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Thread: Cutting through a 2" brass valve?

  1. #1

    Default Cutting through a 2" brass valve?

    My pool is plumbed in 2" copper. After 40 years, all but one of the brass gate valves has stripped it's stem, and of course, the manufacturer has gone out of business and I can't find a match to swap parts with.

    I've got four valves side by side, feeding into a manifold, and I'd like to leave the manifold intact. There's a union at the other end of the manifold, so my thought is to pull the innards from all the valves and cut the valve bodies in half with a sawzall (the valves are spaced too close together to get to the middle valves with a grinder). Then I can sweat off the valves one at a time, rather than trying to torch four 2" valves all at once. (and yes, I've got mapps and acetylene torches)

    Has anyone sawzall'd a brass valve? Is the alloy soft enough to cut with a bimetal blade? I might be able to get to the outside valves with a grinder, but I definitely don't have clearance to reach the middle pair.

    Or am I missing something and there's a better way to skin this cat?

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffeverde View Post
    My pool is plumbed in 2" copper. After 40 years, all but one of the brass gate valves has stripped it's stem, and of course, the manufacturer has gone out of business and I can't find a match to swap parts with.

    I've got four valves side by side, feeding into a manifold, and I'd like to leave the manifold intact. There's a union at the other end of the manifold, so my thought is to pull the innards from all the valves and cut the valve bodies in half with a sawzall (the valves are spaced too close together to get to the middle valves with a grinder). Then I can sweat off the valves one at a time, rather than trying to torch four 2" valves all at once. (and yes, I've got mapps and acetylene torches)

    Has anyone sawzall'd a brass valve? Is the alloy soft enough to cut with a bimetal blade? I might be able to get to the outside valves with a grinder, but I definitely don't have clearance to reach the middle pair.

    Or am I missing something and there's a better way to skin this cat?
    Jeff, first of all, I am not a plumber, but I do have a sawzall. I have used the saw to cut through 2 inch galvanized pipe, and I would imagine that a brass valve should cut like butter with a regular fine tooth metal cutting blade. I would like to hear what the pros say on this too.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Cut the valves through the ends just past the end of the pipe going into it. Almost any metal cutting blade will cut the brass. As a side issue, using copper for a swimming pool, I assume it is a swimming pool, usually results in "green" stains around the openings and deterioration/erosion of the copper tubing.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Cut the valves through the ends just past the end of the pipe going into it. Almost any metal cutting blade will cut the brass. As a side issue, using copper for a swimming pool, I assume it is a swimming pool, usually results in "green" stains around the openings and deterioration/erosion of the copper tubing.
    41 years and not a stain (my parent's house). Now if only my dad had done periodic maintenance on the valves

    Thanks for the advice. I was pondering changing the above-ground plumbing to PVC. But then I figured - "the first set of valves lasted almost 40 years - why mess with a good thing".

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    There is probably NO periodic maintenance which would have "saved" the valves. The problem is the composition of the brass and the chemicals in the water. "Better" valves might have been a better option, but pool builders are not known for using "quality" materials when a cheaper one works just as good.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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