I was doing some work yesterday that required I turn off the main water source for the house. I had to repair a few frozen broken pipes and I needed to release the water pressure in the system. I also needed to get as much water out of the pipes as possible. After fiddling with the main water valve for a while (that wouldn’t turn all the way off), I decided that it was time to replace that valve as well. Good thing I bought a few SharkBite ball valves a while back.
Have you ever seen these types of valves? They’re the traditional water valves that are in almost every single house that’s more than 20 years old.
In my opinion, these types of valves are terrible. They almost always never turn off all the way, unless they’re nearly brand new. If there’s any sediment or hard water buildup, say goodbye to clean functionality. I have dealt with many, many of these valves and each time, I’ve wanted to cut them out and throw them through a window. Needless to say, I’m fed up with them.
So what’s the answer to the twist valve? Well, I’ve always had good luck with the ball valve. The only issue I’ve had with them is that they are kind of difficult to solder onto the pipe. For one reason or another, each time I try to install a ball valve, there’s water in the pipe that I just can’t seem to get out. It drips, drips, drips and we all know that water in the pipe screws up a good sweat. I also worry about melting the interior of the valve by applying so much heat for so long.
This is a ball valve I tried to install just last night. There was still a small amount of water in the system and it totally messed me up. I couldn’t even get the pipe hot enough to remove the valve once I gave up on it. I had to cut it off.
I guess the regular ball valve isn’t so hot for all installs. Good thing I had my trusted SharkBite ball valve on hand. This is the second time they’ve saved the day. The first time was when I needed to temporarily cap a few pipes that burst. This time, I just cleaned up the ends of the copper pipe I was working on and slid this sucker over them. Done
I don’t have enough experience with these valves to say how long they last. I read something about the lifespan before leaking to be five years. This was internet talk, so I’m not convinced of its accuracy. I’ll have to find out myself.
Do you have experience with plumbing. What types of valves do you like the best? If one, why?