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Old 10-15-2009, 04:29 PM  
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Default Inline valve installation

I had an outside frost proof faucet that was leaking around the handle. I pulled the stem and took it to a faucet (no kidding) shop. They replaced the graphite packing with a silicone washer and put a new washer on the end. I went home and put the stem back. I tightend the stem as much as I thought I should and turned the water back on. Now there is a very small leak in the spout. I don't want to tighten the handle anymore since I think I put more than enough force on. It might be the seat in the faucet is not true. I would like to replace the faucet, but the water line that supplies water to the faucet is covered up where the faucet comes into the basement. The line is exposed from the "T" in the feed line to where the basement covers it up. What I would like to do is to put an in-line valve where the line is exposed. This way I wouldn't have to cut a hole in the basement ceiling to replace the faucet. The problem is the copper pipe follows the stringer about an inch away. I am thinking about nailing a wet towel on the stringer where I am going to solder the valve on. This should prevent the stringer from catching on fire. Also last night at Menards, I saw a soderless valve. It had nylon washers on either end and it looked like the pipe fit inside the plastic sleeves and that was all there is to it. This is a simplistic explanation on what it looks like, but the instructions were inside the package and I was in a hurry to get home. Being highly skeptical, I don't think I would trust it, but I have been wrong before. Can I protect the stringer by a towel or can I use the solderless valve with confidence?



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Old 10-15-2009, 04:54 PM  
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If you are talking about those grey plastic connectors I do not have a high degree of confidence in them.

As far as soldering with a wet towel for protection that is another thing I wouldn't have a high degree of confidence in that either.

Check out this article I wrote which lists some very good safety options when it comes to soldering without burning the house down.
Plumbing Torch Fire Safety

If your soldering skills are not up to snuff for the task you may consider hiring a plumber to install a new valve that threads into a female adapter which will make next time as simple as unthreading the old frost-proof sillcock and threading on the new one.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:30 AM  
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You either saw a valve with compression fittings or most likely based on your description you saw a "Shark Bite" fitting. Both of these are solderless and can be trusted.
If you prefer to solder, I'd use a metal heat sheild with a wet towel behind that.
However, I use an asbestos rag made for soldering against flamable surfaces.
Note: the Shark Bite fitting requires a special tool to remove and is sold separately from the fitting itself. The compression fitting will require cutting back an about an inch of pipe from both sides upon removal.
Personally, I'd go with the shark bite fitting and they are somewhat expensive but cheaper than you insurance deductible if you burn down the house. As far as the tool, it's kinda like undoing a gas line fitting on an automobile, you just need something thin to wrap around the pipe and slide into the fitting while pulling the connection apart. I made one out of a beer can but, you have to be careful not to cut yourself on the aluminum (wear gloves and do it after the first beer not the sixth).
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