Need advice on whole house interior water shut off valve

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ronstory

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Hi--

I have a 50+ year old ranch house with a 3/4" copper main supply coming out the slab. It has a sweated gate valve about 5" above slab and then a sweated pressure regulator in-line with 3/4" main line for the rest of the house. The gate valve does not fully shut off (steady dribble) when closed and city water shut-off *almost* complete shuts off when turn if off at the meter. It has very slow drip (~1 drip every 2-3 seconds) matter how tight I close the value at the street. Normally this has not been a issue, since I can open a tap in the basement and away from where I'm working and have no drip to contend with.

Since this is the main supply line, with the slow drip from the street, I'm concerned that I may not be able to get enough of the water out of the supply pipe to sweat on a new connector before it fills up again. I sweated a bunch of 1/2" copper over years and with no issue... but always with a supply line I could complete shut off.

So I'm thinking of just cutting out the gate valve and pressure reg, clean up the Cu pipe and install the 3/4" FIP compression fitting on the supply coming out of the floor, being careful on tightening to not mess up the supply piping. Once that's done, just add the ball valve and new pressure reg call it done.

That said, I've used 3/8" and 1/2" compression fittings a bunch but never a 3/4". So any wisdom and advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
Ron
 

Tuttles Revenge

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There are a few ways you could go about this depending on your skill or funds.

Likely the easiest DIY option would be to evacuate all the water you can with a shop vac and a tube that you can insert into your copper as far down as it will reach which will give you the most amount of time to work. At that point you can solder on a new ball valve or solder on a male adapter and thread on a ball valve. You could if needed, use a timer to time how long it takes to get to the point of where you're soldering so you know how long you have to work and determine if you can make that one solder joint in that time.

Another easy button option would be to hire someone to install a Propress ball valve on in place of the gate valve. Once that is in place and depending on how much they charge either they complete the rest of the job or you have the option to finish on your own.

Another option is to purchase a Jet-Sweat kit that allows you to evacuate the line then install the FULL PORT valve with JS kit inserted which holds back the water for a short period.
 

ronstory

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Great idea!! ... and thank-you. :)

I didn't think about pumping out the water from the main supply to buy time to solder. I've used this transfer pump to clear an 80' unground cable TV conduit that had collected water over 15 years so I add fiber in it. Worked like a dream once I added a longer hose


Thanks again!
Ron
 

Tuttles Revenge

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The simplest way would be to stuff a tube down, hold your thumb over the upper end to trap the water and keep at it til its dry.. You dould even blow air into a tube and watch the water bubble out, but that would be uncontrolled and messy.. but fast if you used a compressor.
 

John Gayewski

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Take a windex sprayer and dip the tube through the ball valve. Have someone spray the water out of the pipe while you solder. That's a fun one.
 

Jeff H Young

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i take the union loose at the meter and if meter is lower than the gate valve it wont be issue to solder .
Ive also put shop vac down the pipe with a smaller copper line taped on the end and ran shop vac while un sweating and soldering new valve on with gate open
 

Reach4

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So I'm thinking of just cutting out the gate valve and pressure reg, clean up the Cu pipe and install the 3/4" FIP compression fitting on the supply coming out of the floor, being careful on tightening to not mess up the supply piping. Once that's done, just add the ball valve and new pressure reg call it done.

That said, I've used 3/8" and 1/2" compression fittings a bunch but never a 3/4". So any wisdom and advice is appreciated.
I think your concern with putting on a 3/4 compression ball valve is that you may not be able to apply enough torque to prevent a leak. The deal is that you want to use a couple of long wrenches, rather than your six-inch long wrenches. Also, lube the threads, and I think the ferule. That lets you apply more effective compressive force with the same wrench torque.
 
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