View Full Version : replacing second shut off valve

09-25-2004, 10:00 AM
I wanted to replace my old washer style shut off vale with a ball valve. The old shut off valve sits on 3/4 piping and is threaded on. On the left it is attached to the feed for the hot water heater and also to the house cold supply. On the right it is attached to the water meter couplings which I think are brass since they are darker than the remainder red copper. The brass couplings attach to the shut off valve via the threaded connection and to the meter via the coupling nut and I am guessing some sort of washer underneath?

My question is, can I remove the shut off valve myself or am I better calling a plumber. In other words anyone who has experienced this replacement have you had success with this type of repair?

Thanks in advance!

PS: There is another "main" shut off before the water meter further on the right so I could probably shut off the water there. Note this the same style washer type which leaks each time at the compression nut when I overdo opening and closing it.

09-25-2004, 10:30 AM
First, I'm not a pro. You should be able to replace the valve. If all, most, of the piping around that area uses threaded connections, and you replace all of them with threaded connections, you'll need to insert a union since you can't assemble it from one end to the other as would be required. Depending on how much length you have, you could use a threaded adapter to connect on each end, with a sweated valve in the middle, or you could use a threaded valve and at the other end, use a union.

The only hassle you'll have is if the main shut-off no longer works. If that is the case, make sure you assemble the pieces you are going to sweat together first, then thread them on as you won't get a good solder connection if there is water in the line from the (maybe) leaking supply.

A union uses compression to make the connection. It has a nut and a sort of cone shaped hole that is attached to the pipe on one end, and the opposite shaped domed nub on the other, The nut clamps the two together, thus the two pieces do not have to be rotated to thread them together (only the nut to tighten them up).

09-25-2004, 10:53 AM
As pointed out by Jad..... , you will have some difficulty disassembling a threaded set up if there is no union. Also, a new valve likely will not be the same overall length as the old one, so some redo of existing fittings will be necessary. It seems like some sweated fittings are inevitable, further complicated by the leak-by of your main valve. This could be a job for a pro.

09-25-2004, 01:02 PM
The meter coupling is the valve, but your main problem may be finding a ball valve that is the same length as the current valve. You probbly will not since most are at least 1" longer than a conventional valve, so you may have to do some cutting and soldering. The amount will depend on how much space there is between the valve and the tee to the water heater.

09-25-2004, 01:12 PM
Thanks Jad and Jimbo. I think I understand your points which are: Jim if this valve is shorter than the existing one it will simply not fit. The old valve is 2.5" and the new one is also 2.5". These are just external measurements.

Jad I cannot turn the valve anti clockwise to remove it? I assumed the threads on the left and right are in opposite configuration. If that is the not the case then I would have to uncouple the meter first so now I have the brass pipe with the valve on the one end free to turn and then remove the valve from the copper side

Then pull the valve off the brass pipe. attach the left side of the new valve to the teflon taped male copper pipe, then attach the teflon brass to the right side of the valve and recouple to the meter. This assumes I have a clearance once I move the coupling nut from the meter. If not then I have just loosened everything and done nothing useful. Sound feasible; has anyone tried it this way?

09-25-2004, 01:15 PM

I just saw your reply as I was replying to jad and jimbo. Thanks for the note. I found a valve from home depot which measures 2.5" from end to end which matched the old valve. These are external measurements. I realize that this may not be an accurate way to measure the valve. If not is there another way?

09-25-2004, 02:13 PM
As I read my orignal post I began to realize that the description of the coupling makes it sound like the valve is right on the meter. But there is a little pipe in between the valve and the meter. Here is the picture at this website


Bob's HandyGuy
09-25-2004, 02:29 PM
Why don't you just remove the piping at the water meter? You would not need a union then. Old twist valves, when disturbed, often leak at the compression nut on the stem. I just tighten the nut a bit (after they're in the full open position) and that usually stops the leak.

09-25-2004, 03:55 PM
I agree tightening the compression nut is a way to remedy it for now. But I have had two similar nuts in this house fail and am worried this is going too. Each packing material cost 3 bucks and the new valve 6 bucks. Of course this is not including a plumber charge. Despite that the stability of the ball valve gives me a little more peace of mind.

Here is a picture of the setup. Bob I agree again about just undoing the setup at the meter. I did want to make sure before I began this so as not create a fiasco. I appreciate everyones replies, keep em coming!

09-25-2004, 04:20 PM
Someone went to a lot of time and trouble to build that Kludge. To get clearance take both sides of the meter loose and remove it.

09-25-2004, 04:46 PM
its new art hcj! :) Thanks I will try that tomorrow

09-25-2004, 08:41 PM
It looks like you've got a union at each end of the valve. With the length of the stub on the right of the picture, it would appear that you could put together a new assembly, undo the unions at each end, then place the new assembly in.

09-26-2004, 07:48 AM
removed the meter and then removed the valve. put the new one in and was good to go. Thanks hcj, jad, jimbo and bob for the suggestions.