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another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 04, 2022 08:35AM
Finally got the new washer/dryer installed Friday. In the course of having it hooked up, the installer asked me to turn off the main water supply. I asked why he couldn't just use the valves dedicated to the laundry unit itself. He said something about them being so old and never used that they should be replaced. And he mentioned that there was evidence of leaking. I asked if he could replace them and he said he didn't have the parts with him to do so, but that "You could probably do it yourself".

So, I'm wondering if I can. Let me start by saying I do NOT want to solder anything. If that's necessary, I'll hire a plumber. But if I can just replace a faucet/valve/handle with some plumbers tape and a couple of wrenches, I could see myself giving it a go.

Here's what it looks like. I'd love to hear your thoughts as to whether it's doable without soldering or if I should bite the bullet and have a plumber deal with it. FWIW, I never knew that it was recommended to turn off the water when not doing laundry. Guess we've been lucky in that we've never had a catastrophic leak down there.

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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 04, 2022 09:02AM
Looking at the photo, you should be able to unscrew just the faucets and replace them. However, I doubt you need to replace them. One of two things would likely fix the leak.

If the leak is behind the faucet, put some penetrating oil on the joint, let it soak a bit, then unscrew the faucet from the pipe. clean both parts, wrap the threads with tape and screw it back together.

If the leak is at the handle (the bonnet), just repack it and replace the gasket.

Here is a good tutorial that would cover your needs -
[www.youtube.com]

oh, and as far as turning off your faucets. You can do that, although I would put in a quarter-turn ball on each just to make life easier. There are also hoses with built-in auto-shutoff valves that seal in case of a burst.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2022 09:09AM by Ombligo.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 04, 2022 09:12AM
The parts that extend from the wall look like IRON fittings. You can clearly see that there is “something” going on at the junction where the iron meets copper (or is it brass?). THAT needs to be properly dealt with. There ARE fittings to join dissimilar metals and yes, I expect some soldering will be required. If you don’t want to do it yourself, I’d recommend calling the guy who’s has already seen the situation. He should be able to bring the necessary parts with him and get a professional job done in short order. That’s my $0.02
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: September 04, 2022 09:47AM
Looks to be an old brass 'drop ear' fitting that's soldered to your 1/2 inch copper supply -a 1/2 inch sweat joint X 1/2 Female Iron Pipe Thread coming off your supply line..

I'd get those pipe joints from the valve into drop ear fitting juiced up with
a thread juicer > put a wrench on the drop ear to hold it in place>then wrench off those valves and replace them with good quality valves from a plumbing supply..pick up some pipe dope while you're at it..
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 04, 2022 10:27AM
Thank you, all.

• Ombligo's answer is sort of what I was hoping for, and I would happily just replace the faucets with the quarter-turn ball valve.

• testcase's answer is what I was afraid of.

• And I don't even understand half the words in Kraniac's answer. smiling smiley I'd get those pipe joints from the valve into drop ear fitting juiced up with a thread juicer
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: gadje
Date: September 04, 2022 10:37AM
Get the one-lever Shut Off thing, quickly open and close both valves at once.

(open in separate tab for high resolution)





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2022 10:37AM by gadje.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: September 04, 2022 10:49AM
kind of a mix what others have written.

I'd replace them with new 1/4 turn valves.
You could use shark bites or the like.
I used one for the outside hose bib supply. But I over did it.
Which would mean cutting the copper above the 90º assuming those pipes are long enough that they can be distanced from the wall a bit.
Or this kind of cutter or a hacksaw.
Just be sure to de-burr thoroughly the cut end.

I still prefer soldered plumbing. Prolly coz I'm apparently better at soldering than I am at getting tight vs too tight. (giggle, giggle, giggle)

OBTW, soldering is fairly easy to learn. There are some good vids at tubeu.
For a $35 Benzo kit, it is worth a shot, no?.
Dunno, maybe in your land plumbers are less expen$ive than here.
$125/hr. With parts and travel, that'd easily be $250 here.
Not that I think those skills are nothing. I'd call a plumber for a major issue or to pipe the house. Even that I did myself ...... when I was 30 ..... which was not last year.

