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 Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: jblanche (WI)

Main valve is leaking. I picked up a threaded stainless 1" ball valve to use as a main service shutoff. Rather than sweating a bunch of copper joints, I also bought stainless threaded fittings. Photos attached for reference showing the existing leaky shutoff, the new "short" valve assembly, and the new "long" valve assembly.

I put a drain valve between the meter and the shutoff valve, since it's been my experience that, while having the water to the house turned off, it's still sometimes helpful to be able to draw water.

Questions
1. What issues do you see with these parts, and using threaded fittings?
2. I am partial to Rectorseal 5 thread sealant, but should I use Teflon tape instead with stainless?
3. Which of the two pictured assemblies, short or long, is the better choice, and why?
4. Or, is there a better way?
5. My existing basement plumbing is Type L 3/4" copper. This work increases to 1" and Type M downstream of the valve. Seems to me Type M is a bit easier to solder. Any issue with this change?

Existing valve & copper to meter union:


Long assembly with nipple, union & reducer:


Short assembly with 1" to 3/4" reducer:


*******************************
Links to the State of Wisconsin Plumbing Code:
[docs.legis.wisconsin.gov]
*******************************
I am not a plumber.
*******************************

Post Reply

 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: NoHub (MA)

The valve's not leaking, it's the cheap metal handle that's corroding & it looks like you bought another cheap valve with no packing nut. Go buy a good quality sweat ball valve (watts, Apollo ) .Stay far far away from those Cheap valves sold at the box stores.

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: packy (MA)

1) the union is not needed as the brass nut next to the meter will act as a union.

2) the drain valve belongs above the shut off. locating it below it serves no purpose. it should be used to drain the house when work has to be done.

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: steve (CA)

The bib allows the homeowner to have access to water if the main is shut off.

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: sum (FL)

Wouldn't the Bibb handle be so close to the blue wall to turn it on or off will break ones knuckles?

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: bernabeu (SC)

what you want is a 'stop and waste' ball valve from a QUALITY manufacturer

said valve has drainage provision 'built in'

you would replace the old valve with new one

you install the 'waste' outlet on the house side so you can drain the house after closing



cut above the old valve
solder on a male adapter
pipe valve and fittings from there to the meter union




- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: steve (CA)

The "blue wall" is a cardboard box.

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: jblanche (WI)

The valve's not leaking, it's the cheap metal handle that's corroding & it looks like you bought another cheap valve with no packing nut. Go buy a good quality sweat ball valve (watts, Apollo ) .Stay far far away from those Cheap valves sold at the box stores.

Granted, to be more accurate, the valve handle is leaking. This is a 21-year-old Nibco "Made in USA" valve. I specifically bought it instead of a Chinese valve. Who knows, maybe the Chinese ones would leak even more. It drips when operated, for weeks. I didn't bother to check on the packing nut issue because I just figured I'd upgrade from 3/4 to 1".

Yes, the new valve is 304 stainless, cheap big box. Sky's the limit on stainless valve prices. I'll see what's available elsewhere. My line of thinking was, I got 21 years out of a Big Box Nibco USA brass sweat valve, chances are I won't care if I get 20 years out of this valve, but it's shiny!!

The Watts valves I have are Chinese, only a few years old, but nice smooth action. I don't have any Apollos, but the Legend on my water heater supply (also 21 years old) is at end of life - very hard to turn and I had to cap the pipe when I replaced the water heater.

I also have a bunch of Legend, Mueller/B&K of the same vintage that are just fine. I'll see if I can find an Apollo some place that will sell to me. I haven't shopped around plumbing supply houses for 20 years, but they did not seem to be interested in selling to a guy off the street back then.

*******************************
Links to the State of Wisconsin Plumbing Code:
[docs.legis.wisconsin.gov]
*******************************
I am not a plumber.
*******************************

Post Reply

 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: jblanche (WI)

I have quite a few stop and waste valves, very handy.

But for this use, long term, I plan to put a servo valve downstream with some sort of leak detection system, just haven't decided exactly which system is best.

Anyway, that servo valve addition will include a ball valve bypass and a separate drain valve, for reasons previously mentioned.

So, I don't think I'd bother with a stop & waste valve.

*******************************
Links to the State of Wisconsin Plumbing Code:
[docs.legis.wisconsin.gov]
*******************************
I am not a plumber.
*******************************

Post Reply

 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: jblanche (WI)

Correct, it's just a big old Dell computer box. For whatever reason I oriented the old valve so the handle was pulled toward the operator to turn off. That was always a pain and not as obvious when forgotten in the shut position. New valve to be oriented with handle as a clock hand.

*******************************
Links to the State of Wisconsin Plumbing Code:
[docs.legis.wisconsin.gov]
*******************************
I am not a plumber.
*******************************

Post Reply

 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: bernabeu (SC)

smiling smiley

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

Post Reply

 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: NoHub (MA)

You can get a 1" sweat Apollo Ball valve overnighted to you in a day, sweat it in and your done. The set-up your proposing has Rube Goldberg written all over it and I'm simply trying to save you time and money. I buy watts all the time from the supply house, the fact it's made in china is one that bothers me but there still a quality valve compared to what the box stores sell. The "NIBCO " People are buying there is junk. It's what the box stores do very well, sell you cheap hamburger when filet mignon is only a few dollars more. I will confess I do confront people that scream Buy American with ( may I take a quick look at the tag on your shirt collar ?), Shuts them up all the time.

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 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: jblanche (WI)

The set-up you're proposing has Rube Goldberg written all over it

The first thing that attracted me was that stainless is about as non-reactive as I can get, so it should corrode less than anything else. That has some value to me.

Second, not having to sweat a valve with my cheap little torch.

Third, with the threading and union on the meter end, it may be possible to swap out the valve 1:1 in the future without sweating. Not probable, but possible. That has less value.

Fourth, the lead service is 95 years old. The meter is being replaced this year, which prompts me to deal with this. If the service has to be replaced, these parts can be re-claimed without too much trouble, whereas a sweat valve is pretty much done for.

*******************************
Links to the State of Wisconsin Plumbing Code:
[docs.legis.wisconsin.gov]
*******************************
I am not a plumber.
*******************************

Post Reply

 Re: Replacing main valve with stainless
Author: NoHub (MA)

Your little torch will have to sweat that copper x male adaptor... what's one more joint ?. For the price of all that Stainless steel you can get yourself a $15 watts ball valve, a Mapp tank (the hot gas) & torch head.



Edited 1 times.

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