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PVC ball valves are a simple but effective way to contr […]
PVC ball valves are a simple but effective way to control flow in all kinds of applications, including pools and irrigation. They resist corrosion to an extreme degree and can handle a reasonable range of temperatures and pressures. PVC, however, is not rated for hot water use and can become brittle with age, so sometimes leaks occur. PVC ball valves most often fail around the handle. Luckily, replacing a PVC ball valve handle is easy!
These types of ball valves have stems with O-rings that can fail when pressure or temperature limits are exceeded. On some of the older, more common styles (shown on the right), the handle itself can crack quite easily. Whether or not this causes leaks, it is awfully inconvenient and can make valve operation difficult if not impossible. Keep reading this article for tips on how to replace a ball valve handle.
Replacing a Push-On Handle
The two major types of handles found in PVC ball valves, regardless of body or end type, the those with a screw and those without. In this section we will focus on those without a screw. These handles snap on the top of the valve’s stem. Despite not being screwed on, they remain in place very well.
Before removing the handle, please turn your system off.
Prepared a new handle with cap and a small straight screwdriver
Find the slot between cap and the handle, then put the screwdriver into the space and get the cap out slowly
Now you can remove the broken handle from the valve
Install the new handle
Replacing a PVC Ball Valve
Sometimes, replacing a handle is not enough, and regular PVC ball valves only allow for certain parts to be replaced. If you are using a true union ball valve, you may be able to replace the stem, ball, handle, or ends individually, but that is not always the case. When the valve is beyond repair, the only option is to replace it.
If it is a threaded valve, you can unscrew the ends of the old valve and simply place a new on where it was. If it is a socket valve with cemented connections, you will need to cut the valve out. This could make it difficult to replace the valve. Sometimes re-plumbing a whole section of the system is easier, but it is different for every application.