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Old 11-26-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
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Gate valve won't open (water heater)


I drained the water heater to clear sludge and rust. To do so, I closed the gate valve on the cold-water feed, and then drained the heater. Closing that valve took a lot of turning. Now the valve won't open - I can turn it easily, probably have about 600 turns by now, but the water never comes through.

I'm going to need to replace the heater and have a ball valve put in, but I just need to open the water line for now. Any suggestions? Loosen/tighten packing nut, maybe?

(BTW I wanted to replace the anode in the water heater but it's stuck there - a 15" wrench started stripping the bolt head. Which is why repl;acement is in its future.)

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-26-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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Gate valve won't open (water heater)


You are screwed. The stem has separated itself from the gate. The only solution now is to cut the valve out and replace it. BTW, what happened to you is very common with gate valves.

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Old 11-26-2010, 05:45 PM   #3
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Gate valve won't open (water heater)


Thanks, NH, looks like you're right. Unfortunatley, it's full-replacement time. Oh well.

Thanks for the quick reply!
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:53 PM   #4
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Gate valve won't open (water heater)


Replacing that valve is not that big a deal. I will assume you have copper tubing, usually 3/4" for a water heater.
The cheapest way is to sweat solder in a new ball valve. But if your soldering skills are suspect, you can do it with compression fittings.

Parts needed:

ball valve- threaded
Compression to male pipe coupling
short nipple - brass
water heater flex connector


Turn off water at meter, cut out old valve. Remove the female adapter from the inlet of the water heater. Install the male pipe end of the compression fitting into the valve. install the nipple into the other end of the valve. Ball valves are marked with a direction, observe the correct flow. Connect the compression fitting & valve to the supply pipe. With the valve closed turn the water back on and verify no leaks. Use the flex connector to connect from the valve to the water heater.

Do the hot at the same time, no valve required, and it will be duck soup when you get ready to replace the old water heater.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Gate valve won't open (water heater)


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Replacing that valve is not that big a deal. I will assume you have copper tubing, usually 3/4" for a water heater.
The cheapest way is to sweat solder in a new ball valve. But if your soldering skills are suspect, you can do it with compression fittings.

Parts needed:

ball valve- threaded
Compression to male pipe coupling
short nipple - brass
water heater flex connector


Turn off water at meter, cut out old valve. Remove the female adapter from the inlet of the water heater. Install the male pipe end of the compression fitting into the valve. install the nipple into the other end of the valve. Ball valves are marked with a direction, observe the correct flow. Connect the compression fitting & valve to the supply pipe. With the valve closed turn the water back on and verify no leaks. Use the flex connector to connect from the valve to the water heater.

Do the hot at the same time, no valve required, and it will be duck soup when you get ready to replace the old water heater.
You do know tht you can just buy a compression ball valve yes?
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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Gate valve won't open (water heater)


I just did this same thing last night. My inlet line gate valve stuck halfway open (low flow in shower). I cut the old gate valve (brass/cast iron) out of the PEX line and replaced with a ball valve (Gatorteeth?). Easy job - just turnd off the main water line first. 30 minutes.

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