Is this gas ball valve safe?


Old 12-16-08, 04:27 PM
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Is this gas ball valve safe?

Hi all,

We have a new dryer due to be delivered tomorrow. We have an old gas pipe/valve (house was built in the 70's), which we've heard Sears won't touch. The valve is also really hard to turn off, as we need to grip the nut on the opposite side with a wrench to turn it and tighten it.

So to make things easier and more modern, I figured I could put a new ball valve (pictured) on top, where the 1/2" gas line normally attaches, then attach the gas line to the new valve.

Not replacing anything... just adding one piece on top of what's already there. It's a 1/2" attachment for the gas line right now... and this is a 1/2" to 1/2" valve, so no size change either. Just an "extension" if you will.

Is this an okay (read: safe) option? Can we just leave the old gas valve on and tight, and not have to mess with it? Instead using the new green ball valve to turn the gas on and off?

Old 12-16-08, 06:05 PM
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In my opinion you are just asking for trouble by leaving the old valve in place. Those old valves require that the plug be periodically lubricated (by taking it apart) in order to operate freely AND to seal against leakage from where the plug turns.

I would turn off the gas at the meter, remove both the new and old valves and install the new valve using approved Teflon paste on the threads. Be careful to not get any paste inside the new valve except what transfers from the pipe. Then turn on the gas at the meter and check for leaks using a soapy water solution. You will have to relight any pilot lights on the other gas appliances like the water heater and maybe the furnace or boiler.
Old 12-17-08, 04:57 AM
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Our code requires replacing an old gas valve when installing a new appliance. Your local code rules, but I agree, replace the old valve, not piggyback.
Old 12-17-08, 02:57 PM
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I second and third the others. Replace that old valve. It not work taking the chance leaving it there.
Old 12-18-08, 06:01 PM
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I do not have my code book in the house, but I am pretty sure you need to remove the old valve before installing a new valve. Will it work, probably. Is it right and safe, no.

Also, the coupling above the gas valve on the outlet side is not even allowed by code.

The best way to fix this is shut off the gas main, remove everything down to the lower coupling, which is ok by code, and install new valve and connection for appliance.

Turn gas back on and soap test for leaks. Do not forget to relight any pilots that went out from shutting off the gas, such as the water heater or heating system, or any appliances.

Calling a plumber for this one should not be more than a one hour service call if he is good.
Old 12-22-08, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I took all the advice I received and removed all 3 of those pieces from the valve up, and replaced them with one new ball valve.



Much more attractive... and of course, safer. Thanks!

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