But if your RT cost is $125 ish, I'd prolly get a plumber with a younger back. Although my spouse would miss all the interesting combinations of 4 letter words thrown at the uncaring pipes and parts.

Soldering is the easy part.

Practice first of course.
And, shut off the whole house before you dig in.



!#$@@$#!

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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 04, 2022 11:15AM
Looking at the photo again.. what I said would likely work

BUT if it was me, looking at the faucet conditions, I'd just replace them. Likely with something like this ball valve

[smile.amazon.com]



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 04, 2022 11:50AM
• gadje, I saw lots of samples with that kind of thing on YouTube. Looks great, but I really don't want to turn it into that much of a project.

• Fritz, I agree about replacing with quarter-turn valves, too. I was wondering about the shark-bite things. I did successfully use one (actually a gator-bite) to replace a gate valve with a ball valve in the line going to the front outside spigot. [forums.macresource.com]. As for DIY soldering, that's one of the things that while possible to learn, I'd prefer to pay someone who does it for a living.

• Ombligo, That's pretty much the same as the one I was looking at last night at Home Depot's site. It'd be great if the job turned out that simple.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 04, 2022 12:05PM
I'm also thinking it might be prudent to hit those connectors with some PB Blaster or Kroil or the like before I start trying to wrench anything. Or is that a no-no when it comes to plumbing?
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Bernie
Date: September 04, 2022 01:04PM
Box outlet washer

1/2 inch shark bite knock offs

Bring your own pipe.




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 04, 2022 01:42PM
I may be in the minority, but I do not trust shark-bite for permanent use. I trust knockoffs even less.

You should be able to unscrew the current spigots, clean the pipe threads, give a wrap of silicone and screw the new faucets on.

to unscrew, hit it with WD-40 or penetrating oil, let it soak overnight (reapply a couple times), grad the pipe with one wrench to hold it, the spigot with the another wrench and twist.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 04, 2022 06:02PM
Bernie, that looks nice, but my pipes come down from above. Every usage I've seem of those boxes, the pipes come up from below.

Ombligo, I don't know if you're in the minority regarding shark-bites, but you seem to the be the only one who thinks it might be doable the way I hoped it would be doable.

With that in mind, here's a dumb follow-up. IF I try that and use those ball valve spigot things you linked and that I saw at the Depot, what do I do if when they're tightened, the orientation is cock-eyed; that is to say not pointing down the way they should? I always have that fear when tightening something that needs to end up a certain way.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: gadje
Date: September 04, 2022 09:30PM
Quote
wurm
...

With that in mind, here's a dumb follow-up. IF I try that and use those ball valve spigot things you linked and that I saw at the Depot, what do I do if when they're tightened, the orientation is cock-eyed; that is to say not pointing down the way they should? I always have that fear when tightening something that needs to end up a certain way.


I guess you take it out, add some teflon tape and try again. You should be able to tighten by hand and when it gets tight, you use the wrench to go another 1/2 turn or so. If you feel it gets tight and too early, open it, remove the teflon tape, and add new teflon tape but this time go one more turn of teflon tape, then try again. Hopefully this time it feels tight at the right angle and when you use the wrench you end up with the valve in the correct orientation.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 05, 2022 06:22AM
Quote
gadje
Quote
wurm
...

With that in mind, here's a dumb follow-up. IF I try that and use those ball valve spigot things you linked and that I saw at the Depot, what do I do if when they're tightened, the orientation is cock-eyed; that is to say not pointing down the way they should? I always have that fear when tightening something that needs to end up a certain way.


I guess you take it out, add some teflon tape and try again. You should be able to tighten by hand and when it gets tight, you use the wrench to go another 1/2 turn or so. If you feel it gets tight and too early, open it, remove the teflon tape, and add new teflon tape but this time go one more turn of teflon tape, then try again. Hopefully this time it feels tight at the right angle and when you use the wrench you end up with the valve in the correct orientation.

