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obadran 12-09-2012 10:18 AM

Main Water Shutoff Valve problem
My main water shutoff valve, I think is a open globe type valve with a drain nipple on it. It's not a quarter turn value. My house was built in the late 60's.

I had to shut the water off so I could put new shutoff valves in a half-bath that I'm remodeling. When I went to turn the main valve back on, I noticed that the gland nut/packing nut was also turning. After tightening it back up, I couldn't turn the handle....loosened it back up a little and held the nut with the channel lock pliers, still can't turn the's like it is totally seized up.

I've turned the main valve on and off a few times before and never had this problem, but then maybe I never noticed the gland nut turning as I turned the valve. Also, the valve is just really hard to turn to begin with.

Is there a way to fix this without having to have the water company turn off the street valve and pull the whole valve assembly out? Or is it better to just get a whole new valve assembly. I'm assuming you can just replace the valve assembly without getting a whole new valve.

If the gland nut were to come off while the valve in on, would water gush out or would it just seep out? Right now it's seeping because I had to loosen the nut so I could get the water turned on enough to have good water pressure.


joecaption 12-09-2012 10:27 AM

Needs to be replaced with a ball valve.
Globes all leak or fail.
No need to call the water company, open the cover where the valve is and just turn the valve off. If it's way below ground then go buy one of these.

TheEplumber 12-09-2012 10:50 AM

199 Attachment(s)
If a gate or globe valve is properly maintained, they last a long time- but no one takes care of them until its too late. I have 80 yr old gate/globe valves work as good as the day they were bought.
You could call the water dept, take the guts out and attempt to repair it but you're best bet is to replace it. A ball valve will out last you.

jagans 12-09-2012 12:02 PM

Gate Valve
Have the water company kill it at the curb and install an American made, all brass gate valve. This will probably make a difference in your pressure, too. When you open the valve, open it all the way and then turn it back in a quarter turn.

joecaption 12-09-2012 12:35 PM

Also remove all your eriators on all the faucets and your show head before turning the water back on. There will be trash knocked loose in the line that will plug them up.
Just flush out the lines and put the back on.

jagans 12-09-2012 02:39 PM

Over Kill??
That may be over kill, Joe, If they flush out at a basement laundry sink that should do the trick, as the crud will flow to the first demand. I guess it would'nt hurt to check them though, if theyre not cross threaders LOL

obadran 12-09-2012 05:00 PM

Thanks for the advice.

Now I need to decide, for the sake of time, do i just get a plumber or do it my self. Any ideas on ball park prices to replace a valve?

jagans 12-09-2012 05:33 PM

My gut says if you have to ask, get a plumber, This is your main water supply valve, you gotta get it right the first time, and they usually have the tool to turn off the valve at the curb. Again, American Made Gate Valve.

plummen 12-09-2012 06:17 PM

Is it on the street side or house side of the meter?
If you do call the utility to turn it off at the street Id go ahead and replace the valves on both sides of meter with new ball valves:)

obadran 12-09-2012 06:26 PM

The valve is house side and the main pipe come up through the slab and the valve is like 2-3 inches above the slab.

The old valve will have to be removed by "un-sweating" it since if it is cut off, that just leaves less pipe sticking above the slab to work on. I just don't have it in me to mess with that :surrender:

I think I'm going to go with Jagans advice...get a plumber...get it done right the first time.

plummen 12-09-2012 06:34 PM

Normally around here anyway we have a valve between wall/floor and meter(street side) and one on other side of water meter (house side),of course most of our meters are in basement anymore.:)

jagans 12-09-2012 09:26 PM

Since you are working with copper, and a plumber is coming out anyway, you may want to have him sweat in a coupling and raise that valve, and also put in a T with a curb cock, so you can cut off the water at that valve and drain your house back to that low point through the curb cock into a couple of buckets, in case you need to do any other work. This might sound funny to some but I have one with a hose connected inside, just in case I start a fire in my basement shop :whistling2:

Missouri Bound 12-09-2012 09:46 PM


Originally Posted by obadran (Post 1069789)

I think I'm going to go with Jagans advice...get a plumber...get it done right the first time.

Good idea....and if you want to learn how to solder pipes you can learn on something less critical or less important than your main water supply.:laughing:

joecaption 12-09-2012 11:10 PM

No soldering needed.

COLDIRON 12-10-2012 06:26 AM

I wouldn't use a shark bite there because it's so low to the slab and the unsweated copper needs to be perfectly clean for the valve to fit and seal. One little dimple in that main supply could cause a lot of problems with that shark bite.
I have seen water lines the same as described in closets with people dropping shoes, boxes and everything under the sun on the meters and valves that's why I would want nothing but a soldered valve in place at the main. Not saying sharks are bad but I wouldn't use them on every application that came along.

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