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iya 06-13-2010 03:27 PM

Help? re replacing valves (main & toilet)
We recently purchased a house, but have not moved in yet. We figured we'll fix what needs fixing, and in the meantime, just move little things in.

One of the things that needed fixing was the angle stop/valve under one toilet. It's not consistent, and I've found no set pattern, but basically when we flush the toilet, the pipes would just shudder like crazy (akin to the sound of a jackhammer) while the tank filled up. I read somewhere it could be water in the pipes - so I drained and refilled. It happened again! I read somewhere that the valve might need opening all the way - I did that. I've only flushed it once since, and it hasn't happened again. Yet. And I hope that's it.. but in case it isn't, do I need to actually remove the valve and replace it? I dread that option because I saw that the valve was soldered, and I've never had to solder such a valve before - always had threads.

Another thing is the main valve. To do that drain and refill of pipes, I had to turn the main valve a couple times. The last time I touched it, it started leaking like crazy. I couldn't turn the packing nut, so I had to call a plumber, and he did it. He suggested replacing the valve with a ball valve. I'm all for that! Now, I'm hoping I / we won't need to touch the curb stop.. is it an ok practice to install the ball valve just a few inches down the line from the original main? I'd take it farther down, but I'd say a foot (at the most) down, it tees, so there really isn't a lot of space left.. Or perhaps it would be better to install two valves, one on each branch of the tee, and just use those, and not touch the main ever again? (I am grasping at straws now)

As for cost, would you say that replacing the main valve alone is worth $360? The plumber was going to charge me 140$ for tightening the packing nut because that was their "service charge" :eek:, which made me wonder how reasonable the $360 quote was...

Also, should I jot down all my plumbing to-dos and have them all done in one go? Or does it not matter cost-wise if I have them done a couple at a time vs one-time-big-time?

oh'mike 06-13-2010 04:41 PM

It's to bad that you didn't just have the valve replaced when he was out----

Yes--you can install a new ball valve past the old one ,and just leave the old one in place.

Yes to saving money by hiring a plumber and having him do a whole list of upgrades at one time.
You will save separate call charges by getting it all done in one trip.

Talk to your new neighbors and ask if there is a plumber that the like and trust to be honest and fair.

Believe it or not--there are some decent plumbers--and some scoundrels.

If you decide to take up plumbing as a hobby--come here and ask away--The decent ones come here to help folks----Mike----

iya 06-14-2010 04:54 AM

Thanks, oh'mike!

He could not change the valve when he was there because we could not access the curb stop. He said there's a sensor on the round plate so the city would know when someone opened it (I thought it was the meter reading transmitter :P). He was from the neighboring city, so he didn't know just what access was allowed to owners/plumbers, whether there was a fee, and all that.

I'm sure there are scoundrels out there (I've seen a few!) but I'm sure there are also some good guys :) Plumbing is a trade, and I know there are costs involved, so the price can be steep. I'm willing to pay that as long as it's FAIR. :thumbsup:

I do intend to make it a hobby, actually. I'd looked at supplies at a big box the day before all the leaking happened, but just wasn't ready to tackle it head-on just yet. I've seen a lot of helpful threads around here, so I certainly will be back :thumbup: Again, thanks much!!

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