Replacing main shut-off valve


Old 03-21-13, 09:02 AM
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Replacing main shut-off valve

Our main shutoff valve in the house leaks when turning on or off. It is an old style gate valve. I'd like to have it replaced with a ball valve to have some peace of mind. I had a plumber come in to give me a price, he suggested not to 'replace' the existing valve, instead he would just take the handle off it and put a new ball valve further up in the water line. Why? He said that it is too close to the wall and sweating it would be tough.
Is that right?
My concern is that if I leave it where it is, then it may start dripping/leaking since it is so old.

Please advise what would be the better way to do this?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-21-13, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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My feeling is that he doesn't want to replace the existing valve because he doesn't want to shut off the water outside the house. That said, there is very little chance of the existing valve being a problem if it is always left open. The most likely leak point is where the stem goes through the packing gland and if it does leak a simple tightening of the packing nut should cure that.
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