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Home Water Cut-off Valve Lubrication and Maintenance

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 27th, 2021 12:03 pm
[OP]
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton

Home Water Cut-off Valve Lubrication and Maintenance

Now that we're getting into Spring, it's time to turn back on the outside water.

My house has those gate valves, and I've been trying to figure out if there is anything I have to do to maintain these valves and / or lubricate the gate valve stems.

Question: How do I lubricate or otherwise maintain these kinds of valves? Should I grease them or spray the stem with silicone or something? WD-40?

Gate valve image:

gate-valve.jpg

Note: I hate gate valves, and I'm planning to get some of them replaced with more robust ball valves.
- casual gastronomist -
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Jun 12, 2007
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No, residential houses use globe valves . You can replace them with ball valves

Image

Image

Gate valves are for industrial applications
[OP]
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Aug 18, 2005
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l69norm wrote: No, residential houses use globe valves . You can replace them with ball valves

Image

Image

Gate valves are for industrial applications
Thanks for the clarification. I want to replace these Globe valves eventually, but in the mean time, is there some maintenance or lubrication procedure?
- casual gastronomist -
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Feb 25, 2003
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Vancouver
To maintain these valves, you'll need to open them up and replace the seals. That is if you can find such seal kit to buy. On top of that, depending on how old they are, you are risking complete failure by touching them.

Replace them with ball valves and move on.
Deal Addict
Mar 14, 2004
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North Etobicoke
Nothing much other than opening it up. You can try spraying a bit of oil or lube on the stem. Buy your ball valves, turn off the globe valves, install ball valves. Say a prayer while opening back up the globe valves.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2006
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Toronto
How would one replace globe valve with ball valve on the main water valve ?
[OP]
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Aug 18, 2005
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krypton wrote: How would one replace globe valve with ball valve on the main water valve ?
You hire a plumber.
Actually I'm planning to do this. I have a globe valve before the water meter. I'll get the ball valve installed after the water meter.
- casual gastronomist -
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Mar 13, 2004
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We have the same thing and I believe the key is to use it every so often so it does not go bad, that means fully opening and closing it a few times a year. If you do not use them they will fail sooner. Spraying anything in or on them is not going to do anything & if you spray the wrong thing it could actually damage the rubber seals.
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Jul 5, 2005
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I had Frost free shut offs installed when I had my basement finished.
Newbie
Sep 28, 2012
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My outdoor faucet has a small leak, but I decided to wait until the Home Depots back open before messing with it.
You don't want to find that you need parts, but it will take you 2 days to get them due to slow store pick up emails.
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2013
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Oshawa, Ontario
Keep in mind if this is the main shutoff to the house, you need the local water utility to shutoff the water at the curbstop valve.

I personally wouldn't touch your valve until you are ready to replace it with a ball valve. The seal can disintegrate.
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Aug 2, 2001
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krypton wrote: How would one replace globe valve with ball valve on the main water valve ?
You contact your utility to turn off your water at the curb. This turns off all water to your house. You then replace the globe valve with a ball valve. Then you have the city turn the water back on. You then verify there are no leaks.

Generally this is done by a plumber and the utility may charge you for coming out. You want to make sure you have someone experienced with soldering do this because it is a large diameter pipe and if it fails on you, you have to get the utility out to stop it (which takes time). At least if something inside your house fails you have this shut off.
[OP]
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Shaidin wrote: I personally wouldn't touch your valve until you are ready to replace it with a ball valve. The seal can disintegrate.
The real question is why it is even permitted for any builder to put in globe valves to begin with...
- casual gastronomist -
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May 2, 2006
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Sigh, my anxiety levels just went up. I had my basement finished a couple of years back and the contractor added a valve in my utility room to shut off the water to the outside faucet. This way he could drywall over the original valve and I wouldn't need an access panel in the wall to turn it on and off. So he must of left the valve in the wall fully open as i now control the water from the new valve in the utility room.

After reading this thread, if the valve behind the wall is not being turned on/off, will it break or disintegrate? Last thing i want is a leak back there. Confused Face
[OP]
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Corinthein wrote: Sigh, my anxiety levels just went up. I had my basement finished a couple of years back and the contractor added a valve in my utility room to shut off the water to the outside faucet. This way he could drywall over the original valve and I wouldn't need an access panel in the wall to turn it on and off. So he must of left the valve in the wall fully open as i now control the water from the new valve in the utility room.

After reading this thread, if the valve behind the wall is not being turned on/off, will it break or disintegrate? Last thing i want is a leak back there. Confused Face
When people are talking about valves "failing" from not being used, the result is not a leak or flood in your home. The result is the valve can no longer be open or closed. Or when it's closed, it "leaks" and water is still getting through, inside the pipe.
Last edited by Jucius Maximus on Apr 26th, 2021 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
- casual gastronomist -
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Feb 9, 2006
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Brampton
The best maintenance is preventative. Prevent issues with these valves by just replacing them all with ball valves.

Almost Every POS globe valve in my house has been replaced, either because it's leaking or I was working on something controlled by it. I just shut off the main, replace the valve first, then water back on to the house and work on what i need to work on testing the new valves ability to control the water in the process.
I got lucky, with my main's replacement. They were replacing water meters in my area. So I bought a new ball valve and just asked the guy doing the work nicely if he could help me out (if offered money for his troubles he declined but took the coffee). He popped the old one off and the new one on in like 10 mins.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
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The last time I shut the water off, I installed a ball valve just after the old globe valve and will be using the new ball valve as the shut off and not touching the globe valve unless work is being done by the city (ie replacing a water main) and then I'll get that one replaced.
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Sep 13, 2016
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craftsman wrote: The last time I shut the water off, I installed a ball valve just after the old globe valve and will be using the new ball valve as the shut off and not touching the globe valve unless work is being done by the city (ie replacing a water main) and then I'll get that one replaced.
I did the same thing. Was getting kitchen redone and installers needed to turn off water for some time. Took the risk to turn off the main shut off. I had kept a compression ball valve just for this occassion. Quickly made a cut and added ball valve after main shutoff. Now this is the valve I use to turn water off . I want to add one more ball valve just after this which I will use to attach an auto shut off device.
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IndyBeak wrote: I want to add one more ball valve just after this which I will use to attach an auto shut off device.
Which other auto-shutoff device are you considering? Moen flo? Having been through a home flooding at a previous home, I am also very interested in such devices.
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Jucius Maximus wrote: Which other auto-shutoff device are you considering? Moen flo? Having been through a home flooding at a previous home, I am also very interested in such devices.
Either Dome or Econet shut off. I already have a home automation setup built on Zwave and Zigbee devices. These two companies have decently rated shut off valves. Moen flo is good as well but it is almost 700$ and a proprietary wifi device which I want to avoid.

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