gate valve, tar below, need to replace and add new

fenstonMarch 8, 2012

Buying a new house - here is a link to the water entering the home thru the slab from the curb.

This is 3/4" plumbing. Have a 3/4" Jet Swet also to aid in repair.

Question - anyone know what is up with the tar? Is this a known repair strategy or just the previous home owner being creative?

I was thinking of just leaving the gate valve in place fully open and using the Jet Swet to solder a ball valve on top and then add a regulator. Possibly the path of least resistance vs disturbing the tar.

Any thoughts/tips appreciated.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Photobucket couldn't get your link to work.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, gardenweb messed up the link, please try this and TIA!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When you say you are buying a new house, I suspect that the house will be new to you, but not necessarily meaning that the house itself is new.

When you say you are installing a regulator I presume that you mean you are installing a PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve). If that is the case my first question to you would be why?

If the water pressure exceeds 85psi or is likely to even periodically spike above 85psi you are required to install a PRV,but if the pressure is less than 85psi there is no need to do so.

Now in regards to the tar. Whenever a pipe is passed through a masonry wall or floor the code requires that we sleeve the pipe. To make a sleeve a short length of pipe at least two nominal trade sizes larger than the desired pipe is first passed through the masonry material so that the sleeve extends at least 1/2" on either side of the masonry material; then the desired pipe is passed through the sleeve. (In some jurisdictions they will allow just making a hole through the masonry material equal to the OD of a pipe two nominal trade sizes larger).

Per code the sleeve may be put in the wall during initial construction and cast into the concrete or in the case of brick or block construction it may be sealed into the wall with mortar, hydraulic cement, tar, pitch or what is commonly used today, expansion foam.

After the desired pipe is passed through the sleeve it must also be sealed water tight, but you may not use any cement, mortar or other lime bearing material in direct contact with the pipe because the lime would cause severe corrosion to the pipe. Instead, the space between the exterior wall of the desired pipe and the interior wall of the sleeve is to be sealed using pitch, tar or what is commonly used today, expansion foam.

Having examined your photos I would be incomplete agreement with your proposed plan. First make sure the existing valve is fully opened then you may install a new valve at any convenient point within the near proximity on the house side of that valve. (Most codes will limit the location of the house main shutoff valve to within 6' of the point where the line enters the house).

While it is common practice to use spray type expansion foam today, the code does still permit the use of tar or pitch.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much lazypup! Yes, it is a new house to me built in 1980. According to my inspection report the water pressure is between 100 and 110 which is why I want to add the pressure regulator. Also want to add a tap point for a water softener.

Thank you for putting my fears to rest! I thought this was some type of stop leak or something!!!

But this does look like a sloppy "pitch" job. The pitch should not be slobbered all over the bottom of that gate valve, right? It should only touch the pipe leaving the cement I would think so you could easily replace the valve if needed.

Anyhow, ball valve on top of gate valve and then pressure regulator, then water softener and then back into the main lines throughout the house. Good deal.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"But this does look like a sloppy "pitch" job."

You are correct, however Tar is an extremely messy material to work with and lets be honest here, filling a hole with tar is not rocket science..

Generally this is one of those nasty jobs that gets delegated to a new first year apprentice, along with digging trenches, carrying materials and cleaning up the jobsite. With experience they generally get more precise about how the tar is applied, but even when they are a bit overzealous like your job, the excess does absolutely no harm.

You should also be aware that a PRV has an internal backflow preventer so when we install a PRV we must also install an expansion tank on the cold water supply line in the near proximity to the water heater.

Also, check the specs on your PRV. Most of them have a large nut on the underside that looks as if it is connected at a 45deg angle to the line of the valve body. That nut is connected to an internal sediment screen that prevents any sand or sediments in the water supply from getting into the valve. The valve should be positioned so that you can easily remove that nut & the sediment screen for cleaning.

Quite often we see posts here on the forum where homeowners are asking about tightening the tension bolt on the top of the PRV diaphram because they are getting low water pressure. The pressure diaphram is factory preset and under normal circumstances should not require any adjustments, whereas in the course of time if your pressure does seem to drop below normal the correct place to start is to remove that sediment screen and clean it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fair enough on the tar issue.

I have to do a lot of work in the water heater area so will install the expansion tank then. The house has an old solar water heater I have to remove so after that is gone I will have plenty of room to work.

Question on the expansion tank. So lets say I get a PRV and set the pressure to 60PSI. I go pick up an expansion tank that is "pre pressurized" and sized for a 50 gallon water heater (which is what we have at the new location).

Just did a quick read and looks like I have to set the pressure on this tank to match the PRV pressure setting. Pretty sure I can do this with my air compressor ... I have never worked with one of these expansion tanks before but assuming the valve I see in the pictures online is the same type as would be found in a car tire, right?

Thanks for all your help ... this is great.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Question: does your water company have a PRV already located at the meter? Some do, some (like mine) do not.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not sure. Have to check that the next time I go out to the property, still in the process of closing. Want to check the meter anyway to see if there is some type of key I need to turn the water off - I don't think so as my other home does not require any special tool so will have to check. If I see a PRV there I will complain to the city to fix the problem. However, I don't see any harm in having multiple PRVs in the chain or is there something I'm missing here?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With some extremely rare exceptions generally the water companies DO NOT supply PRV's

Whenever we apply for a new water service we have to submit a rough site plan for the building lot.

The water company will then determine where they intend to make the tap into the municipal main and they will give us the location where they will put the curb stop valve.
They will also inform us where they want the meter installed and the "Fitting Allowance" & type of fittings for the meter.

The property owner is then responsible for installing all pipe from the curb stop to the structure. At the meter location we leave a section of the pipe out equal to the length of the fitting allowance specified by the water supplier, and we attach the proper fitting on both ends of the line at the open section. Some require MIP while others may require FIP or Meter couplings on the ends of the property owners line.

In warmer climates they may want the meter to be put in a ground vault, while in colder climates the meters must be placed inside the climate controlled portion of the structure.

After the property owner has installed the water supply line the municipal water supplier will send an installation crew to make final connection. They will install a saddle valve on the municipal main and tap the main, then they install a short length of pipe from the tap to the curb stop location, install the curb stop and connect it to the open end of the property owners supply line.

They will then go to the meter location and install the meter. (That is the total of thier obligation)

In the past when the meter was installed inside the structure the property owner had to allow a meter reader to come in once a month and read the meter, but today nearly all meters have a sending unit attached to the meter so it can be read from a remote location. Some have a small round device on the exterior of the building where the meter reader touches his hand held reader to the remote and it reads automatically. Some, such as here where I live, they install a small wireless RF unit on the exterior of the house and the meter reader simply drives by in a pickup at about 10-15mph and their computer wirelessly reads the meters, while in some newer locations they have a sending device which is attached to the house telephone wires and they read the meters from a computer at the water companies billing office.
If you need a PRV or boost pump, generally that is the property owners responsibility to install and maintain it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:59PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
fleck fusion high flow metered water softener
Our Culligan has died and we aint too heartbroken about...
Improving water pressure to outside spigot
I would like to improve the pressure and flow rate...
how to turn off dual water handle on kitchen valves
I need to turn off water to kitchen sink. We have...
Doable...European sink & US bathroom pop-up drain and faucet?
if I purchase a small Belfast sink fron England to...
Fleck 9100 SXT Programming/Settings
I am finally installing my new Fleck 9100 SXT!!! Thanks...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™