Replacing main water valve


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Old 01-05-17, 05:22 PM
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Replacing main water valve

Hi all,
My main water line has an old gate valve that won't close completely anymore. I'm going to replace it with a 1/4 turn ball valve and I have some questions, as I've never really done any plumbing before other than replacing the copper tube running to my fridge. =)

The water company will come to the house and shut off the water from the curb for no charge, so I have that covered.

My plan was to cut off the old valve with a small Rigid close quarters tubing cutter I have, but looking at the old valve, I'm not sure the pipe is even copper. Here's the valve/pipe:

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Is that steel or something? Will my tubing cutter cut that?

Next, I was wondering about getting the new valve over both halves of the pipe. It doesn't feel like there is much give to the pipe to move it up and down.

let's say I buy a ball valve with compression fittings on both ends. How do I get it over both ends of the pipe? In one video online I saw a guy using extendable repair couplings, but I haven't seen anything like that for sale.

Another option would be to use a 1" Sharkbite slip valve, which would make the job pretty easy. Can I trust this as much as a compression fitting?

I'd really like to avoid sweating the pipe to make connections as I've never done that before. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 01-05-17, 06:58 PM
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Welcome!
It looks like copper. You can solder in the new valve using repair couplings or the sharkbite slip couplings.
The sharkbites can be trusted. Regular compression fittings are not allowed in walls, slip/push on are.
 
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Old 01-05-17, 07:17 PM
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There's a water valve in my favorite "peek-a-boo" framing location.

I don't think you'll get a midget cutter in there and even if you can I don't think they work up to 1" in diameter. You'll more than likely have to cut it with a saw or use a torch.

If you cut the old valve out the pipes will probably be too far apart for a new valve. You may need to have to install a short piece of copper to make up the difference.
 
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Old 01-05-17, 07:18 PM
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I'm 99% certain that is a globe valve, not a gate. If it is leaking while closed it is probably a bad disc, what most people call a washer. If so, it can probably be repaired for less than a buck although it will still be necessary to have the water shut off in the street or at the meter.

If there is no up-down play in the piping you will not be able to get any slip-over fittings to work, you would need to cut out a section and then solder it back together using as repair coupling that does not have an internal stop.
 
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Old 01-05-17, 07:27 PM
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I would use an oscillating tool if you can't fit a cutter.
If you need to buy one, get one that fits the original Fein blades, like a craftsman.

Here's the blade I use and it will slice through the copper easily:

https://fein.com/en_us/multi-tools/a...5-02-152-26-0/
 
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Old 01-05-17, 09:15 PM
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Yep you can pull the guts out of that valve and replace with a new gate and avoid cutting the pipe
 
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Old 01-06-17, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for all the good advice guys!

Yep you can pull the guts out of that valve and replace with a new gate and avoid cutting the pipe
I had heard that, but I think I'd really like to replace it with a ball valve and be done with it.

I would use an oscillating tool if you can't fit a cutter.
If you need to buy one, get one that fits the original Fein blades, like a craftsman.
Thanks for the advice. I think if I can't cut it with my tube cutter I'll use a cordless Dewalt jigsaw that I own. It should make short work of the pipe.

I'm 99% certain that is a globe valve, not a gate. If it is leaking while closed it is probably a bad disc, what most people call a washer. If so, it can probably be repaired for less than a buck although it will still be necessary to have the water shut off in the street or at the meter.

If there is no up-down play in the piping you will not be able to get any slip-over fittings to work, you would need to cut out a section and then solder it back together using as repair coupling that does not have an internal stop.
Although it does leak a tiny bit sometimes, the main problem is that it won't close to shut off the water.

My impression was that the slip couplings made by shark bite were specifically for situations like this. It allows the coupling to slide up one side of the pipe to give the other end the clearance it needs and the slide back down the pipe to connect the other end.

Can you maybe show me what you mean by a "repair coupling?"

There's a water valve in my favorite "peek-a-boo" framing location.
You should see the electrical box! We've owned the place for about a year and we've found some interesting home handyman jobs.

I don't think you'll get a midget cutter in there and even if you can I don't think they work up to 1" in diameter. You'll more than likely have to cut it with a saw or use a torch.

If you cut the old valve out the pipes will probably be too far apart for a new valve. You may need to have to install a short piece of copper to make up the difference.
I have lots of things that cut things. :-D

I'll measure it out today to see if the spacing works out.

Welcome!
It looks like copper. You can solder in the new valve using repair couplings or the sharkbite slip couplings.
The sharkbites can be trusted. Regular compression fittings are not allowed in walls, slip/push on are.
Ok, I'll probably go with the sharkbite valve then. I guess the pipe is just painted. I'll take some emery cloth to it to double check.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 02:01 PM
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My impression was that the slip couplings made by shark bite were specifically for situations like this.
Yes, there are sharkbite slip repair couplings. As I recall the gap needs to be less than 1-7/8" or so.

Basically you push the long slip end on first. You can then push (slide) the fitting onto the other end of the pipe to about 7/8" depth.
Mark the non-slip end of the pipe with a pencil at 7/8" before assembling so you are sure the pipe is inserted fully.
 
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Old 01-06-17, 04:36 PM
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If it were me I would want to get rid of that valve as you do. But if you did have a particular problem I think there is something called “jumping the valve” (or something like that) which I think is done sometimes by plumbers with valves that don’t close properly.

They just leave the old valve in place and in the open position, and then place a new valve somewhere else in the line. Don’t know whether that would be helpful in your situation but I thought I’d mention that just in case.

Here is a little video with a guy installing one of those ball valves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeH8iQRqYmE

(p.s. I’ve had a Sharkbite 1” coupling on my well pressure tank for several years now without a problem.)
 
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Old 01-09-17, 06:42 AM
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Thanks guys. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 
 

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