View Full Version : Need some advice about main water shut off

09-26-2005, 09:44 AM
I need to replace an old gate valve that has a leaky stem. This valve is located about 3 to 4 inches off the floor and is the main cutoff for the house before the water meter. The copper coming into the old valve is 3/4 and I want to use a (Code required) ball valve. I'm concerned that the joint is too close to the floor for a decent sweat joint and was wondering if anyone has used compression-type 3/4 ball valves in this situation. My other thought was to use a 3/4 male adaptor and then a 3/4 ball valve with female threaded body.

09-26-2005, 09:54 AM
I'd opt for the male adpt.. Probably water service copper. You don't have room enough for a flaired fitting.
If you can unsolder the present valve then you should be able to sweat on an adapter.
Guess you have to follow code, but a good gate valve would be my choice on my own home....Can you still buy good stuff???????

09-26-2005, 11:00 AM
I thought the ball-type valves were the best! Why do you prefer the gate style?

The local code here in Palatine, IL calls for 3/4 or 1" ball valve on each side of the meter. Doing handyman work, I often need to turn off the house to repair a toilet, replace a small shutoff, etc. Many of the old gate valves start leaking from the stems or just free-turn without anything happening. Becasue we have hard water, these things are really crusted up with all kinds of deposits. Funny thing is we still have one of those old hardware stores here in town which has been operating since 1883. They probably have some of those "good stuff" valves on the shelf.

Gary Swart
09-26-2005, 12:49 PM
I'm with you on the ball valves. 1/4 turn and they are off/on, and they are full flow. I can't say I've had problems with gate valves leaking, usually if there is a drip all you have to do is snug the packing nut down a bit. I suppose gate vs ball is somewhat personal preference, but code can trump preference. If you are having concerns about a good solder job because of water in the pipe, try this tip that was posted recently. Use a wet/dry vac and tape a length of small diameter copper tubing to it that will go through the fitting and inside the water pipe. Suck the water out, solder the threaded fitting on, then remove the tubing.

09-26-2005, 01:15 PM
I have replaced several meter valves. I use male adapters with female threaded vavles. However, a compression fitting will work fine. If you are going to replace one valve, I would just replace the other as well. The valve after the meter should have a drain plug in it to allow you to drain the system. Though, a better option is to put a boiler drain valve (also available with a ball valve) on the supply side to allow you to hook a length of hose or old washing machine supply line to drain the system more easily. Finally, you might want to be prepared and have a pair of new meter stems with you. Some utility companies will give them to you for free if you ask.

09-27-2005, 05:24 AM
Thanks to all for your help. Always nice to post a thread on here and get some great advice.

10-01-2005, 09:02 AM
You are welcome.......