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Old 12-16-2008, 06:18 PM   #1
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Hi all,

We have a new dryer due to be delivered tomorrow. We have an old gas pipe/valve (house was built in the 70's), which we've heard Sears won't touch. The valve is also really hard to turn off, as we need to grip the nut on the opposite side with a wrench to turn it and tighten it.



So to make things easier and more modern, I figured I could put a new ball valve (pictured) on top, where the 1/2" gas line normally attaches, then attach the gas line to the new valve.



Not replacing anything... just adding one piece on top of what's already there. It's a 1/2" attachment for the gas line right now... and this is a 1/2" to 1/2" valve, so no size change either. Just an "extension" if you will.



Is this an okay (read: safe) option? Can we just leave the old gas valve on and tight, and not have to mess with it? Instead using the new green ball valve to turn the gas on and off?

Thanks!

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:26 PM   #2
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Yes, it is safe. However, I wouldn't leave the existing valve in place. It is too easy to pull it out and replace it. As currently configured, the job looks amateurish, which would be a red flag to potential buyers in the future. It would look (and function) much more professional to install the new gas valve in place of the old one.

Don't forget the pipe thread compound!

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Old 12-16-2008, 09:00 PM   #3
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Wait a sec here! Is the new valve designed to go on a flare fitting?

I'll bet it's 1/2" pipe threads. The existing fitting the new valve is screwed on to isn't pipe threads. The existing fitting is designed to accept a flex tube, not a valve.

I could be wrong, hopefully a few other guys will chime in here.

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Old 12-16-2008, 10:32 PM   #4
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Yes, I think Micromind caught this one. The tag of the new valve seems to say "Brass Gas Ball Valve", "Flare X Female Thread Connection". The hex of the Flare adapter in the top picture is clearly visible under the new gas valve, meaning the new gas valve was simply screwed onto the top of the old pipe to flare adapter. That's a problem.

Nutlog: It appears as if the MIP to flare fitting adapter shown at the top of the piping in the first picture HAS NOT been replaced with a short pipe nipple.

Piping thread (called NPT or "National Pipe Thread") is different than the thread used on flare nuts. Pipe threads are tapered so that as the joint is tightened, the male thread wedges into the female thread so that any teflon tape or pipe dope between them is squished, thereby creating a seal between the mating threads. Flare nut fittings rely on the seal occuring elsewhere, and so the thread on flare nut fittings is straight, just like the thread on a bolt or a light bulb.

So, no, that gameplan is not safe. You're going to have leakage between the new valve and the Flare Nut adapter it's screwed on to because the straight flare nut threads can't form a seal with the female pipe thread. You need to either replace that flare nut adapter with a pipe nipple, or as the KCTermite recommended, take out everything down to and including the old valve and just screw in the new valve.

And, after you do whatever you do, I want you to mix up a 50/50 solution of liquid dish washing detergent and water, turn the gas on and paint that soap solution around every joint. Watch for bubbles. If you see any, you've got a gas leak at that joint, and you need to fix it.

Good catch, Micromind.
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Last edited by Nestor_Kelebay; 12-16-2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:36 AM   #5
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Thanks for the replies guys. You are correct on all accounts:

- This is a 1/2" inch Brass/Gas Ball Valve, Flare x Female Thread Connection.
- In pic 3, the female end is indeed screwed over the existing flare adapter (where the gas line would normally connect), simply replaced by the new flare end
- It does look amateurish, as does just about everything in the basement of this house which we did not discover until we bought and started doing "improvements"... wallpaper covering holes in drywall, rags and old underwear used as insulation in the walls... yeah, you read that correctly.

(One note, to relieve any worries... I don't have it attached like pic 3... it's currently set up as in pic 1, plus a cap... I just took the cap off and lightly screwed the new valve on for the photos... I won't be hooking anything up until tomorrow, at which time I do have Harvey's thread compound and gas leak detector spray).

But to be 1,000% clear, the "Female" end of this ball valve is NOT designed to fit over a "Flare"? Even with compound, even if it's the right size and feels like it fits, they're incompatible connections? Then what does this Female end fit over? Nipple pipe? Is piece #4 in the pic below the nipple?

