Capping off running water

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Old 04-21-03, 10:55 AM
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Capping off running water

Hi there,

Is there a device that allows one to cap off a pipe (say, 3/4" copper) while water is pouring out under pressure?

I'm about to replace the main shut-off in a house, but I don't 100% trust the 50-year-old shut-off valve at the street. If the water is still running after we attempt close the valve at the street, we'll obviously notice it before cutting into the pipe in the house, but I just don't like the idea of working on the whole house supply without a backup plan. It would be nice if I knew I could avert an unexpected disaster by capping off the pipe.

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-21-03, 12:18 PM
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You could use a compression 3/4" gate or ball valve, or use a regular valve with a piece of 3/4 copper soldered or screwed into it, then use a 3/4" compression coupling to connect the new with the old pcs. Just make sure that you have the valve open when you try to install it.
 
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Old 04-21-03, 12:54 PM
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hmmm...that makes sense. And if there are no problems, the valve can be returned (or kept for future projects).

Thanks for the idea!
 
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Old 04-21-03, 06:11 PM
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For the record, I believe the 50 year old valve will be likely to work as well as a 5 year old valve, but I understand your concern... Of course, what you should do, is turn the water off at the street (the old valve), then go in the house and turn everything on to drain it down, also the outside faucets... You should know real quick whether or not you are still getting water from the valve...
 
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Old 04-21-03, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence about the street valve. The engineering involved in a major metropolitan water system really is quite amazing.

My biggest concern (because it seems more likely) is that the valve will mostly work, but will still allow a slight trickle. Having once attempted to solder a gate while a slow drip passed through it, I know we could be screwed if we don't get the water turned off completely. A drip like that wouldn't be noticed until after we drain down the plumbing and cut the supply open. I guess we could use a compression valve at that point, but I'm not sure if that would meet code.

So, when I thought about the possibility of a slight malfunction at the street, I figured I should be ready for anything...including a gasket or something completely blowing out halfway through the project. On the other hand, as long as it stays off for 10 minutes, I can make the cut, solder on the new valve, and then not have to worry about the street valve for another 50 years!
 
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Old 04-22-03, 04:43 PM
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Well, I am sure you have heard this before, but I will tell you again... If I ever get a water problem (i.e., a trickle through a gate valve) while I am trying to solder, I just take a single slice of white bread and cram it up into the side that the water is coming from... just push it into it about 2" or 3"... Now solder the new joint... The bread will soak up some water and will hold it for a few minutes while you work... The only trick then is to make SURE that the first valve you open after you are done is an outside faucet so that the bread can blow out...
 
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