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Old 03-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #1
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


I want to recreate this old bypass valve with ball valves (it has thread-less gate valves). Currently working on my soldering skills before I do this, but before I buy everything, I just want to make sure i have this right:

I need to solder a copper T on either side, then a piece of pipe going horizontally from each copper T to a ball valve in the middle, then another piece of copper going down vertically from each T, then a slip ball valve down from each of those, then a piece of threaded copper down from each of those. Is that right?

Next question: does a male threaded ball valve exist? If so, I could just solder that on to the piece of vertical pipe and eliminate the last step of soldering on the threaded piece of copper. But since I have no idea what I'm talking about, it may or may not be better to just do what I originally said (if a male threaded ball valve even exists :P).

Last question: should I first solder this all together and then solder each side to the two pipes? Or solder it together piece by piece?

Ok, thanks for reading...go easy on me!


Last edited by amateurplumber; 03-22-2013 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:30 PM   #2
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


Recreate it exactly as is in the photo with ball valves instead of gate valves.

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Old 03-22-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


Im not sure if this is a trick question or not, as the answer seems so simple. The only thing I have to add is install pressure treated wood blocking for support and pipe clamp everything in place, cleaned and fluxed, then solder. Is that what you need?
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


Did you give up on the bypass that comes with the water softener?
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:04 PM   #5
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


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Did you give up on the bypass that comes with the water softener?
Nah it's just that some people made a really good case for sticking with a bypass on the wall in place of or in addition to the one on the stiffener.

This is not a trick question. I just don't have much experience with soldering and was hoping you could take a look to make sure I'm not missing anything! Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


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Originally Posted by amateurplumber View Post
Nah it's just that some people made a really good case for sticking with a bypass on the wall in place of or in addition to the one on the stiffener.

This is not a trick question. I just don't have much experience with soldering and was hoping you could take a look to make sure I'm not missing anything! Thanks!
You've got it. If you aren't installing the softener the same day as you rebuild the bypass, I would wait on attaching anything to the bottom of the valves going to the softener. It will make assembly easier.

Also, before you start the bypass, you 'll need the height of the softener connections. If the bypass is too low, it'll be a PITA to get it hooked up.

If it makes you feel any better, my softener has been in service for 15 years and I've never had to use the bypass. I do exercise it once a year to keep the seals pliable.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:10 AM   #7
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


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Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
You've got it. If you aren't installing the softener the same day as you rebuild the bypass, I would wait on attaching anything to the bottom of the valves going to the softener. It will make assembly easier.

Also, before you start the bypass, you 'll need the height of the softener connections. If the bypass is too low, it'll be a PITA to get it hooked up.

If it makes you feel any better, my softener has been in service for 15 years and I've never had to use the bypass. I do exercise it once a year to keep the seals pliable.
Thanks for the tips! Yeah, i figure it will probably never come into use (hopefully), but if something were to happen to the softener and I'd need to repair it, it would be sooooooo much easier to just engage the bypass and remove the softener than it would to turn off the house water.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:42 AM   #8
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


Not really a good location, being that close to the breaker panel.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:54 AM   #9
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


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Not really a good location, being that close to the breaker panel.
Yeah it really is an awful location. It's beyond my skill to move though. Not sure what the builders were thinking there.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:27 AM   #10
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


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Yeah it really is an awful location. It's beyond my skill to move though. Not sure what the builders were thinking there.
You are going to have to move it. It is not what the builders where thinking, it is what the person that put in that new panel was thinking. Sort of the which came first, the Chicken or the Egg.

As for moving that piping, use either PEX or Copper with Sharkbites. As for that bypass valve, it is being used as a way to temper the water to help circulate it, but in turn makes the cold water hot also.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:42 AM   #11
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


Good lord, will this never end?!?! I think I got myself into something I don't want to be in.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:40 AM   #12
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


Greg raises some good points.

Can you post a picture that shows the plumbing overhead?
Was there a softener in the space before or was it a water heater?
The softener requires a 120v receptacle. If you relocate the softener, you'll have to think about that too.
Using PEX and Sharkbites would make your life easier. It will cost more but you don't have to worry about soldering.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:43 AM   #13
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How would you reconstruct this bypass valve?


If the pipes are not above the panel I do not see an issue.

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