Now that it's been determined that pic 3 would be a bad idea, how do I go about doing it right? We've had it set up like pic 1 for the three years we've lived in this house, with no leaks or problems. Sears is coming tomorrow at noon; should we not just have them hook it up the old way (pic 1 -- just attach the gas line to the old flare)? Or is the old valve a real problem?

This utility room is my first big home improvement project, so I'm not really keen on what I can remove and what can be safely and properly replaced.



I see 4 pieces screwed into each other with tape/compound... I'm guessing I leave 4, but remove 1, 2, and 3... then stick a new ball valve into 4? If so, will the one I have work, or do I need a different size, any sort of nipple, adapter, anything?

Thanks again.

Last edited by nutlog; 12-17-2008 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:51 AM   #6
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nutlog View Post
Thanks for the replies guys. You are correct on all accounts:

- This is a 1/2" inch Brass/Gas Ball Valve, Flare x Female Thread Connection.
- In pic 3, the female end is indeed screwed over the existing flare adapter (where the gas line would normally connect), simply replaced by the new flare end
- It does look amateurish, as does just about everything in the basement of this house which we did not discover until we bought and started doing "improvements"... wallpaper covering holes in drywall, rags and old underwear used as insulation in the walls... yeah, you read that correctly.

(One note, to relieve any worries... I don't have it attached like pic 3... it's currently set up as in pic 1, plus a cap... I just took the cap off and lightly screwed the new valve on for the photos... I won't be hooking anything up until tomorrow, at which time I do have Harvey's thread compound and gas leak detector spray).

But to be 1,000% clear, the "Female" end of this ball valve is NOT designed to fit over a "Flare"? Even with compound, even if it's the right size and feels like it fits, they're incompatible connections? Then what does this Female end fit over? Nipple pipe? Is piece #4 in the pic below the nipple?

Now that it's been determined that pic 3 would be a bad idea, how do I go about doing it right? We've had it set up like pic 1 for the three years we've lived in this house, with no leaks or problems. Sears is coming tomorrow at noon; should we not just have them hook it up the old way (pic 1 -- just attach the gas line to the old flare)? Or is the old valve a real problem?

This utility room is my first big home improvement project, so I'm not really keen on what I can remove and what can be safely and properly replaced.



I see 4 pieces screwed into each other with tape/compound... I'm guessing I leave 4, but remove 1, 2, and 3... then stick a new ball valve into 4? If so, will the one I have work, or do I need a different size, any sort of nipple, adapter, anything?

Thanks again.

That looks like one of those running thread couplers. Other here may be able to verify that. But if it is (it looks just like the ones they used in my house) they are not the correct type of coupler and should not be used.

Why don't you just remove 1, 2, and 3 and get the correct valve NPT 1/2" on one side and compression on the other side for about $9 and install it on the threaded nipple that is coming out of the T with some retoseal? Then attach the compression fitting to the dryer with NO seal or compound.

What is sears going to hook up? Why does it matter if they hook anything up? I would't worry about it, it takes 2 minutes to screw on the compression fittings on the csst hose once you have the valve on correctly.

Jamie
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:37 AM   #7
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Remove the old barrel shut off and replace it with a new fitting. They tend to leak over time.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:03 AM   #8
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Thanks Ron and Jamie. Are you both saying the same thing? And that's to attach the following ball valve:



(1/2" female x 1/2" flare) to the top of piece number 4? And then I can attach the gas line directly to the top of this piece?

Sorry, I think all the various terminology is throwing me off. As long as I know exactly what I'm attaching to the 1-2-3-4 diagram I should be good.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:28 AM   #9
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Yes, attach it to the threaded piece coming out of #4(1/2 " tee). Picture #3 is a barrel shutoff.
There is no compound or teflon tape on the flare fitting on top that the flex connector gets attached to.
Test all fittings for leaks with a soap solution when you're done.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:28 AM   #10
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


The whole thing looks to be Tee ed into the larger pipe behind it(second set of pictures). What is that for? Is the vertical pipe we see a drip leg?
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:19 PM   #11
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nutlog View Post
Thanks Ron and Jamie. Are you both saying the same thing? And that's to attach the following ball valve:



(1/2" female x 1/2" flare) to the top of piece number 4? And then I can attach the gas line directly to the top of this piece?

