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 full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

I need to get 18 full port ball valves for my PEX manifold project.

I have some ball valves already different brands mix and match. I am thinking I will get the same brand for this new manifold.

I am trying to decide between Apollo, Watts, FNW, Nibco, Webstone. Is Apollo the top dog here?

I noticed some valves are rated for 600# and some 400#, is there a practical difference for residential water supply application?

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: packy (MA)

i've had good luck with webstone.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: bernabeu (SC)

[www.plumbingsupply.com] (made by: [kitzus-kca.com])

Kitz full port

lead content be damned - IMO it will NOT leach from a quality valve

- - - -

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

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: NoHub (MA)

Webstone is the best bang for the buck.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: bsipps (PA)

Out of all mentioned stay away from nibco

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: packy (MA)

personally, i don't like valves that don't use a packing nut.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

Why stay away from Nibco?

I just learned that Nibco acquired Webstone's valve business in 2016.

"NIBCO INC. announced that it has acquired the valve assets of Webstone Co., Inc. The transaction was finalized on May 23, 2016. The new business unit will be named, “Webstone, a brand of NIBCO.”

I wonder if Webstone valves are now made by Nibco or if Nibco valves are made by Webstone or they kept the businesses separate?

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

another question, since my manifold's lines will be coming from below (crawlspace) to the copper manifold all the branches facing down, my main feed line will be just one of the many lines.

The copper manifold has 1" trunk and 3/4" branches. My main feed is 3/4" in the middle. Then each branch is either 3/4" or 1/2". Like below.



I will have a ball valve 3/4 or 1/2 on each line. What I just realized is, if I put a valve on the main feed line going into the manifold, and a valve on each branch coming out of the manifold, I may have to orient the valve in opposite directions, correct?

I think most ball valves have no directionality, there isn't an arrow on the body on the brass ball valves I have used in the past so most likely I can orient them however I want. But in my case, if I have say 10 ball valves, the feed is going into the manifold, the other 9 are coming out. If I choose to orient the valves a certain way, in other words, designate an upstream end and a downstream end, I will end up having the handle of the feed valve turn in the reverse direction of the other 9. This is not necessarily a problem right just a preference? I see several options.

(1) Decide on an upstream end and downstream end for the valves, and the feed valve will just have the handle swing in an opposite direction, that's fine, no issue.
(2) Flip the valve for the feed, it has no direction anyways, make them all look the same and turn in the same direction.
(3) Why even have a valve for the feed? I have a valve 40' upstream of it where it enters the house. So a valve there is sufficient as there is no branch between upstream valve where it enters the house and the downstream end where it connects to the manifold, unless a leak develops along that 40' line that helps isolate it.

Which way will you go and why? Or is there an option I haven't considered.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

I saw some ball valves with a knob to drain the valve...for service I presume? Are those really useful in my application?

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: NoHub (MA)

Sum, Nibco may be a fine Product now but has left a sour taste in a lot of Plumbers mouth. I've had 5 or 6 on the main service break in the closed position. May I ask why the urge to use this Product? is it cost?

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: vic (CA)

Sum, the knob to drain the valve is generally for areas where it freezes and you being in Florida I can't imagine you needing those.

I love and we have been selling Kitz brand valves for almost 40 years. Their headquarters is in Japan and they're pretty strict about quality.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: hi (TX)

Some, why don't you buy one already made, Sioux Chief has a beautiful one with 10 ports on it ready for your PEX lines. There's a big price difference between left and right I don't know why but I'm sure you could modify so you could use two of the least expensive.
[d3501hjdis3g5w.cloudfront.net]

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

vic, thanks. I have never heard of Kitz but I will look into it!

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

hi, I have already looked into buying premade ones with valves.

I don't like them because I have special requirements that these premade ones don't meet.

(1) I need the hot and cold branches pointing in the same direction, not one manifold left and one right. I need them to all point down because 80% of the lines are coming from the crawlspace up to the manifolds.

(2) I have both 3/4" and 1/2" branches. The premade ones are all one size so I have to order the 3/4" ones and then on some of them will have to adapt to 1/2". If I have to adapt the outlet sizes that kind of defeats the purpose.

(3) I am not replacing all to PEX. I am only replacing the polybutylene with PEX. There are some existing lines that are in copper and will remain in copper, so again this mean the premade PEX manifold 30% of them I have adapt the PEX valve ends to copper. The long runs in crawlspace will all be in PEX because there are no joints. But there are going to be copper runs. For example, the short runs from the manifold to the washing machine will stay in copper, the run to and from the WH will be in copper, the run to the hose bib outside the garage will be in copper.

So for these reasons the premade ones won't work for me without me doing a bunch of modifications anyways.

I looked into custom copper ones and quickly realize that I cannot order a manifold trunk and say give me one with 12 branches, 8 of them 3/4" and 4 of them 1/2", and of the 8 3/4" outlets give me 4, 5, 6 in copper sweat ends and of the 4 1/2" give me 1. 2 in copper sweat ends. The only way I can get what I want is to buy a copper trunk with branches, which I have already done so. The other way is to use regular copper tees back to back but I didn't like that idea.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: sum (FL)

"Sum, the knob to drain the valve is generally for areas where it freezes and you being in Florida I can't imagine you needing those."

that explains it. I have seen those before and never understood it. I had incorrectly assumed that knob was to drain the water inside the piping for the purpose of servicing the valve, or to allow air to escape while the valve is being soldered on both ends.

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 Re: full port ball valve brand selection
Author: Don411 (IN)

That I why I have used them....when I re-piped the 1917 house in NY, I added 3/4" full port valves with drains to the risers going up to the 2fl. This not only allowed me to isolate the 2nd floor for service purposes, but allowed me to drain the piping on the 2nd floor in case something needed to be soldered (house was 100% copper piped).

I added a main shutoff immediately after the meter in the basement....the pipe goes straight up from the meter to the basement ceiling then runs horizontally for 20', making it hard to drain if work needed. The drain on the valve by the meter allows me to drain that pipe easily.

In the case of pex where no repair soldering is needed, I wouldn't use them unless for winter drains as Vic noted.

The orange big box by me no longer carries the ball valves with drain ports because they are slow sellers. As far as quality, I've never had an issue installing whatever brand the orange box stocks, but that's my limited experience with full port valves.

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