How To Replace Ball Valve O-Rings


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The O-Rings in a simple Ball Valve cannot be accessed so there is no way to replace them. When the valve starts to leak, the whole Valve has to be replaced. If you want to access the O-Rings, you must buy a Ball Valve that has one or two unions. The Ball Valve shown here has a single union that will allow you to pull out the Valve Stem and replace damaged O-Rings. You will still have to cut out the Valve on the side that has no union.

Step by Step


Step 1

BUY PARTS - Buy the replacement parts ahead of time so you will have them on hand when you need them. To change the O-Rings on a Hayward Ball Valve with a single Union, you will need a Hayward Stem & End Connector O-ring Kit (spx0722gh). This kit is for a 1 1/2" diameter Hayward Ball Valve.

Step 2

TURN OFF PUMP - Turn off power to the pool pump. For maximum safety turn off the power at the circuit breaker to the pump.

Step 3

RELIEVE PRESSURE - Relieve the pressure in the lines by turning the relief valve on top of your filter counter-clockwise. You should see the pressure reading on the filter pressure gauge go to 0.

Step 4

CUT OUT BALL VALVE - Since this Ball Valve only has one union, you will have to cut the non-union side out of the system piping. Use a sharp hacksaw and leave enough room in the piping to install the Ball Valve back with a coupling.

Step 5

REMOVE HANDLE - Lift off the Ball Valve Handle. It should lift off easily.

Step 6

REMOVE UNION COLLAR - Remove the Union Collar by screwing in in a counter-clockwise direction.

Step 7

REMOVE BALL VALVE - Using a flat-headed screwdriver, gently pry the Valve off of the Union.

Step 8

VIEW VALVE - This is a picture of the Ball Valve separated from the Union. Note the Union O-ring.

Step 9

VIEW VALVE BALL - Turn the Valve on end and look at the Valve Ball inside the Valve body. It is connected to the Valve Stem that you turn with the handle to open or shut off water flow.

Step 10

LIFT OUT VALVE BALL - Lift out the Valve Ball. Note the groove on the Valve Ball that lines up with the squared off end of the Valve Stem.

Step 11

REMOVE VALVE STEM - Remove the Valve Stem by pushing the top end of the Stem into the Valve body.

Step 12

SLIDE OFF STEM O-RINGS - Remove the two Valve Stem O-Rings by pulling the out of their grooves and sliding them off the end of the Valve Stem.

Step 13

INSERT NEW O-RINGS INTO GROOVES - Slide the two new Valve Stem O-rings on to the end of the Valve Stem and insert them into their grooves.

Step 14

LUBRICATE VALVE STEM O-RINGS - Lightly lubricate the Valve Stem O-Rings with a silicon or Teflon lubricant.

Step 15

REMOVE UNION O-RING - Pull the Union O-ring out of its groove and remove it.

Step 16

INSERT NEW UNION O-RING - Slide a new O-Ring onto the Union and insert it into its groove.

Step 17

LUBRICATE UNION O-RING - Lightly lubricate the Union O-Ring with a silicon or Teflon lubricant.

Step 18

PUSH IN VALVE STEM - Turn the Ball Valve on its end and push in the Valve Stem from the inside. Make sure it is pushed in all the way and that both Valve Stem O-Rings are in the hole.

Step 19

VIEW VALVE STEM PLACEMENT - Rotate the Valve Stem so that the squared end is position up and down as shown.

Step 20

SLIDE IN VALVE BALL - Line up the Valve Ball so that its groove slides onto the squared end of the Valve Stem as you replace the Ball into the Valve Body

Step 21

REATTACH PIPE END OF VALVE - Glue on the pipe end of the Ball Valve onto the system piping using a straight connector. Make sure the handle of the Valve is orientated up or in the position you want it.

Step 22

LINE UP VALVE WITH UNION - Line up the Valve with the union as shown. Make sure the Union Collar is lying on the pipe.

Step 23

PUSH VALVE AND UNION TOGETHER - Push the Valve onto the Union until the O-ring is covered.

Step 24

REPLACE UNION COLLAR - Screw the Union Collar onto the Union in a clockwise direction. Hand tighten.

Step 25

PRESS ON HANDLE - Press the Valve Handle onto the Valve Stem. The Ball Valve should be in the "open" position - handle parallel to the pipe.

Step 26

TURN ON POWER - Turn on the power to the pump at the circuit breaker.

Step 27

CLOSE RELIEF VALVE - Close the Relief Valve on the top of the Filter when water starts to spray out.

Step 28

CLOSE BALL VALVE - Close the Ball Valve to make sure the Valve is under pressure

Step 29

CHECK FOR LEAKS - Look for leaks around the Union Collar and the Valve Stem Shaft.  If the Valve is on the suction side of the pump, spray the top of the Valve with a soapy solution and look for soap bubbles being sucked into a suction leak. If the Valve is on the discharge side of the pump, look for water squirting out around the valve union or shaft.


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 Posted: 11/26/2017 

Kevin - I don't understand your system piping. When you open up a direct path to your returns with the ball valve, do you have another valve that shuts off the path to the solar panels? Or are they both open? Has this setup worked before and has just recently become a problem? If the ball valve is leaking, it would be squirting water not sucking air since it is on the discharge side.

 Posted: 11/21/2017 

I have ball valve on discharge side of pump (so water can be returned directly to pool or through solar heater to pool). When set to solar heater pump suction seems fine (with some air bubbles but not major). When set to return water directly to pool there are significant air bubbles such that chlorinator getting insufficient water flow. I realize this is on the discharge side but could ball valve be allowing air into system. When pump switched off there are significant bubbles and water returning to pool such that skimmer basket level drops and pump will not reprime without filling skimmer with water. Any help appreciated, thanks.

 Posted: 6/4/2017 

excellent instructions, very clear. Thanks for taking the time