Thanks to information from this group, I had installed a gravity powered
recirculating loop in my hot water line, with a brass check valve
(flapper type) to prevent backflow. It worked very well for years, but
now the check valve appears to be stuck in the closed position,
preventing circulation, and we have to wait for hot water again.
Is there a good way to fix this valve, short of replacing it? It has a
cap on top, but apparently they put that on at the factory so tightly
that it cannot be removed. I tried some gentle tapping, then some more
vigorous tapping, but that didn't help. I thought of applying heat, but
I don't want to undo the soldering.
Investigate changing it using Shark Bites. You will not have to undo the
soldering, use any heat, and the Sharkbites work well. You may have to
sweat nipples into the valve first, or buy nipples threaded on one end to
avoid any sweating on the valve. Make your cuts on the pipe very clean,
square and true. If you can get to it with a copper tubing cutter, come
down on it very very slowly, giving each tightening a few turns of the
cutter afterwards to insure it has cut to its maximum depth. Crunching too
far at one time causes deformation or crushing, and then the Shark Bites
When you do the post mortem on the valve, you will probably see that it is
so gunged up that there is nothing other to do than to replace it.
Please let me rewrite this. When using a tubing cutter, of the kind that
has a wheel you tighten to make the blade come in contact with the tubing, I
meant to write COME DOWN VERY SLOWLY ON THE WHEEL THAT MAKES THE CUTTER
BLADE ADVANCE. Get the cutter on the tubing, and tighten it only tight
enough to make contact. Then tighten it about half a turn and swing the
cutter around about three times in a three sixty. Avoid the impulse to give
it any back and forth action, but make complete circles. When you feel the
resistance fade, the blade has cut as deep as it is going to. Then tighten
up the cutter again just to snug, and repeat with three or four full turns,
feeling for when it has cut its maximum depth. Repeat this until it cuts,
avoiding the impulse to increase the number of turns on the cutting blade
tightener when you think it is about to finish cutting. LET IT CUT UNTIL
FINISHED, DOING JUST A LITTLE AT A TIME. Whether you are using Shark bites,
compression fittings, sweating, whatever, you will end up with a piece of
pipe that will fit better, and need minimal inside reaming or cleaning. Do
it slowly, just a little at a time.
There, that's better.
It is a brand name for slip on fittings that work like a quick connect on an
air hose. I have used them, particularly for a dangerous hard to reach
place for sweating in a new piece of burst pipe. They work, and are a cinch
to take off. If you can measure and cut straight, they are great. They are
spendy, and best for use where it is really hard to get to, or there's a
fire hazard. So far no one here has reported a failure that I know of?
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