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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to shut off the water so I could replace my water heater. I'm sure the valve had been open 11 years since the last time I had done this. By minerals or age or whatever, the valve was so stuck in place that I (foolishly, perhaps) put a channel-locks on it and... broke it free. Now the valve handle (see red & white in pics) turns and turns either way and the valve just stays open. I turned off power to the well pump and got my water heater changed, but look at this valve I have to repair/replace. Galvanized-to Valve- to Copper.

Should I cut the copper and sweat in a union? There's no other way to thread the copper out of the valve, is there? Other ideas? I'm not a pro, but I've soldered hundreds of leak-free copper joints in my life. I know I'll have to shut off power to the pump again, and drain the whole house. What I don't know is how all this affects everything else, like the pressure tank, etc. Any advice for me? Warnings for what to look out for?

Thanks
.

Valve 1.jpg


Valve 2.jpg


Valve 3.jpg



And while we're at it, looks like I have to replace this guage, too.

Valve guage.jpg
 

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Should be able to pull that valve stem out and replace it. But if you do replace the whole valve I d put in a single handle ball valve
Don’t know if there is any movement in that copper line but if so you could put the heat to the solder joint and take it apart.
 

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The easiest way seems to be to disconnect the union on the bottom, and then un sweat the copper 3/4 female to sweat valve connection on the top.

Replace all the parts that are bad on the bench, clean up your connection at the top that you un sweated, and put it back together.

A couple threaded joints, and one sweated joint.

It looks like it’s going to have to be put together as an assembly, because there isnt enough clearance between your valve stems and your pressure tank to turn them out.
 

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As Ronnie D said for simple replacement, but maybe good idea to replace all that galvanized pipe with copper and brass fittings.Since I’m assuming the rest of house is copper. Did this at Moms a couple years ago to much rust buildup in that steel pipe. Gate valves should get backed off a bit after fully open. Helps to keep them from rusting open.
 

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And shut off your breaker for the switch. You can get a flex to fit in for hot water heaters also. Eliminate the top valve. you only need one.
 

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The other valve in the tee ( red handle) is the drain. It has to be there to relieve the pressure in the expansion tank and piping for service once they are isolated w/ the shutoff valve that your changing. The gauge is an 1/8" npt fitting and threads right out. It would be beneficial to change out all the galvanized but at today's copper & brass $$ i see about 300.00 in material , solder kit , plus your time.
 

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Yes I cheated, my buddies a plumber I gave him a diagram with dimensions he made it up on the bench. All I had to do was remove old and install it. Old style well pit. From well to tank to supply line for house. I take him fishing a lot. He also helped replace all galvanized in house to pex pipe. Lots more forgiving when winter closeup comes.
 

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Kill the power and drain out the house and pressure tank through that spigot by the pressure switch. Try and find a valve to close at the water heater so you dont have to deal with that large volume. Cut the copper a few inches above the copper fitting thats screwed into the gate valve. You can re-use that fitting after you unscrew it out of the bad gate valve. Replace it with a ball valve. You should be able to lift the copper pipe leading up enough to just use a copper slip coupling fitting that you will have to sweat in. You might have to undue a pipe hanger above to be able to push up the vertical copper pipe.
Now would be a good time to replace that bad pressure guage and adjust the air pressure in that bladder tank, which can only be done when it is empty of water. If you are using a 20/40 pressure swich the air pressure in the tank should be set at 18 psi with an air guage. If using a 30/50 switch the air should be at 28 psi.
Before you fire it all back up remember to unscrew all the aerators off your faucets because you are going to get some nasty rusty scaly water coming out at first.
 

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Cut the copper off about 6-8” above the shutoff and remove the drain valve, hold the cross T faith a pipe wrench and unscrew the nipple from the top of the cross T and clean the pipe and treads. Get a dielectric union and put in the top of the cross T and then replace the 3/4 copper with the a new pipe ball valve and hose bib. The hose bib will let you drain the water into a drain and not on the floor. The dielectric union will prevent galvanic corrosion in the future, same as you should them installed on the water heater.
 

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If your not comfortable sweating copper, use shark bite fittings, and be done in minutes


Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman
 

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Have you tried to take the handle off to see if it is just the handle that is stripped? You then could work on freeing the valve and then putting a new handle on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kill the power and drain out the house and pressure tank through that spigot by the pressure switch. Try and find a valve to close at the water heater so you dont have to deal with that large volume. Cut the copper a few inches above the copper fitting thats screwed into the gate valve. You can re-use that fitting after you unscrew it out of the bad gate valve. Replace it with a ball valve. You should be able to lift the copper pipe leading up enough to just use a copper slip coupling fitting that you will have to sweat in. You might have to undue a pipe hanger above to be able to push up the vertical copper pipe.
Now would be a good time to replace that bad pressure guage and adjust the air pressure in that bladder tank, which can only be done when it is empty of water. If you are using a 20/40 pressure swich the air pressure in the tank should be set at 18 psi with an air guage. If using a 30/50 switch the air should be at 28 psi.
Before you fire it all back up remember to unscrew all the aerators off your faucets because you are going to get some nasty rusty scaly water coming out at first.
OK,
Thanks for all the great info in these replies. I definitely want to sweat a 1/4 turn ball valve into the vertical copper and just eliminate the old gate valve-- and I'm good with all that, but this talk about the bladder tank pressure is above my pay grade. Is this something I can learn how to do, or am I playing out of my league? Seriously, does it require special training or tools? Or, is it as simple as replacing the bad stuff, turning everything back on, and it takes care of itself?
Thanks again.
 

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OK,
Thanks for all the great info in these replies. I definitely want to sweat a 1/4 turn ball valve into the vertical copper and just eliminate the old gate valve-- and I'm good with all that, but this talk about the bladder tank pressure is above my pay grade. Is this something I can learn how to do, or am I playing out of my league? Seriously, does it require special training or tools? Or, is it as simple as replacing the bad stuff, turning everything back on, and it takes care of itself?
Thanks again.
No, you don't have to mess with that tank. If the well pump has been cycling on and off correctly all this time it's fine. Put in a new guage so you can see when the pump kicks on and off. Under that smaller blue plastic cap on top of the tank is an air pressure valve. Just like a car tire.
 
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