My house was built in 1971. All the toilets have these supposedly chrome supply pipes coming out from the wall and then a bendable probably aluminum pipe going up to the toilet. No problem unless you have to turn off one of the valves, like when replacing the toilet fill mechanism. When you turn the water back on they always leak. Sometimes tightening the nut might work but they are all as tight as you can get them now.

I think the valves came permanently attached to the chrome-like pipe. No threads are visible anywhere. I'd like to replace them all. The one in the pictures is the worst. I thought a compression fitting valve with a flexible line up to the toilet would be easiest. I could just cut the chrome pipe behind the old valve (there is plenty of room) and then install the new valve with a compression fitting - BUT - I pulled the cover flange away from the wall and, as I suspected, this chrome pipe is soldered onto a copper pipe. Way too close to the wall and in a tight space for any torch work if I wanted to get rid of the chrome pipe! So, my dilemma is: since this chrome pipe slid over the copper pipe, the chrome pipe is slightly larger and a standard compression fitting for a copper pipe would not work. Correct?

Do they make compression fit valves that would work with this slightly larger chrome pipe? I really don't want to do any torch work in this confined space.

You can see in the pictures there are no threads visible and you can see where the chrome pipe is slid over the copper line and soldered.Old type

another view

  • Sorry- typo in title- It's Shut-Off valve
    – Just1man
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:16
  • That is a sweat connection from the wall stub to the shut off valve. You would have to shut off the water further down stream, then heat up the pipe with a torch to melt the solder. Then you should be able to remove it. It actually does not look bad at all. You may just need to tighten down the packing nut that us behind the handle. There are also rebuild kits on the market as well. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:28
  • The bendable pipe is almost certainly chrome-plated soft copper, not aluminum. Probably way easier to repack the valves (and lube if you like) than to replace them, but suit yourself. If the packing nuts are tight and they leak through the stem, repacking will solve that.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


The chrome pipe and valve are a unit. The chrome pipe is sized to fit over 1/2" copper and then soldered at its end. The copper likely extends a fair bit within the chrome pipe, and it's not easy to find compression fittings for the chrome pipe, so your best bets would be to repair this valve or remove and replace it.

To repair it, you would shut off your house water, remove the valve handle, remove the packing nut, replace the packing material or any other worn parts, and then reassemble.

To replace it, you'd shut off your house water, remove your toilet line, drain the water from this area (because you can't melt solder well when there's water inside), and heat the joint with a torch. Once hot, use pliers to wiggle the whole pipe/valve assembly loose. Make sure you grip at the valve end - if you grip the chrome pipe portion, you might accidentally crush it around the copper pipe within, making the whole thing much harder to remove (guess how I know!). You can then replace it with another similar kit, or use a new solder or compression valve. I'd recommend a ball valve, aka quarter-turn.

  • 2
    Just to add, do be careful when sweating the old piece off, the next joint down inside the wall may melt as well and create a leak there. Been there, done that....
    – Jack
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 21:55
  • I'm still going to check the Home Centers to see what they have in compression valves. Will definitely replace the small vertical line with a flexible line to stop that leak. Maybe the handle isn't leaking. I'll do the flex line first and see.
    – Just1man
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 18:36

OK. Checked the Home Centers for compression valve that would fit if I cut off the old valve. None to be had, as I thought. They only sell them for standard size pipes, not the slightly larger chromed pipe. So, just bought a new flexible feed line up to the toilet, which I needed anyhow. Then took then old valve handle and nut off, cleaned all the corrosion/calcium/lime deposits, added a tiny piece of packing rope to the nut, reassembled, installed the new flex line, and all seems to be fine! No leaks. Think the source of the leakage was mainly from the nut at the old connection where the bendable aluminum line attached from the toilet. Glad that's over, now I know what has to be done if I have an issue with the other toilets. VICTORY! enter image description here

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