(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Main valve buried in cement needs replacement, How would you break it out?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Sound and Light Suppervisor for a School District tjbaudio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    162

    Default Main valve buried in cement needs replacement, How would you break it out?

    Hello, I have an old house that has had many changes over the years. I am not sure when the pluming was changed from a well to city water main, could be the 70's could be the 40's. The original foundation is stone. At some point the basement was dug out (or possibly added) and the stone backed up with cement block and the space between the block and stone, a ft or 2, back filled with pea gravel. The original water valve was partly buried in the cement block. I have no idea what kind of pipe is in the wall, if there is open space or what not. The existing valve was sweated to 3/4" soft copper tubing on the inside. A few years ago I added a ball valve. The joint out of the original valve is now leaking and I need to dig it out and do a proper fix. Monday morning I will have the city shut off at the curb before I start to hammer at it. Given what we know, or don't know, how would you bust out the old valve? I want to minimize damage to the pipe and nearby sewer line. I have several tools at my disposal. A big hammer, 1/2" flat stone chissle, 1" star chissle, hammer drill, pneumatic chissle, large and small side grinders with masonary blades.
    Name:  100_0265.jpg
Views: 252
Size:  70.0 KB
    Name:  100_0266.jpg
Views: 232
Size:  65.2 KB
    Name:  100_0267.jpg
Views: 237
Size:  72.5 KB
    Name:  100_0268.jpg
Views: 213
Size:  56.8 KB

    With any luck I should end up with a copper pipe I can just use a compression fitting on. Do I need to cut it off or can I use a compression fitting over the tinned end? I expect I will have to back fill the hole with cement as well. Any speculation on what else I may find for materials hidden away?


    Thank you.
    tjbaudio
    I have a mild form of Dyslexia that affects my ability to spell. I do use spell checking to help but it does not always work. My form of Dyslexia does not affect my reading. Dyslexics of the world untie!

    www.incertclevername.com

  2. #2
    IBEW Electrician big2bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Anaheim, Ca.
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Shut off the water, take a hammer drill with a chisel point and just start chipping it open. Make a decent size hole that you can work with, and see what you have.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,624

    Default

    Unsolder the old valve from its copper tube, then solder on a coupling and short piece of copper between it and the ball valve. Although, I would probably solder the ball valve on to the old pipe, it there was enough room for the handle to turn.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    Sound and Light Suppervisor for a School District tjbaudio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    162

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by big2bird View Post
    Shut off the water, take a hammer drill with a chisel point and just start chipping it open. Make a decent size hole that you can work with, and see what you have.
    Thank you. That's about what I had in mind. I have a 12" or 18" long bit for the drill. Start breaking up the 1/2 block above the valve. Once it is out I can work down to the valve and pipe.
    tjbaudio
    I have a mild form of Dyslexia that affects my ability to spell. I do use spell checking to help but it does not always work. My form of Dyslexia does not affect my reading. Dyslexics of the world untie!

    www.incertclevername.com

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,624

    Default

    The solder joint is only about 3/4" inside the wall so all you have to do is "break out" around the valve. You do not have do a major demolition job on the wall, nor will you have to "patch" it afterwards.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    Sound and Light Suppervisor for a School District tjbaudio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    162

    Default

    One concern I have is that the curb stop is not 100% at least I don't think it is. I was thinking compression fitting to the first valve so I dont have to worry about the little dribble messing up the joint. At the least I could go small on the chipping at first.
    tjbaudio
    I have a mild form of Dyslexia that affects my ability to spell. I do use spell checking to help but it does not always work. My form of Dyslexia does not affect my reading. Dyslexics of the world untie!

    www.incertclevername.com

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,388

    Default

    There are tools and techniques that can handle a slow leak - JetSwet would work and one of those disks that swell, and eventually disolve might work long enough to allow you to solder. You couldn't use a freezing unit, as you'd need access to more of the line in the wall.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

Similar Threads

  1. Two quotes - difference of more than double? (pricey one doesn't even break cement)
    By bucky in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-17-2011, 10:43 AM
  2. Main water valve replacement
    By darmstro in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-01-2011, 01:38 PM
  3. Material for replacement buried main water line from the curb?
    By greendog in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-18-2011, 11:41 AM
  4. Could a valve replacement cause other valves to break?
    By Koru04 in forum Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-26-2010, 11:55 AM
  5. main water line break
    By flabbb in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-17-2007, 12:11 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •