Water Main Valve Replacement

Prior to starting any projects on the shop I did a very complete walk through of the building, taking pictures of everything that was exceptional in style or interest, and of everything that needed immediate attention for repairs. Dad had made me aware of one project that had been on his mind and it was located down the end of this long dark tunnel. First of all it isnít a tunnel but a corridor of sorts that divides the finished retail space from the backroom of the shop. But it is dark and narrow passageway that leads to the gas and water meters.

Work at the end of a long dark tunnel

As dad reported to me very early on, some years ago he had reason to shut off the water at the meter to do some repairs on the restroom facility. When he turned the valve back on it leaked around the packing nut so he carefully tightened the nut. Unfortunately the brass was brittle and snapped the packing nut and produced a larger leak. It was Saturday afternoon and none of the plumbers were working so he repaired it by clamping the nut together with a small hose clamp. It held and stopped the leak and was not all together forgotten, but at least was not a crucial repair item. With the restroom renovation project coming I decided to install a new valve before the weather got bad. I had the city shut off the water at the outdoor connection and replaced the old washer style valve with a new ball valve.

Existing water main valve

I finished the project in short order and the water was back on. I made one error in the process, I should have removed some of the floor sheathing to investigate the path that this water line took once it passed through the floor. In January of 2007, just three months later, I received a call from dad reporting that this water main had frozen. So I returned to remove the floorboards, install a heat tape, and better pipe insulation to prevent this from happening again.

Valve replaced and cleaned up

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