removing PVC fitting from main gate valve

Hi. I am replacing the main pipe and valve entering the house. The valve is a 1" gate valve made out of brass with screw threads on both ends. One end goes to galvanized pipe running into the house. The other end goes to the PVC water main out to the street. What I was wondering is how risky it is to remove this valve. I am not worried about breaking the iron pipe. If necessary, I can torch it off. The PVC pipe, on the other hand, obviously cannot be broken. Do these have a potential of getting stuck and/or cracking? Is this a risky enough thing so I have to call a pro?
Thanks, Eric
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because you asked, you call a plumber. he's the one who doesn't break the main.
also: did you finish all your inside repiping? did you remember make it drainable to be able to easily winterize the house? did you add all those anti-freeze garden hose valves conveniently around the outside of the house? did you use 3/4" pipe and gate valves throughout the home [despite others advice of 1/2"] to deliver lots of usable water to your showerheads and sinks?
fill up the tub and extra pitchers for water in the house. turn off the buried main water shutoff at the street under the water cover. does it turn off and on? good. you will be replacing your old indoor main gate valve, and for the future use put in a second one leaving several working inches of pipe between the two.
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Hi buffalobill. Thanks for the suggestions. I am thinking of calling a plumber, if only for advice. The interior plumbing is mostly repiped. I will be terminating in a remaining galvanized section, soon to be replaced.
You are correct, the original installation used 1/2" running to the two bathrooms, and there was some advice to go with 1/2" . I installed one section of 1/2" to the washer with many elbows, and the flow rate was awesome. Also, both bathrooms had sufficient flow with the original 1/2". Code in my area allows 1/2". But Hemp's book (awesome!) says use 3/4", so thats what I went with.
As for winterizing, this is a year-around warm area, and it is even allowed by code to run copper pipe along an outside wall. There is no freeze protection anywhere, and the local big box stores do not even sell freezeproof garden hose valves. Vacuum breakers are also not spec'ed, so most stores do not sell them.
I will fill lots of pots full of water. The main shutoff at the street works fine. I had to use it when I broke the PVC main a couple of years ago while replacing a sprinkler gate valve connected to the PVC pipe. It was kind of brittle. That's why I am afraid of the same thing happening here. But there is one difference. The PVC in the current case has a MIP adapter that I can easily get a wrench on. This should relieve a lot of stress on the incoming pipe as I am removing it. But there is little room for error.
Thanks, Eric
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Unless you have a very special valve, you are going to have to cut one pipe just to unthread it. I would cut the PVC since it is easy to cut, get parts for and to repair (usually just some cement and some fittings 1" or 3/4" from the sprinkler parts isle at the hardware store).
Once cut, you can unthread the valve from the house pipe. You may need to use two monkey wrenches, one for the valve and one for the pipe so you don't end up unscrewing the pipe from the other end inside the house. You don't want to cut the threaded pipe unless you are replacing it anyway because you'll have nothing to thread back onto later.
The main risk you have is if your galv pipe is so rusted that you break a fitting further back (causing a leak)while wrenching it. It is very common for that to happen and all you can do is go back and fix the new problem.
You can proabably get it done for $100 to $150 by a 1-800 plumber type of outfit. or buy the tools and parts yourself for $75 (two 14" wrenches)
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PipeDown wrote: ....

Hi PipeDown. Thanks for the reply. The PVC is newer than the galvanized, and I am planning to replace the galvanized with copper. So, I would like to cut the galvanized and unscrew from the PVC. True, there would be nothing to thread to if I cut the galvanized, but I intend to follow it into the basement and unscrew it from the T-reducer that it terminates in. I have plenty of pipe wrenches, crescent wrenches, and monkey wrenches.
Mainly, I was wondering how risky it was to try unscrewing from the pvc fitting (male) going in to the valve. Old PVC can get brittle. There is not much room to cut the PVC and put in a new male thread adapter. It is the style of the installer (lots of fittings and turns, little room for modification). From looking at the houses in the neighborhood, and reading the inscriptions written in the basement, the original galvanized plumbing is 40+ years old, and the PVC from the water meter to the house is a newer renovation (exact date unknown).
Thanks, Eric
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If worse comes to worse, you dig a little to find a good section of PVC and work up from there. The underground section may be in better shape not having been exposed to sunlight. Add a pressure regulator if there is not one already.
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Hi PipeDown. Thanks, this is a great suggestion. I will do this in case of problems.
Eric
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On 18 Oct 2005 10:08:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

By the sounds of things, what you're saying is the pvc water line from the street goes directly to the brass gate valve you want to change out.....Somewhere between your house and the water main in the street is a water meter and a shut off valve Typically found just inside the curb, or in the sidewalk if there is one. turn the water off at the meter, then replace the gate valve (I'd put in a pvc ball valve), and everything else you want to replace, then turn the water back on at the meter.
gofish
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