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Old 02-08-2015, 08:00 PM   #1
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Main Water shutoff


Hello everyone, I have a situation in which I need to replace a failing pressure regulator and there is no shutoff valve before the pressure regulator. I have a couple questions;

1. is it better to install a sweated ball valve or compression fitting ball valve for longevity from leaks. I prefer compression fitting bu that valve will see the full 120 PSIG city water supply just before the regulator.

2. I managed to get the right tools to get to the street shutoff valve which is ~4 ft underground ( the meter is located inside the house). After cleaning dirt rock etc.. from a narrow 4" narrow deep pipe, I managed to get a U shaped key and spin the valve. I first thought it was a ball valve, so I rotated it 90 deg and went to check whether that closed off the valve or not, and it did not. After several attempts at different positions, I realized that the valve was not turning the water supply off. I rotated it clockwise maybe several turns and that did not shutoff the water supply. I did not want to cause any issues so I stopped for the meantime. I wanted to have the luxury of turning the water off then repairing the regulator ( with newly installed shutoff) then turning it back on. I know I can call the water company to turn it off and then back on, I just did not want to be in a situation where I am stuck for hours waiting for water. Besides I wanted to perform this job on the weekends. My question is regarding the curbside valve, is it possible that the valve is a gate and not a ball valve? or is there a potential problem with the valve.

I do live in the NE part of Pennsylvania...sorry for the long winded message.

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:26 PM   #2
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Main Water shutoff


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike123333 View Post
Hello everyone, I have a situation in which I need to replace a failing pressure regulator and there is no shutoff valve before the pressure regulator. I have a couple questions;

1. is it better to install a sweated ball valve or compression fitting ball valve for longevity from leaks. I prefer compression fitting bu that valve will see the full 120 PSIG city water supply just before the regulator.

2. I managed to get the right tools to get to the street shutoff valve which is ~4 ft underground ( the meter is located inside the house). After cleaning dirt rock etc.. from a narrow 4" narrow deep pipe, I managed to get a U shaped key and spin the valve. I first thought it was a ball valve, so I rotated it 90 deg and went to check whether that closed off the valve or not, and it did not. After several attempts at different positions, I realized that the valve was not turning the water supply off. I rotated it clockwise maybe several turns and that did not shutoff the water supply. I did not want to cause any issues so I stopped for the meantime. I wanted to have the luxury of turning the water off then repairing the regulator ( with newly installed shutoff) then turning it back on. I know I can call the water company to turn it off and then back on, I just did not want to be in a situation where I am stuck for hours waiting for water. Besides I wanted to perform this job on the weekends. My question is regarding the curbside valve, is it possible that the valve is a gate and not a ball valve? or is there a potential problem with the valve.

I do live in the NE part of Pennsylvania...sorry for the long winded message.
all the valves we see here in pa are 1/4 turn ..in line with pipe is open left to right is off.... i use flare valves..

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Last edited by ben's plumbing; 02-08-2015 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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Main Water shutoff


Thanks for the reply, but I checked several positions, perpendicular to the pipe ( no go), diagonal still no go, incremental changes in degree still nothing. the pipe is buried with crud that I was unable to fully clean, the only thing showing is the top of the valve. Either I am missing something or the valve has issues. What would make the valve spin ( 90 deg or 1/4") CW but not turn off?
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:39 PM   #4
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Main Water shutoff


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Thanks for the reply, but I checked several positions, perpendicular to the pipe ( no go), diagonal still no go, incremental changes in degree still nothing. the pipe is buried with crud that I was unable to fully clean, the only thing showing is the top of the valve. Either I am missing something or the valve has issues. What would make the valve spin ( 90 deg or 1/4") CW but not turn off?
are you sure your getting on the valve...its easy to miss i do it all the time even after doing it for almost 40yrs...look with a good light see if valve is in the center of box..if not we bend the end of curb key alittle to get on it....see if you can get a picture .. fyi i have never found a valve that did not work...
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:47 PM   #5
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Main Water shutoff


Yes I am on top of the valve, the damn thing is like almost 4 ft down. I use a powerful flash light and can see the valve being rotated at the different positions after every rotation. this is why I stated that maybe the valve is a gate and not ball, unless it faulty
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:51 PM   #6
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Yes I am on top of the valve, the damn thing is like almost 4 ft down. I use a powerful flash light and can see the valve being rotated at the different positions after every rotation. this is why I stated that maybe the valve is a gate and not ball, unless it faulty
well there is a 1 st time for everything i guess .could be a bad valve..never see a gate valve .ever ...Iam around the pittsburgh area where are you..
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:59 PM   #7
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I live outside of Scranton. is this a case where I should just let the water company shut it off, just in case the valve is faulty. I hate to keep turning it thinking its a gate valve and have something go wrong.

So going with a compression fitting is not a good idea. do you have a link to the flare fitting valve if that is better than the compression fitting?
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mike123333 View Post
I live outside of Scranton. is this a case where I should just let the water company shut it off, just in case the valve is faulty. I hate to keep turning it thinking its a gate valve and have something go wrong.

So going with a compression fitting is not a good idea. do you have a link to the flare fitting valve if that is better than the compression fitting?
its what i use...but compression can be used also ..the new main lines installed today are compression at the curb stop where you are trying to shut off now....you can goggle 3/4 flared meter valve....yes call the water company let them shut it off...its there valve so if it broke its there problem...
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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Alright thanks for your help, I will check into that further. The lines inside my house are 1/2" and that is what I would need after the meter and before the regulator.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:16 AM   #10
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Main Water shutoff


Out here in Detroit seems like entire sides on town have problems with those curb valves. I have heard they can shoot water 50 feet into the air, I have only had them very hard to turn, open or closed

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