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Thread: Main Water Valve to House

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    DIY Junior Member sgm50's Avatar
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    Default Main Water Valve to House

    Hi,

    Did some plumbing repairs this weekend and had to turn off the main supply line into the house. Of course, the old cut-off valve hasn't been turned in sometime and things at rest like to stay that way and now I have a little drip/leak at the valve. I'm looking to replace it. Any recommendations on the valve I should use. I always read about the "pros" not liking the Home Depot/Lowes' comsumer grade stuff. Now, I have a chance to put a quality valve in.

    Specifically, do you have brand and type recommendations?

    Thanks in Advance!

    BTW - It is copper not PVC

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you tighten the bonnet nut, the leak may stop.

    If you replace the valve, the ball type are the best,
    Good brands are Mueller, Red & White, Nibco to name a few.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Just a bit added to Terry's comments. If you replace the valve, use the ball style that takes just a 1/4 turn to go from full on to full off. Could be the packing on your old valve just needs to be tightened, so try that first.

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    DIY Junior Member sgm50's Avatar
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    Hey thanks for the replies.

    Yeah, I did tighten the bonnet nut and it did slow the leak. Emphasis on "slow" the leak. I may have over-tightened it. As I was tightening it, it all of a sudden got looser. I left it alone at that point afraid it may have stripped or something. It did, however, substantially slow the drips.

    I was thinking one of those 1/4 turn ball valves too. Thanks for the product recommendations.

    Ever heard of Watts? Any good? They're local, that's why I ask.

    Thanks again

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    DIY Senior Member finnegan's Avatar
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    Watts valves are fine. You should have a valve on either side of your meter. It would be nice if you do have two valves and the one on the house side of the meter is leaking, but that would be too good to be true. If you need to have the water shut off at the street to replace the valve, I would pick up two new water meter stems and two full port vall valves for the job. It will give you some peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable ball valve that should outlast you on the street side of the meter.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default valve

    In most cases anything before the meter is the property and responsibility of the water utility. In this area you are subject to a hefty fine if you do any work on their side of the meter.

  7. #7
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Thumbs down don't touch street side of the meter

    ain't your's to play with

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    DIY Junior Member sgm50's Avatar
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    Hate to keep thinking of questions regarding this topic, but I've got another one.

    Does it also make sense to put in a pressure regulator after the shut-off valve? I do suspect I have high pressure. What is an ideal pressure for a 3000 sq ft home ?

    Re: valve on street-side of meter. I'm not allowed to do anything before the meter. THey would call it tampering. I guess theorectically I could access water without being metered. I'm in the Phoenix, AZ area.

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    First off, get a $10 pressure gauge so you will know for sure if your pressure is too high. If it is too high and you install a PRV, you will have created a closed system which means you will also have to install an expansion tank. This has been extensively discussed recently on this forum, so look back and bone up on the subject. You can not mess with the meter itself or anything on the city side of it. You would be wise to get a handle for the city valve at the meter to be able to turn the water off at the meter if necessary. Often cities don't want you to have one, but believe me if you ever have a break in the main supply coming into the house, you will bless the day you got one. Pressure has nothing to do with the size of the home. Pressure around 60 psi is about right, a little more or less. The city water department can tell you what pressure your supply main carries.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member sgm50's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary and all who responded.

    I'll be putting in the ball valve and checking pressure this weekend. I wouldn't think of touching anything before the meter. Expansion tanks etc... are more than I ever want to get involved in. That is the point where I bring in a Pro. A handle to shut off the water is a good thing to have, besides I'll need one to shut it off for the new valve install. So, 60 psi is about right... wasn't sure if home size mattered or not.

    Thanks everyone!

  11. #11
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Where does one get this handle for valve at street? Is it standardized?


    Thx
    Jason

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    If it is too high and you install a PRV, you will have created a closed system which means you will also have to install an expansion tank. This has been extensively discussed recently on this forum, so look back and bone up on the subject.

    I saw on Watts' web site that their current pressure-reducing valves have a thermal bypass feature, so expansion tanks may not be necessary if the current style PRVs are used.

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    DIY Senior Member finnegan's Avatar
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    In NJ, at least Bergen County, everything on the street side of the municipal water main is your problem. If your line breaks under your front yard, your problem. If you need a new shut off valve on the street side of the meter, your problem. If your meter freezes and breaks in your basement, your problem. Also, some municipalities are requiring the two ball valves as a condition of receiving a C.O. upon resale of any residence. You might want to check on this before you only install the one valve.
    Last edited by finnegan; 05-31-2006 at 09:22 PM.

  14. #14
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I don't know if the street valve handles are standard or not. I had a welder friend make mine with 1" steel pipe and an end that slips over the rod from the street valve. I haven't really looked for one in stores, so I don't know for sure if they are available to the general public or standard.

    My PRV is not very old, but it isn't "state of the art". When I installed it originally, it only regulated the line to my shop. When I moved it to the main supply line at the entrance to the house, my TP immediately began to trip. At that time, I knew nothing about expansion tanks, so I bought a new TP. When that also leaked, I took it back and got yet another new one. You know it tripped too. That's when I went to school on expansion tanks. Install one and end of problems. They are a piece of cake to install. If you can sweat a joint, then it's just cut and paste.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Gary,
    Just out of curiosity, how long ago did you see the light about expansion tanks? Seems like this is a relatively new concept for many of us.

    You are certainly light years ahead of many folks in my town. About 2 years ago, I went to a private plumbing supply house (i.e., not chain like Ferguson) and asked the master plumber who owned the shop about expansion tanks, since my temp/pressure relief valve on the water heater was popping.

    Want to know his suggestion? He recommended I put in a higher pressure relief valve! Even admitted it wasn't code, but he "does it all the time."

    Fortunately, due to this site, I knew better, and went elsewhere for parts and advice. I politely thanked him, but he muttered all sorts of insults under his breath as I left his dusty showroom.

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