Ball valves in pvc pipe

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Treeman, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. Treeman

    Treeman New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    MI
    I read that it is wrong to use a metal ball valve with pvc pipe and fittings? Why? Is it against code?

    What are good quality plastic ball valves?

    Finally, Apollo has their pipe master universal ball valve that indicates it has a pvc adapter. Any thoughts on this? http://www.apollovalves.com/_products/69bv/SS_69BV_1124.pdf

    Thanks for the help.
  2. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    I installed ball valves in all kinds and sizes of pvc pipe for over 30 years ! !

    Whats the problem ? ?
  3. Garydaplummer

    Garydaplummer Union plumber/pipefitter-self employed

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I always use brass ball valves with PVC. Over the years I've found PVC ball valves to become hard to open and close after being installed for a while. Probably the biggest thing to realize when installing a brass threaded valve onto PVC threads is that it is easy to cross thread the valve onto the PVC. The brass threads will cut their own path into the much softer PVC threads.
  4. Treeman

    Treeman New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    MI
    Thank you for the responses. I e-mailed Apollo and asked why they, specifically, recommended not using plastic pipe with their metallic ball valves....... "it is poor practice and never recommended to use plastic pipe and fittings with metallic valves since thermal expansion, external forces or other situations can cause breakage or leaking at or near the joint"

    Their response was "Most design codes recommend using similar piping and valve materials. For instance, stainless steel valves are generally used in stainless steel piping systems. It is not uncommon to use plastic piping with metallic valves, but this practice is not acceptable to most design codes. This is mainly due to the differences in pressure ratings and corrosion resistance."

    So, the manufacturer says its not code to do this, but you guys say it is o.k.. I don't understand the divergence of their recommendation vs. the real world. Is it against code to do this, and more important, are there breakage problems.
  5. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Even if it is bad practice, I think it is not specifically "against code" in the way you might be thinking. As I understand things, "design codes" are related to what is considered acceptable to engineers or to the people hiring them to do design and specification work, but "plumbing codes" are what the inspector has in his or her National Plumbing Code book.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    YOu have to understand that engineers often live in an ivory tower with rose colored windows and they have little concept of real world conditions.
  7. Treeman

    Treeman New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    MI
    Thanks everyone. hj, twice!
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes. They want materials to match, but the inspector ends up accepting whatever the plumber had on hand that day and works as long as it is "to code", eh?!
  9. Garydaplummer

    Garydaplummer Union plumber/pipefitter-self employed

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    "thermal expansion, external forces or other situations can cause breakage or leaking at or near the joint"
    I've personally never had this happen in my 25+ years in the trade and I've used brass ball valves with PVC and CPVC male adapters almost all the time. I don't expect I'll change this "poor practice" anytime soon. It's interesting to see Apollo's response to this.
  10. Garydaplummer

    Garydaplummer Union plumber/pipefitter-self employed

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    hj it's the old case of the dreamers and the doers. The engineers use all their books, charts, and tables to dream it up but it's up to us in the field to make it really happen.
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