3/4" water main meter valves

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the water company is coming out to replace their old meter. I think I will replace the valves that leak when turned off at the same time.
I have two, one coming from the water "main" and one right after the meter.
Here's the one from the "main"
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http://i38.tinypic.com/29le0cg.jpg

or http://tinypic.com/r/29le0cg/4
and here's the one from the meter:
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http://i33.tinypic.com/35lrin7.jpg

or http://tinypic.com/r/35lrin7/4
I was hoping to get some advice on what would be a "lifetime" replacement valve?
And also, these looked like threaded valves. So maybe some "pipe dope" is appropriate?
The water company will NOT replace anything other than the meter. I already asked. But, the valves can only be replaced once the water at the street is turned off.
I need to able to have all the tools and hardware to do the "job". This is where I come for advice.
Please let me know if these photos don't show. Basically it's 3/4" copper valves taking up about 2 1/4" of pipe length. And it looks threaded on both sides. So, that would be the "standard" thread?
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On Tue, 24 Aug 2010 08:57:39 -0400, ng_reader wrote:

Visit a hardware store and find out if they carry a new packing nut and packing for the valve. You don't need to replace the entire valve body if you just have a stem leak. Or you may just need to tighten the packing nut a little if you haven't done so.
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It does not look like you have room to spin new ones on? Looks to me like the baseboard heat is going to be in the way. Unless you remove the core. Drunk Jeff is right, usually a slight turn on the top is all it takes to stop these valves from leaking around the stem when the are closed. Or replacing the packing at the top. I find that after aging most of them leak around the stem when closed so I don't bother fixing them. By the time I need to close them again they have started leaking anyway.
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wrote Re 3/4" water main meter valves:

I would use a 3/4" brass ball-valve, something like this <http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200395426_200395426>
--
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I agree, for infrequent operation the ball valves are less likely to leak with age. Plus they have much less restriction than other types. But in his case I'd just try tightening the stem caps a bit first.
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The valve the OP has, is what's called a "globe" valve. The design of the valve isn't very good, the water has to make two right angle turns. If I remember from my old days, the valve is equivilant reistance, the same as 70 feet of pipe. The ball valve you picture has much less water flow resistance.
I'm with you, sir. The ball valve is the way to go.
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On 8/24/2010 12:10 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I cannot detect any problem with water pressure. Not like London where you have to put the tank on the roof so gravity is what drives pressure.
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If you are satisfied, that's what counts. I hope the water meter people are cooperative, and let you swap out the valve. That would be very friendly of them.
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On Tue, 24 Aug 2010 12:10:53 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

SharkBite Ball Valves
Anybody? Once, twice, sold.
http://www.sharkbiteplumbing.com/fittings/valves/ball-valves
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On 8/24/2010 4:00 PM, Oren wrote:

that'd be real fine if he were working on something he could use them on.
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On 8/24/2010 7:57 AM, ng_reader wrote:

NOW, to answer your question, since no one else did. Yes, you'll need some pipe dope, and as for the valves, get you some good brass and stainless ball valves. Lifetime? who's? But the ball valves will outlast you if that's what you mean. Are the water meter guys gonna be willing for you to jack around with this when they can probably pop that new meter in there in about 5 minutes?
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As to the pipe dope. Please buy some good name brand white teflon tape, and a wire bush also. While the threads are exposed, wire brush them till they are clean. Wrap the male (threads on the outside) threads with two or three wraps of teflon tape. Pull the tape to break it off. Then, coat the teflon with Rectorseal #5 non hardening. Wrench the new valve on, and don't bother to wipe off the excess rectorseal.
The water meter guys may wait around -- they get paid by the hour.
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ng_reader wrote:

The consensus I've seen here would lean toward ball valves. I used "full flow" valves, which seem to have a larger passage.
You'll probably need a short chunk of spare pipe, torch, and the appropriate fittings, and pipe dope, plus tube cutter, wrenches, solder and flux. I've recently started using both pipe dope and teflon tape, and have had better results with that.
You might want to just learn how to turn off the water at the street, so you can work at your convenience. Chances are, the new meter fits exactly, so they probably don't take long to do the job.
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On 8/24/2010 11:37 AM, Bob F wrote:

Aye you are prolly right about the meter guys. It's true, the valves don't leak when open. So, maybe a repack is in order. A youtube video just had some guy wind teflon tape around underneath the nut. This, I presume, took the place of some kind of graphite wire that I'd seen on another youtube video. I have tons of tape, maybe I'll use the yellow gas tape as it's a little thicker.
The meter guys is coming on a saturday, so, I don't know how "rush rush" it could be.
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ng_reader wrote:

Just watch to make sure you can turn off the water at the street.
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-snip-

My meter just got replaced a month ago. The old one was 45years old according to the guy who changed it. The girl who made the appointment said to allow 30 minutes- 15 without water. He laughed.
It was closer to 8 minutes in the basement- including conversations--and we were without water for less than 5.
He didn't shut the water off at the street. When I told him the valve needed packing the last 3 times I used it, he grimaced & said he might get wet.
[turns out finally got the packing right and it was fine this time]
Our entire town just had the meters done by an out-of-town firm that does nothing but change meters- YMMV- but my guy would not have taken an extra 5 minutes.
Jim
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On 8/25/2010 7:53 AM, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Well clearly if the water doesn't get shut off at the street, I'm hosed. Pun intended.
+++
But, the powers of persuasion can be powerful, and I'd betcha he comes with that "key" to close the valve at the street.
Legally, this guy is setting foot inside my house. I think that provides me just a tad more leverage than if the service were done outside or at the street....
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ng_reader wrote:

I wouldn't bet on "leverage" on the person who changes the meter. As others have said, they want to get in and out in minimum time.
There is no reason to shut off the water at the street to change the meter. That is what the valves on each side of the meter are for.
If you want the water off to change the valves, I suggest calling the water utility to find out how to arrange them turning the water off at the street. Note that the meter has a 'seal' that will be broken if you remove the meter. They will probably want to inspect the seal before they turn off the water and install a new one after.
--
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On 8/25/2010 8:45 AM, ng_reader wrote:

Sure, but he is likely allocated 10 minutes for the job and needs to do 20 more meter swaps that day. If you need to do maintenance why not coordinate it with the utility?

When you signed up for service you granted the utility the explicit right to maintain their equipment.
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Ummm... Nope, no leverage at all... They are there under the authority of the water department...
The only thing you could do is refuse the upgrade, however that would likely get you hit with a fine and then having to pay to have them do it sometime in the near future...
~~ Evan
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