Brass valve perforation WTF

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millforge

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I have a shut off valve immediately next to the pressure switch on the tank of my deep-well pump. Fir the third time in 20 years, it has started to leak from what appear to be perforations through the cast brass body of the valve. The first time I thought it must have been frozen and cracked so I replaced it. The next time it was obvious that it wasn't cracked and I thought maybe is was some strange galvanic reaction because of some steel fittings among the copper and brass, so I replaced it again. That was about 6 years ago. It has just started again to spray 3 or 4 fine streams of water from the top side of the valve. I'm game to replace it again, but can anybody explain why this keeps happening? See the pictures taken today.Leaky water valve 014.JPGLeaky water valve 018.JPG
 

GReynolds929

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It’s cracked, probably from being overtightened. The lead free brass is a lot more brittle and susceptible to cracking than the old leaded stuff.
 

millforge

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It’s cracked, probably from being overtightened. The lead free brass is a lot more brittle and susceptible to cracking than the old leaded stuff.
But if it was cracked the streams of water would be in a line, which they are not. They are spaced randomly and spraying in different directions. And it has happened 3 times to the valves in this location and nowhere else. I don't think that is the trouble.
 

millforge

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Could be a crack tho, I can’t tell here from my chair.

Most things I run across are over tightened when I take it apart.
Your explanation fits the situation. I suspected it was from deterioration of the brass, but I didn't have a name for it or access to your information. Thank you very much. It is still a mystery why it happens repeatedly in the same location, but I think this is the answer.
 

JG plumbing

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The valve was over tightened and probably cheap. A hot water explanation doesn't work here, but I'm glad it makes you feel better.
 

Twowaxhack

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The valve was over tightened and probably cheap. A hot water explanation doesn't work here, but I'm glad it makes you feel better.
No one mentioned anything about hot water. Dezincification corrosion is what the article I linked discusses, it’s not exclusive to hot water.....
 

JG plumbing

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You have to remove minerals to dezincify. The water being heated does this. Well water doesn't dezincify.
 

Twowaxhack

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Have you tested his water ?

Low Ph can also contribute to it.

If the man looking at the valve in person says it’s not cracked, I believe him.

Based on looks, it appears to be dezincification.
 

Twowaxhack

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58FC63B8-F96B-4C4D-86EA-8A2343192DC3.jpeg

I’d probably install a stainless valve. I like stainless......
 

millforge

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Wow. The hive mind here is like a discussion among Metallurgical grads. I thought brass was brass, but now I know to look for silicon brass or stainless. The contamination of the metal is probably inevitable with the extent of recycling these days, and will probably get worse instead of better. For what it's worth, this is strictly cold water in this fitting, and the water is quite hard and leaves calcium deposits everywhere.
Thank you all for the benefit of your knowledge.
 
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