The old main valve of my house doesn't stop the water flow very
tightly when shut off. I need to install a new main valve. It's on
3/4" copper pipe. I'll install the new valve just over the old one.
The problem is that the old pipe is now more oval in shape than round
and I'm afraid that the joint will leak. I planned to use a
compression fitting, since the old valve, when closed, lets pass
enough water to prevent us using soldering.
Is there a way to get the pipe round again?
If you can get the oval tubing into the compression fitting
socket, then the compression fitting will fix the ovality issue.
If you cannot get the tubing in, then try this; Take a
crescent wrench, not vise grips or pliers or channel locks, and
place it on the pipe where it is round. Tighten the crescent
until it is snug against the pipe. Now remove it and move it to
the end where your compression socket will be and place it on the
narrow part of the oval. Rotate it until it is over the wide
part of the oval and try to insert the tubing into the socket.
This has worked for me many times in the past.
In addition, if your shutoff valve will not stop the flow enough
to allow soldering, why don't you shut off the city valve and
then solder on your new valve?
Thanks for the nice trick Robert!
I think this is the city valve... Well at least it's the first valve I
see that brings cold water into the house. Is there usually supposed
to be a "city valve" outside the house?
If it was the city valve, then you could call the city and they
would replace it. They don't like you working on their stuff.
But since it is in your home, it is not the city valve.
The city valve is going to be out by the street and would be in a
metal or plastic box with a cover. The valve will be right by
the water meter. Turn it off, or have the city come out and turn
it off, but then you will have to call them to have it turned
back on. I always just turn it off myself.
replying to Robert Allison, Reggie wrote:
Robert, you are a life saver. I had all soldered joints behind a tub wall with
only 7" access width. The copper coming up from the lower level had a 20 degree
bend so I cut it in the straightest looking area. The compression nut or sleeve
would not go on. I saw your post and tried it and it was perfectly round
again!!!! I had the whole building water off and this fitting was my shut off
taps. Thank you so much for this post.
This is one of those jobs that can get you in trouble, especially on the
First, I'd not want a compression fitting on my main valve. It may work, it
may not. You already know that a slightly misshapen tube will no solder
correctly. What is the backup plan if you have a problem? Calling the town
to shut of water at the street is not easily done on a weekend, same with
finding a plumber.
Unless you are 100% sure you have a solution, consider paying a plumber. At
least know of one that you can get on short notice. Putting in a valve
"should" be a simple job but . . . . . . .
I have no idea what it is called or even the brand. I see no markings on
mine. It does come in two pieces. One that can fits over the pipe or one
that fits inside the pipe. I have only ever used the part that fits inside
the pipe. I tap it in with a hammer and pull it out with channel locks.
with such a important valve a new 1/4 turn ball valve is likely a good
have a friend who had a similiar problem and didnt want to call the
he had a novel fix, turned off water as best as possible disconnected
water line at meter exit, he put garden hose on meter and watered his
yard while he installed a second valve a couple feet from the meter.
then he reattached the meter line.
it worked fine, although it wouldnt help a meter leak, he feels thats
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