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Old 03-15-2009, 04:21 PM   #1
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Meter Shutoff


Hi;
I need to replace a section of pipe inside the house from the water meter to a union about 10 ft of pipe total.

There is a shutoff on the house side of the meter (besides the one on the street side), I assume so that when the meter is changed, it can be done without causing the entire plumbing system to drain.

This shutoff is a very old one. It is a right-angle lever type (I'm sure you know the type).
When I replace the section of pipe I will replace this shutoff.

Is there any specification for this valve?
I plan to use a standard gate valve, but just want to know if it has to be labeled or be otherwise different than the shutoff on the street side of the meter.

Thanks

FW

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Old 03-15-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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If you are going to replace the valve located inside your house then you need to have the main or water meter valve off as well.

The valve you are describing sounds like a 1/4 turn ball valve.

Don't waste your time installing a gate valve. Over time the packing could start to leak when you shut it off and turn it back on. Replace it with a 1/4 turn ball valve.

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Old 03-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
If you are going to replace the valve located inside your house then you need to have the main or water meter valve off as well.
Electrical is my specialty, but I'm familiar enough with plumbing and water supply to have figured that out<g>.
The valve I am talking about is the one that is on the out-flow side of the meter, so I have the main on the supply side.

I like your suggestion of the 1/4 turn ball valve. My meter valve is a gate valve, and yesterday, when I had an emergency, it seemed like forever until I got the gate valve at the meter shut off.

This ball valve would probably be my best choice, since it has the drain.
http://contractorservices.homedepot....a-19f5e6c76ef4

FW
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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I would suggest getting the ball valve from a plumbing supply store not a box store, I have had issues with home depots ball valves and gas cocks leaking.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:08 PM   #5
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I would suggest getting the ball valve from a plumbing supply store not a box store, I have had issues with home depots ball valves and gas cocks leaking.
What brand was the one that leaked?
Can you recommend a reliable one?

A little water leak wouldn't worry me all that much, unless it required redoing a lot of plumbing, but a leaky gas valve? Now that's a different story.

While on the subject of poor quality from HD;
While looking for a specific fitting I had purchased there during the course of a job (DIY), I found that several fittings were mis-marked. I thought I had purchased 3/4" to 1/2" reducer, which is what the label said, but I found they were 5/8 to 1/2.
I will let them know when I go back to return my unused parts.

Another issue, which relates more closely to your leaky valves; I purchased several unions. When I installed the 1/2" one, I found that it dripped slightly until I really tightened it. Used both wrenches (one on each side), and stopped the drip. I would say that's poor quality. As I recall, this one is copper and brass. Maybe brass to brass would have been better? Or maybe I should spend a little extra $ to get quality.

FW
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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Look in your local yellow pages and look under plumbing supplies, it seems every time I by something there I wind up having problems with something being birch plywood not being glued in the center,found out when I riped a few 16" pieces.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:49 PM   #7
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Look in your local yellow pages and look under plumbing supplies, it seems every time I by something there I wind up having problems with something being birch plywood not being glued in the center,found out when I riped a few 16" pieces.
I would think that if HD sells a brand name, it would be the same quality that I would buy (and probably pay more for) local. I know absolutely nothing about lumber brands, but am sure I would get a better quality at a local yard.

When I do electrical work, I buy the Leviton commercial grade receptacles, not the $0.59 junk in the bins. I have even paid $6+ for industrial grade, not realizing what it cost until I got to the checkout, then was too much in a hurry to pay and get out.

But when I needed an occupancy sensor for fluorescent lighting, HD didn't even sell the right one. All they have is Leviton, standard 2-wire type, so I went online and bought a RAB. Sure, it was more expensive than the ones sold at HD, but it was a different animal (3-wire), and better quality too.
Problem is, most of the people who shop at HD wouldn't even know what to do with the "extra" wire.

I'll have to check out the brands, then just shop for price.

FW
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:19 PM   #8
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As plumber 101 told you ..... Ball valves are the way to go........I haven't found any difference in the HD brands from the ones I purchase from plumbing supply... most ( if not all) are made in another country
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:50 AM   #9
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As plumber 101 told you ..... Ball valves are the way to go........I haven't found any difference in the HD brands from the ones I purchase from plumbing supply... most ( if not all) are made in another country
That's encouraging. I was thinking I might have to give up my weekly runs to HD<g>.
It's so convenient where I live. HD is only a short hop over the Hackensack river from the recycling depot in Teaneck, so I often drop off the recyclables, then jump over the river to HD. From the recycling depot to the Home Depot<g>.

