Can this water main shutoff valve be rebuilt?

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MattinCA

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The main shutoff to the house no longer shuts the water completely off. The valve also feels spongy. Is this something I can just replace a cartridge in or replace parts, or do I need a new valve? Thanks.
 

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Snoonyb

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More than likely.

Have you opened the fault that has the city's main, and do you have a street key?
 

Snoonyb

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The site hasn't uploaded your latest comment, so, there generally 2 types of gate valves, one with a screw/shaft that operate a gate, and commonly used on water mains, and another that has rubber washer on the end of a screw-shaft, generally used on boilers, which may be your model. If the latter, there may be parts available.

The usual is to upgrade to a full-port ball valve, as well as replacing the water main, from the street main to the house. this usually involves "L" or "K" copper or schedule 80 plastic, which because you will be adding ground rods at you're elec. service, that requirement will be met.
 

MattinCA

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Not really looking to replace the water main to the street $$, just getting the valve to work if possible, or replacing it with a quarter-turn ball valve if not. I have easy access to the shutoff at the street and if I can't shut it off with a wrench, I can get a key at HD for $15.

The valve has been in place for at least 30 years, so that may affect if parts are available.
 

Snoonyb

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Both repair & replace are interesting processes, with similar, prepare-for scenarios.

Budgeting for contingency, have a 5gal. pail of water near each WC, a couple of gal. of water near each sink. Make sure all faucets are shut off. Shut the water off at the meter, open the main gate valve slightly, attempting to loosen the bonnet nut on the valve being careful not to bend/crimp the supply line, 2 WRENCHES CAN PREVENT THIS, there will be some water seepage, and to mitigate this you dig around the riser so that the seepage is assimilated into the ground. When the water stops remove the valve stem and gate and began you parts search at you local hrdw. vendors.

If you don't find the parts and opt for replacement. How are your soldering skills?
 

MattinCA

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Soldering skills are zero, lol. I will do some stuff on my own but in the words of that famous handyman Clint Eastwood, "A man's gotta know his limitations." If it needs to be replaced, I will hire someone.
 

Snoonyb

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Something to keep in mind. after the valve is repaired/replaced and before the system is pressurized, slightly open all the water valves, remove the faucet aerators, and lay a towel over the sinks, because there will be a period of purging, blasts of air driven water, the reinstall the aerators when uninterrupted flow is resumed, and flush all the WC's.
 

bud16415

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When I redid all my plumbing in our old house I had a similar valve just inside the basement wall attached to the old line coming from the street connection. The valve was not leaking externally but was really old and in question on being my go to shut off location.



I left the old valve in place cut the line leaving the valve and attached a new ball valve and started my all PEX plumbing there. The old valve was opened and will just remain open and if I ever need to shut the whole house down I use the new ball valve.



Just an idea.
 

ekrig

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If you need to go the replacement route, don't be discouraged by the need to solder. I did it for the first time last year and have since repaired several faucets and installed a new shower valve in the bathroom that I'm renovating. There are a few things to watch out for, but it is really simple. Watch a couple of videos and then buy a soldering kit, a piece of copper pipe and a few fittings and practice a bit.
 
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