unnecessary shut-off valves

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mikejurasw

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Hey everyone, (Happy new year, BTW). I am looking to clean up my basement ceiling of dead pipes, disconnected wires, etc. I've noticed a lot of extra/unnecessary shut-off valves in my supply lines. Most are frozen open, some are corroding, one is weeping slowly. My first thought was to replace them with new ball-valves, but the question is, do I really even need them? When I work on a plumbing issue I always just shut things off at the meter. I've never "needed" any of these. Instead of replacing then, can't I just remove them and insert a new piece with a few couplings? (all copper, btw).
Thoughts?
Thanks!
MM
 

kok328

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If they are leaking, then replace them. Depends on what your looking at. Shut off valves for hot/cold under sinks, behind toilets, laundry tubs, water heater, etc.. are all legitimate valves that you'll want to keep.
 

joecaption

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No one has a clue what valves your talking about or even what type valves they are without some pictures.
If there old gate or globe valves they need to be replaced with ball valves.
Why would you want to shut off the whole house to do just a simple plumbing repair?
 

bud16415

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The trouble with shutting the whole house down is if the repair takes a week to get parts then you are stuck with no water.

You need to make a logical plan of what you need and then bring it up to date. Many times repairs get made based on what was easy at the time and that’s why you end up with things that seem crazy.

Happy new year
 

mikejurasw

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Sorry to be vague, guys. Here's what I'm talking about. This one's a leaker, so it's going one or another. Bud, I think you're right now as I recollect how what starts out a bathroom tweak goes on for weeks. This valve and it's buddy govern on of the upstairs bathrooms. I'm going with ball valves, unless anyone has any objections!
Thanks,
MM
 

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billshack

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BY the old plumbing code shut off valves were required at the base of risers.(pipes feeding two or more floors) I would leave them. also they are stop and waste , is it possible they feed an outside faucet or building .
 

bud16415

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Sorry to be vague, guys. Here's what I'm talking about. This one's a leaker, so it's going one or another. Bud, I think you're right now as I recollect how what starts out a bathroom tweak goes on for weeks. This valve and it's buddy govern on of the upstairs bathrooms. I'm going with ball valves, unless anyone has any objections!
Thanks,
MM
Yes ball valve is the way to go. I wouldn't do it with any other type of valve.

I had old plumbing and i chased around the repairs until I gave out and switched it all to PEX. I re-did my whole 2 story house in a day and a half with the help of an 85 year old guy. They have fittings Shark-Bite that work between copper and PEX that would make your repair go quick.
 

mikejurasw

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Thanks, guys. I hadn't thought about the code in terms of risers, etc. I will "repeal and replace";). Bud16415, I like the ease of Sharkbite, but I have not been keen on the idea of closing them up in a wall, since I have heard they can fail with time. This doesn't apply for my basement valves, but what are your thoughts?
MM
 

bud16415

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Thanks, guys. I hadn't thought about the code in terms of risers, etc. I will "repeal and replace";). Bud16415, I like the ease of Sharkbite, but I have not been keen on the idea of closing them up in a wall, since I have heard they can fail with time. This doesn't apply for my basement valves, but what are your thoughts?
MM
I tend to follow the idea of the electrical code when it comes to PEX and make no hidden connections. I have Shark-Bites a few places where they seem logical. The braided pigtails that hook to my water heater being one place. I just changed my gas fired tank and once I got the new one in the basement it was a 15 minute job start to finish hooking it up and hearing it light. The Shark-Bites played a big part in that.

I attached a ball valve after my meter and started the PEX .75", then tee to the water heater and then H/C to a manifold I put together all .5". At that manifold i have a ball valve for every home run in the house. PEX comes in large rolls and there is no reason to break the line they even sell 90 degree benders for the tube that you snap on and it makes the PEX take a tight bend. Run it just like wire thru the walls. at the sinks, toilets, fridge etc i have a shut off ball type. For my outdoor water I have the H/C combined right off the manifold. If I ever need hot water outside I just go to the basement and shut the cold open the hot and I got it. It is handy for topping off the hot tub or washing the car in the winter. I have also used the hot to my pressure washer for cutting dirty greasy machinery or cleaning siding.

Shark-Bites are not cheap. All my normal connections are the crimp on stainless bands. The PEX cutter and crimping tool cost about 50 bucks as a one time thing. Biggest problem I have is people borrow them and don't want to bring them back.

