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1victorianfarmhouse 11-09-2011 11:18 PM

Which Valves to Use?
I learn a lot in reading through the posts on this forum.....but I still come up with questions here and there.

In continuing to replumb my basement with copper, I'm wondering what types of 3/4" brass valves to use to shut off sections of the plumbing that go elsewhere in the house. I see basically two types, one pushes down a flat vertical metal disc, the other pushes down a horizontal disc with a rubber side. These would be used for both hot and cold water supply. Any comments on the pros and cons of each?



Redwood 11-10-2011 12:22 AM

I'm guessing you are describing gate valves and globe valves...

I wouldn't use either...

I'd use a full port 1/4 turn ball valve....

joecaption 11-10-2011 06:51 AM

Only use the ball valve! The others will stick over time so the shaft will not turn, there packings will leak, trash will build up where the sealing area is and will not shut off all the way. They sell one that can be soldered in not screwed in so there's less chance of it leaking where the threads area, but make sure to have the valve in the open position when soldering and you should only have to heat the valve.
Not sure why your using copper anymore, most new homes are using Pex, at least 1/3 the price for materials, 10 times faster to install, will expand instead of bursting if frozen, can make up to a 100' run with no joints, can be bent 90% with no joint needed, no chance of a fire when connecting.

isola96 11-10-2011 07:15 AM

You said your continuing this plumbing project? So you have soldered before?
It's really on on preference of your choice but if you started with copper then better to be consistent and Finnish.
Gate valves were and are ment for the idea of opening and closing the line with out getting water hammer neither valves wont last long if there is hard water or lack of salt softener.

1victorianfarmhouse 11-11-2011 11:03 PM

Thanks for the great responses, very interesting. Wish I had known before I started on some other areas. I'm using copper because the house is 116 years old and I am mainly replacing the old galvanized iron in the basement, what goes up into the walls is newer copper. I'm no longer a torch solder virgin thanks to this project.

Any comments on what brands to look for/avoid? The big box stores are convenient, but quality suffers in some regards.

Thanks again,


joecaption 11-12-2011 07:35 AM

There's no reason to just stick with copper. There's pex adapters that just solder on or you could even use a A Shark Bit coupling with no soldering. It just slids on the two pipes and locks on, no tools, no solder.
I've fished Pex up to the second floor in old houses before so there's only need to open up one wall. Drilled an over sized hole in the basement, dropped a string with a nut tied to it down the wall and into the hole, used a tool sold in the Electrical tool dept. in any box store that looks like that kids toy we used to call chineese hand cuffs. Just slip it over the tubing and as you pull the string it closes up and grips the tubing tighter. I also wrap electrial tape around it just to make sure it does not slip off 1/2 way.
Pex also can be run to a central manifold in the basement with a 1" supply and branches to run off to differant areas with shut offs on the main and each line.

Redwood 11-12-2011 12:23 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I'd stick with copper as long as water problems do not limit its service life in your area...

Conbraco makes some very nice valves like the Apollo series...

Some of the "Cheapo" valves use a different manner to secure the stem to the ball and are subject to leaks and corrosion where the stem passes through the ball and is tightened by a nut.

The Apollo Series actually has a packing nut on the stem making it a much higher quality valve. Look for a nut between the handle and the valve body to ensure you are getting a higher quality valve rather than one that relies on how hard the button on the bottom of the stem is drawn against the ball.

1victorianfarmhouse 11-13-2011 10:22 PM

Joe, thanks for letting me know the benefits of PEX; I wasn't aware that it was as easy and useful as you mention. I'll definitely keep it in mind for some future projects.

Redwood, thanks for the detailed info on what valves to look for. I have soft water now, thanks to Speedbump, so the water quality is better now. I cut out some old copper piping when I rerouted it, and didn't see any problems with it. The old iron stuff was almost rusted through in some areas, though.


1victorianfarmhouse 11-15-2011 09:58 PM

Since the big box stores don't seem to carry Conbraco, might there be some plumbing supply places that would be well recommended? Mail order is fine.

Again, thanks.


Redwood 11-16-2011 01:33 AM

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