Wurm has it.

As for Shark Bite fittings, they only have a 25-year warranty as the o-ring fitting wears out. While that may sound like a long time, I prefer plumbing fittings to be permanent. Many plumbers agree that they are good for temporary or emergency use, but not for long-term solutions. In your case, the fittings are out in the open, so you can see any leakage. That makes them an option if you want to take that route - but I wouldn't.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2022 06:29AM by Ombligo.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 05, 2022 07:37AM
Thanks. I think you meant gadje has it, but either way I guess it makes sense. I wasn't sure if there was another nut to butt up against to make up the difference for aligning things. And I'm assuming 'tight enough not to leak' is sufficient even if I could force another little bit that then would mis-align them?
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 05, 2022 01:28PM
Okay, I have another followup of course. Looking at the valve in question, I'm wondering if I'm correct in assuming the following:

blue: secure that nut, but don't turn or even try to turn (not that I could if I wanted to as it looks like it's soldered on.)
red: looks to actually be part of the body of the entire unit protruding about an inch forward of nut
yellow and green: those would be what I would futz with if I wanted to repair the existing valve rather than replace (ie packing nut, washers, etc.)

Those exposed threads seen between the blue and the red seem to indicate that the existing valve (red) has a female end that screws onto those threads. Or are the threads part of the red valve that would be a male end screwing into the nut indicated by the blue arrow? The answer would determine what kind of valve I'd have to buy.

Thanks for sticking with me here.


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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: btfc
Date: September 05, 2022 01:40PM
Yes, secure blue with the biggest wrench available, and unscrew every thing beyond that point.

If you can’t break the threads loose at red, you can use a pipe wrench on the entire piece (red to yellow) for added leverage.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2022 03:05PM by btfc.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: gadje
Date: September 05, 2022 03:02PM
Warning: don’t start unless you are confident you can finish the job, or have a way to isolate this pipe so you can have running water in the rest of the house.

Electric work is much simpler since you can shut off a single circuit and have power in the rest of the house. Or put a wire nut and turn power back on that circuit until you get the right parts and figure it out.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 05, 2022 03:09PM
Can't tell from the angle, the threads exposed between the blue and red arrows could be either part of the valve or from a pipe nipple connecting the valve and the fitting on the pipe at the blue arrow.

In any case I just see copper and brass, no signs of iron pipe. The only obvious sign of leakage is at the valve stem, you might be able to just repack that and end the leak. The packing nut is at the green arrow.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 05, 2022 03:28PM
Quote
JoeH

In any case I just see copper and brass, no signs of iron pipe. The only obvious sign of leakage is at the valve stem, you might be able to just repack that and end the leak. The packing nut is at the green arrow.

Agree w this. I’d shut off the water and unscrew that [green] nut, take that apart and and look at it. In a worst case scenario, where one of the pieces breaks when you’re trying to unscrew it, you’ve got nice copper coming down from above; you could just cut all the mess off and start anew with a new spigot attached via sweating it or shark-bite or whatever. But you probably won’t need to.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 05, 2022 04:03PM
Thanks.

The thing is, it's not leaking at all now. I think the installer was just hesitant to mess with it because he saw evidence of a previous leak and an old fixture and didn't want to risk breaking something he couldn't fix at the time. I was just thinking of being proactive and "upgrading" what's there. I know gate valves are more prone to failure than ball valves, but for the time being it might be smarter in the long run to just leave well enough alone.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2022 04:06PM by wurm.
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Re: another plumbing question
Posted by: davester
Date: September 06, 2022 11:40AM
I agree with leaving it alone. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Those look to be pretty high quality valves compared to some of the garbage you get at home supply stores. If I did anything, I'd just remove the packing nuts and take a look to see if anything needed replacing, but if it's not leaking, why mess with it.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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