How do I remove the nut from this vertical motorised valve in the following picture:

enter image description here

The valve itself is a few mm next to the pipe and I have tried quite a few tools to remove this and nothing works. I also can't get any tools behind it either so I'm out of ideas.

They somehow built this thing so someone tightened those nuts so they must be able to loosen it's just I can't see how.

The valve here is making a screeching noise at times when opening so I want to replace it.

  • 9
    It's quite possible that the pipe with the bite out of the insulation was added after those fittings were tightened by either a cruel or oblivious plumber.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 15:35
  • 2
    Maybe you can take the valve housing off and get the needed room. Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 15:42
  • 3
    Could try needle nose locking pliers, but think you are looking at trying to remove other pipe. Which I am guessing is a pain also. Don't you like a 5 minuet job that you are still working on for 5 days.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 31, 2021 at 15:46

5 Answers 5


Remove the valve motor (and housing), then you have access to the fitting.

enter image description here

Possibly you won't need to remove the valve itself, and the noise comes from the motor.

  • 3
    Definitely this. You're almost certainly going to need to buy the whole thing - they don't sell the motor on its own. However if you're lucky then you'll find the new motor will exactly fit the old plate and spindle, and then you don't need to touch the water-side connections. Of course check that the spindle rotates when the motor is removed, but that rarely goes wrong. I've done this myself in a previous house.
    – Graham
    Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 9:03
  • 1
    @Graham I've been able to buy the motor head as a separate component for other brands than this example. However that may have been from a site like ebay, not an official reseller. But still, worth a look IMO. Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 15:43

Flare Nut Wrenches. With handles, or "crowfoot" to be used with a ratchet (and extension if you need to get behind/beyond something.)

FLN from MSCdirect

Hazet crowfoot flare nut wrench, image presumably from manufacturer, search result not clear where it's coming from.


One way to do this would be to get an offset open end wrench similar to the one pictured below. enter image description here

  • 2
    On occasions, I've heated and bent spanners to exactly the angle needed - in desperation!
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 8:25
  • 1
    Good reason to keep these cheap sheetmetal spanners that sometimes come with stuff as accessories... they can be easily bent and/or pounded into such shapes :) Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 19:09

Turn off the water, relieve pressure on the system, and cut a 1 foot section out of that poorly located pipe to the right of the value (and curse quietly about they person that installed it). replace the valve. Now take the piece of pipe you removed, clean up and deburr all 4 ends, and sweat it in using 2 new copper couplings. Trying to do this any other way is going to be pure frustration, and you may end up breaking something in the process (so you'll be better off if you break it ahead of time on your own terms...).

  • 2
    If you have enough room to do so while doing this, you might want to consider using 4 angled connectors instead of 2 strait ones to open up a gap between the two pipes to make any future work easier. Commented Apr 1, 2021 at 21:37
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    Makes more sense to not solder the offending pipe back, but use compression joints, so it can be re-removed in future.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 8:24
  • 1
    @Tim I considered suggesting a couple unions to make it easier if this ever needs to be repeated. Those are pretty expensive though (and 2x in this case), for something that may not ever needed. I guess it depends on OP's risk tolerance, the expected lifespan of this plumbing system and the valve in question, and the desire to spend money today to possibly save the next guy the extra 30-60 minutes.
    – Z4-tier
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 13:32
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    @DanIsFiddlingByFirelight I have one of those in my basement. That is probably the easiest way to future-proof this thing.
    – Z4-tier
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 13:34

It does look like a case of cruel & unusual plumbing, but you might be able to get to it with a basin wrench

enter image description here

These come in various sizes [& qualities] but they can usually grab anything they can reach.
It's difficult to tell from your photo whether this would be able to grab the bottom nut, but the top one should be relatively easy.

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