water heater install in nc

I need some advice with a gas water heater install. the old water heater is 28years old. I've done weeks of research on how to install it. the only problem I have is the gas valve next to the water heater has bolt going through it. the top of the valve looks like a old valve (1978 house was built) it has a big head on it for a wrench with a nut on the bottom side of it.
I want to replace it but I'm not looking forward to turning all the gas off in the house. any one recommend any problems I may run into if I cut off all the gas into the house. I read up on these forums about failure for the gas to cut back on afte its been turned off.
I have a new pilot-free furnace so no worries there. gas heater is only other gas appliance.
thanks inadvance.
home depot wants 400. for a water heater install and I called a local plumber company and they want 500.00 for the install.
I don't have this much to pay. I want to do the work myself.
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Call the gas compay for an estimate as well. Least likely to rip you off and you know it's done right.
Do you have a water heater yet? If not, may find a decent used one on craigslist.org
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yeap I already have the water heater, saved up for it. will call gas company and see how much they will charge or one of their contacts.
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before getting the gas company involved try turning the shut off valve, might try lubricating it days before.
turning off all the gas is a non event.
just do the tank replacement early in morning, on a day stores are open.
like dont begin at 9pm saturday nite with houseguests coming in the morning.
ideally wait till spring so no gas for a day or two isnt a freezing your butt off in house.
but a minor life experience.
if you have a friendly neighbor you could run a pex line between homes to backfeed their hot water to your home for a day or so.
have friends who did that
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lubrication the gas ball joint with what? wd40, liquid wrench, I don't want to errode the ball joint or use something I'm not suppose too.
thanks for all the supportive responsives,
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flir67 wrote:

You didn't read HERE that turning off the gas supply would create problems. There are no known difficulties to be expected in so doing.
Even if, by some once-in-a-lifetime happenstance, there was a problem in turning the gas back on, the gas company would fix the problem within the hour.
And as long as you have the gas off, put a usable valve on the water heater's supply.
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Agree. The only possible issue is if you open one of the long major lines and let it fill with air, that has to be allowed to bleed out before you can get whatever is at the end of the line lit. Usually that isn't a problem with replacing a water heater on the end of the line. As suggested, after shutting off all the gas, I would replace the valve at the water heater and do that right after disconnecting it to minimze the amount of air that gets into the line.
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With a pilot free furnace and the WH being the only other gas appliance, you have nothing to worry about. Shut the gas off, make the needed repairs. Replace the gas shut off to the WH, one of the new ones.
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*Why do you want to replace the valve next to the water heater?
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A very good question. Leave it in place for now to save $$, but consider replacement if there is a code compliance issue or if you want the convenience a few years from now when the next WH replacement is necessary. Your call.
Joe
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wrote:

Bud, You need to go out to Lowes or Home Depot and take a look around in the water heater section. Hell, to replace a water heater, you dont even need to solder anymore. They have new shut-off valves that use a compression fitting. Then they have flexable braided lines to make up your water connections. Next you get a flexable gas connector and you are set. Now mind you, I dont really like any of those things as I like real copper, soldered fittings and gas pipe fittings to make the job look neat and professional but Ive seen the flexable stuff all over and they DO work. Not really much effort and all you need is a couple wrenches, tubing cutter and teflon tape. Bubba
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It's definately a good idea to relace the gas valve with the newer style ball valve (they're less than $10). The old valve like you have is known as a GREASE PACK valve. It uses a special grease to lubricate and make the final seal between the two ground brass pieces. Over time the grease dries out and can leak.
Please ignore the advise you got to lubricate the valve. You should NEVER oil a gas valve. It dissolves the grease and make it leak even more. If it's hard to turn, that's proof that it needs to be replaced.
As far as problems turning off the gas at the meter and turning it back on again, you run into the same problem since most older gas company valves are also GREASE PACK. However, if you have a small leak when you turn it on, the gas company will fix it for free since it's on their side of the meter.
They loosen the nut, remove a plug and install a grease injector. Then they crank the grease injector to push the old grease out while they rotate the valve several times to work it in. Remove the injector, tighten the nut, install the plug and it's like new.
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