Stop Valve Replacement

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  #1  
Old 07-23-06, 03:50 PM
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Stop Valve Replacement

I have recently bought a house and several of the water stop values are stuck open. It looks like someone tried to force one of these values closed and snapped off half the handle. Plus several of the values have exterior calcium deposits which to me indicates a possible small dripping leak.

The main water shut off value works but I would like to get these values working again.

1. Is it possible to remove/replace the guts of the screw type shut off value or would I be better off replacing the value?

2. If I get the valve replaced by a plumber, can anyone give be a general estimate of what it should cost? I just want a ball park guess so I know about how much to expect.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-23-06, 04:15 PM
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ScottSAH, welcome to the DIY Forums.
Too many variables to give a cost estimate. I would not waste time trying to repair supply valves. If they are soldered on, you can unsweat them and replace. If they are compression type, and you can find the same brand and style, you can replace them as long as the compression ring is the same. OR if you have pipe sticking out of the wall or floor, you could cut them off and replace with new compression type valves. Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 07-24-06, 08:00 AM
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I had an issue with a stop valve under one of my sinks recently. It had been open for at least 7-8 years, and the washer had deterioriated badly - the valve was also very difficult to turn, probably for the same reason as yours. I was preparing to replace it with a new valve. When I took the new valve apart, so I could sweat it on without cooking the new washer and valve internals, I noticed it was exactly the same as the old valve. I removed the internals from the old valve, inserted the new internals, and Viola! the repaired/updated valve works fine and doesn't leak.

I don't know if you will be luck enough to find the same valve as you currently have, but it saved me some work. Good luck.
 
  #4  
Old 07-24-06, 08:38 AM
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Ubob was lucky.The odds of this happening are dependant upon age and manufacturer of the valve.If the valves are of any significant age then the odds go up dramatically.If the valves are not original but are fairly recent replacements and the new valves are purchased at the same location then the odds improve.

I'm not saying that it's impossible to have the same thing happen but what I am saying is don't count on it or think that just walking in to a hardware store and buying new valves will allow you to simply swap parts.

Since the 70's these valves have been mostly imported,made in many countries with many designs.The design has not been standardized beyond what had to be such as NPT threading and compression connections.Also these valves are designed in such a way as to not be easily repaired if at all.

As a retailer I just wanted to post a reality check.
 
  #5  
Old 07-24-06, 05:07 PM
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Thanks, but one more question

Thanks for the info guys.

My gut feeling was to replace the valves. This is 1970s house so I agree it would probably be hard to find the same type of shut off valve.

One more question. I was thinking about replacing the screw type shut off values with a 1/4 turn ball type shut off valves. My thinking is that these might work better or be able to work them loose if there is any future caclium build up.

Any thoughts on which is a better type of shut off valve??
 
  #6  
Old 07-24-06, 07:32 PM
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I have no idea really what code might say or not say about your idea however basically stop valves for this purpose have always been the same type.Whether that was because of requirements or just ease and costs reasons I'm not sure.

Ask yourself this question: How many times am I going to be turning these vales on and off?

I would suspect a valve like you describe is more costly than the 3-5 bucks for a standard stop valve.

That said I also suspect there is no objection to what you have in mind and if you think you'll be using these valves enough to jusify the expense etc. then it shouldn't be a problem.
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-06, 05:44 AM
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spdavid is right - odds are you will have to replace the entire valve (I was surprised by my good fortune).

The question about the ball valve raised a question in my own mind. I recently plumbed a bath in my basement, and when I went to the big-box hardware store to buy shutoff valves (so I could turn off the entire bathroom), I found ball valves and gate valves only. Their "expert" said that most new construction in our area (midwest) used the ball valves for that application.

Anybody know when or why the shift occurred? Just curious.
 
  #8  
Old 07-25-06, 02:23 PM
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Gate valves have a channel that the gate rides in and seats in. Over time, this channel fills up with deposits and when you need to shut them off, you are trying to compress the deposits for a seal. Ball valves have a ball that turns open and closed. No way for it to be compromised by deposits. For years I have installed gate valves on a 45 degree angle to help prevent this situation. I have even installed them upside down. Ball valves are the way to go for a system that is not often turned on and off.
 
  #9  
Old 07-25-06, 03:56 PM
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I just had to replaced every one in a 3 bath house. Ball valves are the way to go. I wasnt sure if it was code or not but I took a chance. Seems like every time I use the regular undersink shut off valve I wind up with a leak about the 3rd time they are used.
 
  #10  
Old 07-25-06, 04:12 PM
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Standard stop valves for supply are extremely cheaply made.The internal parts are plastic and usually the washer is simply pressed to the stem.They are not made for frequent use and are not repairable.

I'll join in with the others and say that as long as code etc is not an issue that ball valves are the way to go.Besides the stated issues with gate valves,they also just take more turns to use and if you have a leaking situation etc and need to close the line fast ball valves are better.
 
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