Questions about valves

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ftauss

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Hello everyone, I hope this is the correct forum for this as I am brand new here.

I'm a DIYer, maybe not an expert but not afraid to tackle almost any problem and know to call an expert when I need to. I can handle most problems but now I'm stumped over something that should be simple.

We have a house that was built by a contractor for himself. He also built it in sections so many parts are grafts onto existing areas. As you can imagine he took shortcuts and as the inspector said, "you're in the country now and people sometimes don't always follow code out here".

Not sure how relevant that is but it gives you some background.

Alright, in the garage is an exposed 1/2" pipe. Comes out of the house to a T, one pipe goes underground to barn, that is fine. Other goes along wall to front of garage to spigot on front of garage. This pipe has a "gate valve" close to the T. As you are all aware it got real cold this year and the exposed pipe in the garage froze and burst inculding damaginf the old valve. I want to fix the whole pipe as it's pretty half assed as it is, no support for 20', spigot out front barely works and there's another gate valve inside that is used to regulate the water flow. Don't ask, I don't know why.

It was my intention to simply replace the gate valve for now so I could keep the water on to the barn and keep the garage from getting wet until I got to the rest of the pipe. This is new to me so I did a little research, went down to Lowes and got a soldering kit and an American Valve 1/2" gate valve, solder type. I did what I thought was a decent job of soldering, it looked good and didn't leak from the solder joint, but water was leaking through the valve even when off, not a torrent but enough to be a problem.

After talking to a fella at Lowes I figured maybe I melted the internal seals. So I got another solder valve and a compression fitting valve. I had some trouble soldering the second time (it's in kind of an awkward position) so I put on the compression fitting for now. Guess what? It's leaking through the closed valve! Again it's a drip but it will be a problem if I don't deal with it. For the time being I have a pan under it.

So what's the deal? Do gate valves leak a little for some reason, pressure relief perhaps? Is American Valve not a good company? This is really frustrating, I can solder electrical stuff and I am pretty handy normally but this has got me stumped. Between having trouble soldering the second time (piss poor flow) and the leaks through a closed valve on "new" valve I'm very dismayed! I thought I'd just put a pipe into the other end and cap it off to control the flow, but I'm still having a bit of a problem getting the pipe soldered to the fitting, and frankly I didn't think it should be necessary.

Next I may try a ball valve but can anyone provide some encouraging words? Advice? Product commentary?

Help!

Frank
 

havasu

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Just a guess, but if the pipe had any water inside as you soldered it, you would have to put so much heat on it that you may have fried the guts. How much pressure is in the pipe? Most gate valves I've worked with work flawless, with no leaking. If it is also leaking from the compression fitting valve, maybe a bad batch?
 

majakdragon

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Did you check the packing nut (normally just below the handle) to make sure it is snug? Do this while the valve is in the open position. I gave up using gate valves a long time ago. Ball valves are the way to go. I would solder on a male adapter and then screw whatever type valve you want onto it. It is strange that both valves leaked.
 

Reedwalker

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Since you've had a problem with freezing you may also want to install a "stop-n-waste" ball valve inside the house before it penetrates the garage. This will give you a place to drain, and if that valve leaks a bit when it gets older you'll know you have a problem before it's too late.

It's also been my experience that Lowe's and Home Depot carry valves of a lesser quality than what is available at plumbing supply houses. I am a big fan of Legend.
 
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