Some people use red and blue pex for hot and cold. I used all white and put a ring of red tape where I need to know H/C.
 

tagal4

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BY the old plumbing code shut off valves were required at the base of risers.(pipes feeding two or more floors) I would leave them. also they are stop and waste , is it possible they feed an outside faucet or building .
I eliminated the need to have shut-off valves for outside faucets by using the "no-freeze" type of faucets that have a short length of pipe soldered to the faucet valve with the shut-off valve built into the end of that. They work really well.
 

billshack

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I eliminated the need to have shut-off valves for outside faucets by using the "no-freeze" type of faucets that have a short length of pipe soldered to the faucet valve with the shut-off valve built into the end of that. They work really well.
I do not like this type of outside faucet, what i find is that people leave the hose attached and therefore by pass the draining system so the faucet freezes . Also it is very important that the hole have a strong slope to the outside if not then a freezes up.
I have repair a lot of these .
 

DesertRider

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I’ve had two... “No Freeze” Faucets freeze and burst... the problem was, whoever installed them did not, as Billshack above suggested, slop the line, in fact one had a slight neg. slope... when you put them in, a 3, 4 or even 5 degree slope is a must.

I have a cabin in Utah that was plagued with busted water pipes every winter... finally two years ago, I ripped all the copper out and replaced with PEX... Best decision I ever made! Took me at most, a whole week, working at a leisurely pace, mostly by myself, with an occasional help from my wife when I couldn’t be at both ends of a run at the same time. Every individual line has a shut-off ball valve, so I can isolate each circuit. I put in drain ports at all critical locations, so now when I shut down at the end of the season, I turn the water off at the main State connection open all the drain ports, turn on all faucets, and walk away... haven’t had a busted water pipe since! And the great part of using PEX, it has a expansion factor of 5% or something like that... even if there is a little water trapped in a line, it can freeze and not ruptured the tubing. I did run Red and Blue to distinguish Hot and Cold... the price was the same, and I know at an instant what I’m looking at.

As for “shark bite’s” I personally don’t like them, I feel over an extended period the rubber “seal” is going to fail and leak... and I would NEVER install one inside a wall. Just my opinion, you do as you please.

But Copper vs. PEX... in my opinion there is no comparison... I’ll never again, have Copper plumbing in a dwelling I own.
 

tagal4

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I’ve had two... “No Freeze” Faucets freeze and burst... the problem was, whoever installed them did not, as Billshack above suggested, slop the line, in fact one had a slight neg. slope... when you put them in, a 3, 4 or even 5 degree slope is a must.

I have a cabin in Utah that was plagued with busted water pipes every winter... finally two years ago, I ripped all the copper out and replaced with PEX... Best decision I ever made! Took me at most, a whole week, working at a leisurely pace, mostly by myself, with an occasional help from my wife when I couldn’t be at both ends of a run at the same time. Every individual line has a shut-off ball valve, so I can isolate each circuit. I put in drain ports at all critical locations, so now when I shut down at the end of the season, I turn the water off at the main State connection open all the drain ports, turn on all faucets, and walk away... haven’t had a busted water pipe since! And the great part of using PEX, it has a expansion factor of 5% or something like that... even if there is a little water trapped in a line, it can freeze and not ruptured the tubing. I did run Red and Blue to distinguish Hot and Cold... the price was the same, and I know at an instant what I’m looking at.

As for “shark bite’s” I personally don’t like them, I feel over an extended period the rubber “seal” is going to fail and leak... and I would NEVER install one inside a wall. Just my opinion, you do as you please.

But Copper vs. PEX... in my opinion there is no comparison... I’ll never again, have Copper plumbing in a dwelling I own.
My experience with plumbers is a good many of them don't seem to know what they're doing, so it doesn't surprise me they (or some inept DIYer)put your no-freeze faucets in wrong. I've had mine for over 15 years now and have had no trouble at all with them, and we get some brutally cold weather in KS where I live.

As far as copper pipes go, I would recommend them highly if you can manage to keep the water they carry in them from freezing with pipe insulation, etc. if necessary. Copper is a natural material so it's going to be better for the environment in the long haul, plus it's very durable and has a long life. Also, you can solder it together to make it a solid piping system rather than cheap plastic PEX tubing which has to be held together with hardware which can fail, or cheap PVC/CPVC pipe which has to be glued together with strong solvent based glue.
 

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