'm still not getting anything. I'm guessing it's the valve that needs replaced but I'm not sure what to do. Do I just unscrew the valve? Does it screw out of the white cap with text on it or is that part of the valve? I don't ever do projects like this so sorry if I'm not describing it very well.

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    That screw is meant to hold the handle on to the shaft. Turning the screw doesn't inherently turn the shaft. If the splines on the shaft are still intact, and you can find another valve of the exact same type, you may be able to just swap the handle onto your existing valve and you won't have to actually replace it. Of course, this assumes the valve internals are intact.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:04
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    So you're saying I could possibly just find the same valve and take the handle off of it and screw it onto this one, assuming the valve itself is good? If that's the case, I could test it with our hot water valve as it still has the handle. Should I just try unscrewing the handle off the hot water valve and screw it onto this one?
    – pantherguy
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:14
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    If you replace the valve (and you should) I would use a ball valve over a gate valve every time. Not just my opinion: "Although ball valves tend to cost slightly more than gate valves of comparable quality, the minimal saving is not worth the potential issues that are likely to follow. Moreover, ball valves seal much tighter – and are therefore much less prone to leaks – than gate valves because of their 100 per cent shut off characteristics. Ball valves offer greater longevity, a lower rate of failure, and are easier to use than gate valves." Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:16
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    @pantherguy - it's difficult to give meaningful answers to those specific questions because there is some subjectivity involved based on the condition of the valve (and the fact that you've already tried to turn the shaft with pliers). If it were me, and I thought the valve might be okay, and I thought I could get the handle off the hot water valve without breaking it, I would certainly try. But if I felt that the valve was already damaged internally, or I was nervous about breaking the handle on the other valve while trying to get it off, I'd just cut it out and put a new one in.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:20
  • @dwizum With my limited knowledge, the less I can break the better so maybe I shouldn't try the handle from the hot water and potentially make that not work. If I were to cut it out, do I cut just below the white cap?
    – pantherguy
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:32

3 Answers 3


As long as you can get the existing valve fully open you can leave it in place. Buy a piggy back valve, you screw it into the existing valve and use it instead of the original.

As zelinka mentioned the existing valve is done in expansion pex and the tools needed to put a new one on are close to $600.

You could probably do a sharkbite fitting on the pipe if you cut it below the expansion ring. Something like this:


  • I think the best thing long term is to cut it and add the push valve on like you linked. I'm assuming it's pretty straight forward using one of the PEX cutter tools and then just push this valve on after it's cut. Thanks for your help.
    – pantherguy
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 19:40
  • do I just need to turn the water off to the house before cutting it? will there be water in that pipe when I cut just below the white cap?
    – pantherguy
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 19:41
  • yes shut off water to house. There will be water in the pipe but just have a little towel it shouldn't be a crazy amount and it won't be pressurized. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 23:09
  • if there's a lower water outlet on your plumbing (perhaps outdoors), after turning off the water to the house open that, then when you cut the pipe the leakage will flow from the other outlet.
    – Jasen
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 0:34
  • Great, thanks. Can you tell by the picture or how can I measure what size the pipe is? It looks like the push on valves come in different sizes so I want to make sure I get the right one.
    – pantherguy
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 0:52

Before doing any of this you would need to make sure the water is off, either by turning off the water to the entire house, or by turning off the water to that faucet.

The easiest way to fix the broken valve would be to get a new stop valve, but that looks like it was plumbed using expansion pex of some sort, which require specialized tools to use, and even if you put a new expansion valve on you would still need to cut the old one off. That being noted, you can use a push fit stop valve if desired, and that would also work, but would require cutting off the old valve.

The other option is to try and re-build the valve you have. This is done by unscrewing the nut on the valve and replacing the interior components of the valve.

  • Thanks for the reply. I am not a handy person at all so I'm not sure I can re-build the valve. If I cut off the old valve, do I cut right below the white cap? Is there a special tool needed for that or would a utility knife work?
    – pantherguy
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 15:56
  • You could probably remove the old valve using a utility knife, but the problem you would have is getting a new valve on. The utility knife won't make a clean cut like you would get with a pex cutter, so the new valve might not seat properly without a clean cut.
    – zelinka
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 15:00

Thank you so much for everyone’s input. I was able to cut the PEX and put a SharkBite push valve on and were in business.

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