Main Shut Off Valve Questions (w/Photos)

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by narlycharley, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. Oct 30, 2018 #1

    narlycharley

    narlycharley

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    Hello all!

    I've been doing some copper sweating in the basement and I now need to shut off the main valve from the city. I called the town and they're only responsible for the meter, not anything else in the house (I was really hoping they would be responsible BEFORE the meter). I want to replace the old crappy gate valve that's installed, as it's feeling a bit crunchy, and I just want a more permanent quarter turn ball valve in there (doing it in other areas of the house as well). I don't want to HAVE to shut it off one day and it break or not seat all the way.

    I'm in no way super experienced with plumbing, but I have common sense and I like projects. :)

    Can someone please let me know the best way to do this? Either way, I'm going to need them to shut the water off at the street, correct? Also, would there be any reason that they put a 1/2" piece of copper in the pipe before the meter? It doesn't make sense, as the feed coming in is 3/4" and they're bottle necking it with the 1/2" tubing, when the rest of the plumbing up to the water softener and such is 3/4".

    If you guys could do it "right" what valve/fittings/pieces/etc. would you use and how would you install them?


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  2. Oct 30, 2018 #2

    Mr_David

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    Here, anything before the city's meter is the city's responsibility.
    And they use commercial grade corporation valves, not some cheesy gate valve.
    They must have a way to shut off water before meter outside.
    What's to stop you from cutting the wire that sends data to remote reader.
    How did they read the meter before they had remote readers?
    If you stop paying your bill how can they stop your water?
    Do they access to the meter?

    Reducer is because it a 1/2" meter.
     
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  3. Oct 30, 2018 #3

    Mikey

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    Nice soldering job.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2018 #4

    Diehard

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    That's probably a 5/8" water meter with a 1/2" tail piece. Whoever did that probably found it easier to use what they had on hand, which was that 1/2" copper x 1/2" FNPT adapter rather than a 3/4" copper x 1/2" FNPT. Another few inches of 1/2" copper pipe has negligible impact on pressure.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2018 #5

    Diehard

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    Take a real close look at that 3/4" elbow soldered to the 1/2". Looks like they may have used a 1/2" coupling there and filled in the slight void with solder.???
     
  6. Oct 30, 2018 #6

    narlycharley

    narlycharley

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    I believe there's a reducer in the 90 degree elbow. Do you guys think I should bother replacing the valve?
     
  7. Oct 30, 2018 #7

    Diehard

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    That's good! You also have an option to add an additional whole house ball valve downstream of the existing gate valve. ;)
     
  8. Oct 30, 2018 #8

    CT18

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    I would not touch that existing on the soft copper. I would put the new one above it and raise the assembly if you need to so it fits. If you try and remove that valve on that soft copper you may find the pipe isn't round.
     
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  9. Oct 30, 2018 #9

    bbp

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    I would unsweat the old valve from the copper service, wipe clean, sand and reuse that end. As CT said, if you lose it below that point your screwed.
    Also ask the city for a new 3/4 meter, cant hurt.
     
  10. Oct 30, 2018 #10

    narlycharley

    narlycharley

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    That's a great point, I've never dealt with soft copper tubing. I'll just piece in a 3/4" ball valve on one of solid pipe runs.
     
  11. Oct 30, 2018 #11

    narlycharley

    narlycharley

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    Would having a 5/8" meter be an issue?
     
  12. Oct 30, 2018 #12

    bbp

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    Depending in you water quality they can restrict water flow. Not code anymore.
     
  13. Oct 30, 2018 #13

    narlycharley

    narlycharley

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    Are 3/4" meters less accurate? Would I have an increase of pressure moving up to 3/4 from 5/8?
     
  14. Oct 31, 2018 #14

    jeffnc

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    I've read your post a couple times, and I'm not sure why no one else has mentioned this, but I get the impression that you think that device is the city's meter.

    "I called the town and they're only responsible for the meter, not anything else in the house (I was really hoping they would be responsible BEFORE the meter"

    They are responsible for the meter and everything before it. The meter is at the street. Once it leaves the meter and travels through the yard to get to your house, then that is all on you.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable to replace that with a nice ball valve. I assume that other device is a backflow valve. The easiest thing to do is cut out that copper and just use PEX pipe with Sharkbite fittings. There is plenty of room there to curve the PEX to the shape you need so you will need no joints, other than the valves. You would then use a valve like this (sized appropriately of course).
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-...vHLFEpJmeb3TaFvPOTf-x862leVO_IvBoCvOYQAvD_BwE

    The same for the backflow
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBi...o-Connect-Check-Valve-U2016-0000LFA/202721920

    Although if that's a pressure regulator also, then look for that.
     
  15. Nov 1, 2018 #15

    Diehard

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    With all due respect, are you looking at the picture showing the item with the black top and some wire wrapped around it? No one else mentioned it because it IS a water meter. Sounds like you think it is a check valve. No way.
    Also that meter is in the basement where many are located depending on the town and water purveyor. You obviously have your meter out in a vault.
    It is common that the home owner is responsible for the water service on their property even when the meter, which is typically the towns, is in the basement of the house.
    Not every location in the USA have the same standards as you may have. Not only each state can vary but cities and towns vary as well.
     
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  16. Nov 1, 2018 #16

    jeffnc

    jeffnc

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    Nope, have never heard of that in the places I've lived. So, they have to get in your home to check your meter? Sounds bananas, but I'll take your word for it :)
     
  17. Nov 1, 2018 #17

    Diehard

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    LOL...It's very common. Of course now and in recent times, the big push is on getting electronic meters that transmit some sort of radio signal, so they can either read your meter by driving by or have it transmitted back to a central location. Mine is wired out the the exterior of the house so that the meter readers can just walk up to it. But it's planned to be updated soon.
     
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  18. Nov 1, 2018 #18

    voletl

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    Even before they had the new smart electronic meters they usually ran a small wire to a plate to the outside of the house someone from the water company could come and simply scan the plate and it would tell everything about your water usage the new meters don't even need that they can simply just log into it and figure out what's going on once again guys things happen different ways in other parts of the country not everything is stuck to your one state or one town
     
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  19. Nov 1, 2018 #19

    CT18

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    They are mostly in houses in cold weather areas. To have a meter vault in front of the house it would have to be below frost and at that depth would be very hard to read.
     
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  20. Nov 1, 2018 #20

    TomFOhio

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    Years ago they use to come in the house and read the water and gas meters. Until they put remote readers in. Where I live you can't
    request a different size meter for a 3/4" line. There all the same size meters. 1/2" IPS spuds. We are responsible for the main water
    line from the curb box to inside the house. That includes the main shut off valve. We are required to have a valve before and after
    the meter.
     
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