In some older houses where the plumbing has not been modernized, it may be necessary to turn off the main water valve to change a fixture. If this is the case in your house, you need not leave the water turned off completely while you work. After you have turned off the main valve, disconnect the fixture as instructed on our site. Then cap the supply pipes and turn the main water supply back on, so you have water in the rest of the house while you work. Three kinds of caps are in general use: threaded, unthreaded and plastic. All three kinds should be available at your hardware store or home improvement center.
Thread caps fit threaded pipes. Some short iron pipes and connectors are threaded on the inside rather than the outside. These pipes require threaded plus that screw into them. Make sure you buy a cap of the right size - measured by the pipe's inside diameter - and of the same material as the pipe. If you have iron pipes, stay with iron. However, if you have copper, stay with copper. Unless you have a special connection, joining two dissimilar metals will cause corrosion.
Some copper pipes are unthreaded and caps must be soldered on. This task requires a large propane torch and a solder flux. Both the fitting and the pipe must be thoroughly clean. If you have little experience soldering, this may be one of several plumbing tasks you want to hire out.
Plastic is increasingly common for drainpipes, but it is rarely used for supply lies. If you have any plastic pipe, it will probably be unthreaded. In newer American homes capping the pipes will not be necessary because most modern plumbing fixtures have their own local shutoff valves, also known as angle stops. Those with both hot and cold water faucets have two valves.
Angle stops are located uner your washbasin on either side of the large drainpipe. When you turn the faucet-like handle to the right, you close off the water supply to your washbasin. The toilet's single supply valve is located in a similar spot. Before working on any fixtures, close all valves.
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