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· Registered
286 Posts
Can never have enough isolation valves. I vote for both locations.
Ayuh,... Ditto,.... More is Better in the case of valves,...

The more places ya can turn it off, the easier it is to fix or alter later,....

'course, 1/4 turn ball valves are My favorites,...
I agree with both these guys.

As a point of clarification there should be a washing machine valves at the washer location, now days mostly in a box w/drain.

For isolation valves on main or branch lines I always use full port ball valves.

· Registered
2,467 Posts
Several points:

0. Ball valves are the most reliable kind of valve. If'n it was me, I would install two ball valves; one with a drain and one without. And, look to ensure that the ball valves you buy have packing nuts. Some companies that make ball valves refuse to acknowledge that the packing on their valves can leak, so they don't provide a packing nut to tighten the packing on their valves.

1. I agree that it's best to have shut off valves in the basement AND immediately upstream of the washers. Whenever you install a shut off valve, install two of them; one upstream of the other. Only use the downstream valve for shutting off the water. Use the upstream valve only when it's necessary to repair or replace the downstream valve. Also, using the downstream valve to flush the crap out of the lines ensures that there's no crap in the lines to muck up the upstream valve if and when you need to close it. The teflon seals on ball valves can be damaged by the crap that collects in the lines if they're not flushed out well first.

2. Ensure that your basement BALL VALVE has a drain on it and install that valve so that the drain is on the DOWNSTREAM side of the valve. This allows you to close that basement valve and drain the water out of the piping between the two valves so that you have no problem soldering in a new valve upstairs if you so choose. And, if the basement valve is located on a horizontal pipe, install the valve so that the handle is horizontal and the drain is at the BOTTOM of the valve. Some people think that the default orientation is to install the valve so the handle is on top. But, if you have a drain on your valve, that changes everything. You install the valve so that the drain is on the bottom so that ALL of the water in the piping drains away.

3. I like to solder ball valves in. When brushing out the ports on a ball valve in preparation for soldering, put a #10 flat washer on your fitting brush to prevent the steel bristles from contacting the teflon seals on the valve. And, solder the valve in the OPEN position; otherwise you might wreck the seals on the valve. I like to remove the handle from the valve before soldering it into place so that the heat doesn't damage the plastic on the handle.

4. I disagree that you need FULL PORT ball valves here. Where you need full port valves is in systems where water is being pumped. Full port valves impart less resistance to flow, and so you have better flow through the branches of a hot water heating system (for example) if you use full port ball valves. Basically, in any system where water is being pumped by a pump with an impeller instead of pistons, I'd use full port ball valves to minimize resistance to flow.

In a washing machine, there'll be a switch that shuts the water mixing valve off when the washer is filled to the correct water level. In my humble opinion, it's that water mixing valve that's gonna be the bottle neck and limit the rate of water flow into the washer. So, I wouldn't hesitate to use regular (non full port) ball valves here because the washer isn't going to fill any faster with full port ball valves.

5. Install stainless steel screened hose washers on the upstream end of your washer's hoses, AND buy braided stainless steel washer hoses from any appliance parts store. When a washer hose bursts, it's usually because the hose has been rubbing against something sharp on the back of the washer or behind it, and that thing has cut it's way into the hose. Stainless steel is considerably harder than the ordinary mild steel that the panels on washing machines are made of, so if that if stainless steel hose is rubbing against something sharp, it's that sharp thing that'll be worn down and dulled, not the stainless steel hose.

FluidMaster makes braided stainless steel washer hoses for washing machines. Officially, you're supposed to open the isolation valves to your washing machine each time before you use it, and shut off the water to your washing machine after each use. That will prevent a flood if your washing machine hose bursts when you're not home. However, no one does that. But, a stainless steel braided washer hose is pretty good insurance against a flood due to a burst washer hose.
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