Sorry, I think all the various terminology is throwing me off. As long as I know exactly what I'm attaching to the 1-2-3-4 diagram I should be good.

Yes, as long as the valve shown in this pictures has standard 1/2" NPT (non compression) threads on one side. I can see in the photo that the top side has compression threads, and that is what you want to connect the csst whip.

You don't really need to worry about this now, but this is something I wanted to mention, that I did recently.

I put a 90 degree elbow on my dryer, and extended my gas pipe over horizontally, so the csst flex tube didn't get bent against the wall. Many times the way they come out of the dryer is pointing stright back, and then the flex tube can get crushed / banged against the wall. You will be fine for now with this valve. I just wanted to mention it because I think it is a good idea and only costs a couple bucks in parts.

Do you have a couple good pipe wrenches?
Is this gas ball valve safe?-187px-pipewrench.jpg

You really should hold one pipe in place (I know it is almost imposable with a short nipple like is coming out of the T) and turn with the other one. I sometimes will use a crescent wrench on the valves and the pipe wrench on the pipe to tighten it. For today for the valve, you might be able to get that apart with a crescent / vice grips, but you want to get some pipe wrenches for future work. Note: The cheap pipe wrenches are well cheap. I would buy the good brand name ones, can't think of the big brand name for them right now though...

Jamie
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Old 12-20-2008, 03:55 PM   #12
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


The gas valve should have "WOG" and 3 numbers stamped on the valve body. "WOG" is "Water, Oil,Gas" and the number indicates the max pressure, and should be "175" minimum. The coupler is known as a "merchant Coupler" and is not for gas or water. Your coupler has straight threads, not tapered threads. Get rid of numbers 1 through 3. A new flex hose will come with new adaptors, do not use an old flex, only new. Before getting rid of 1-3, turn off the gas at the meter. Otherwise, you may allow gas into the house, which may find a pilot light. Then your house goes "boom" , and you will make the 6:00 PM news. Then those of us who work with gas will sigh, and shake our heads and say, "Another home owner who should have hired a professional." Jamiedolan has a good point about the 90 so the flex does not have to make a sharp bend. Make sure the gas hose is new and long enough to allow the appliance to be moved for service. Use a new metal vent hose, the plastic hoses do not meet code, and will melt in case of fire. Don't ask why non-code parts are allowed to be sold. you may as well ask why parts are sold to non-licnesed people. Use pipe dope listed for use on gas, and do not smear the dope all over the end of the fittings. Pipe dope is not a sealant, but a lubricant. As was stated before, use a leak detector after you connect the fittings. DO NOT believe every thing Home Cheapo or Blowes tell you. Anyone in the trades can tell you stories of those people giving out false information. And do not ask the guy with his name on his shirt for free advice. He is working, and you are taking up his billable time, unless of course, you will talk to him on your time on monday, for free.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:22 PM   #13
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


Thanks for all the replies and advice, everyone. Here is my new valve installed:



Does this now look up to code? It certainly looks a lot better than the old Rube Goldberg installation, and it's nice to have a modern valve that turns on/off without the help of vice grips.

Everything went smoothly and I did not explode. Heading outside to turn the gas back on now, test for leaks, and hopefully (finally) fire up the new dryer. Thanks again!
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:46 PM   #14
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


The air will have to be pushed out of the piping before the pilot will light, be patient and have a bunch of matches handy.

The job looks nice, you did check for leaks?
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:13 AM   #15
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Is this gas ball valve safe?


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Originally Posted by fireguy View Post
The air will have to be pushed out of the piping before the pilot will light, be patient and have a bunch of matches handy.

The job looks nice, you did check for leaks?
I doubt a new dryer from sears has a pilot light. Most likely just a igniter.

How does it look where it connects to the dryer, is it setup so it won't crush the flex csst hose against the wall if the dryer is bumped?

Jamie

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