FW
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:19 AM   #10
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The ball valves can leak if you overheat them while soldering.

I would take a chance of using lead based solder and hope nobody notices (melts at a lower temperature).

Perhaps we might get into an argument here and now about flux but I think that here too much flux is a lesser evil than too little. Because if the flux boils away too fast, the solder won't suck in and stick and you end up having to unsolder and resolder the valve and by now it's ruined.

Another idea is to solder four inch sections of copper pipe to the ball valve while it sits on your workbench. Wrap a strip of wet cloth around its middle. This way you can do the close soldering more quickly without squatting in an awkward position. Then wrap the valve in a wet rag and bring it over to the installation point and use couplings to finish the installation and the soldering torch is not so close to the valve.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:02 PM   #11
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Or, I could buy a 3/4" brass threaded ball valve, and use a length of brass pipe on each side.

I will be preparing this assembly on the bench. I actually plan to prepare the entire section of pipe from the meter to the union up at the ceiling off-line. This is going to be an easy job compared to the one I just finished<g>

On the left will be the water meter, with its brass union. I will of course need a union to connect to it. Not sure if this is a standard fitting, or special for the meter. In any case, I know that I will need to keep the same nut for the meter.

On the right, there will probably be two 45 elbows (instead of one 90). I can use a threaded section of pipe, then the fitting to sweat.
I would rather not use any lead solder.

BTW, why does excess heat (I know silver based solder melts at higher temp) ruin a ball valve, but doesn't bother the gate valve?
I had no trouble at all with the two gate valves. I just removed the rubber packing washer from the stem before soldering.

FW
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:34 PM   #12
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there is nylon inside the ball valve
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:10 PM   #13
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I installed a cashacme.com sharkbite valve. The valve was expensive but I did not have to solder.

I had an older valve on the city side of the water meter. I simply added the sharkbite ball valve on the house side of the meter.

Now when I want/need to shut the water off, I simply use the ball valve and leave the old sketchy valve alone.

The ball valve is in an accessible location. If for some reason the valve/sharkbite connectors fail it's in an accessible location.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVvcwRKDPNU
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:39 PM   #14
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I don't like any "quickie" type connections on my main supply line. I'll go the old fashioned way.
I think my best option is to buy a threaded ball valve, and use sweat to thread fittings at each end.

I will assemble the whole thing on the bench, so I'll not be rushed or cramped.

I got lucky in my last job in that the old unions mated up with the new ones, except for the nuts. I had to use the old nuts onto the old part of the union.

I'm still not sure what connection the water meter is. Looks like a union, but a Google search "water meter connections" reveals two types possible:
Pipe thread, and flange. I believe mine is flange. Is there a specific fitting I need to buy, or is this just a standard union, which I would use only one half of?

BTW; This project has suddenly jumped from a "when I feel like it" job to a "NOW" job. I checked out the meter closet a half hour ago and saw that there is already a very slow drip off of one of the old elbows.

This whole project has been a series of connected links.
First, I installed an occupancy sensor on the wall directly below where the connection broke on Saturday. In attaching the electrical box to the stud, I used the nails that came with the box, so I was hammering into the stud.

Then, while I was changing the old pipe going into the meter closet, I disturbed the old section leading up to the union where I coupled new to old.

This last section will be the end of the chain, since the pipe coming in from the street is copper, in very good shape.

I just want to get this done on the bench before the pipe lets loose, but I think it'll hold for a while<g>

FW
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:29 AM   #15
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I've done some research online, and apparently, not all ball valves contain nylon. Most people seem to agree that it's OK to solder to a ball valve. The argument I find more frequently is whether to have the valve opened or closed during soldering.

In my case, it won't matter. I'm going to be working "off-line", so there will be no water in the pipes, and I shouldn't have any issues. As a matter of fact, because I will be off-line, my valve should heat up faster, and minimize any chance for damage.

What I can do is once I select the valve, I can go to the mfr's website and read any info they have for installing their product. Then, if I follow their instructions, and the valve fails, I have someone to blame<g>

FW

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