plastic push pull water valve problem

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by rosieniko, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. rosieniko

    rosieniko New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    charleston, sc
    Plastic push pull water valves under residential sinks installed in 2000. Starting this month, the valves (mostly hot water but sometimes cold water) in most used sinks (master bath sink and kitchen sink) will "pop out" in shutoff position for no reason. Push them back in and they may work fine for a week of two and then one or two of them will pop out again. There are no leaks and this is not caused by any interference on our part. Any answers to why before I think about replacing them to avoid a potential leak (if they are acting up this way, I would assume the next step could be leaks).
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The ones I saw were also push onto the pipe sharkbite type. You could try some tape on them or a HD rubber band, but a full on replacement would be a good project. They might not leak but rather blow apart. Better check your water pressure also.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,341
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    These are CRAP valves. Replace them now and be done with them. Most guys prefer the newer 1/4 turn style shutoff valves, but even the older types that require several turns would be better.
  4. rosieniko

    rosieniko New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    charleston, sc
    Thank you for your answer. To my knowledge, and I did check with our local water authority, there are no problems with water pressure variations that could be causing any of this problem. Have you any evidence or experience with these valves actually blowing apart? I intend to replace them--just seems something is wrong and waiting for leaks or major problems does not make any sense. In the interim could taping them in the open position actually exacerbate a "blow out"?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    In my opinion, those valves are "garbage" the day they are installed and just get worse as time passes. They were used by "plumbers" who wanted to do the job as cheaply and fast as possible.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,948
    Location:
    New England
    Some of those valves had an integrated supply line to the faucet. They were very quick (and cheap) to install. Their gripper teeth may scratch the pipe enough when removing that a compression valve may have problems, then again, maybe not. If there's enough stubout, you might be able to cut the scratched/gouged part off. Don't know if they're removeable like the Sharkbite fittings (those work by pushing on the collar, which retracts the teeth so it can be removed).
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,341
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Most plumbers prefer compression valves over soldered, but either will be a great improvement over what you have. Sharkbites may or may not be reliable over the long haul. I would opt for the compression because they are quick and easy to install plus they have proven long term reliability.
  8. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    I dont know a single plumber who even uses compression, much less prefers them .. Not trying to be argumentative, I'm just saying. IMHO If you CAN solder then you SHOULD solder.
    Agreed with everyone who says those shutoffs are crap. Around here we find those only in mobile homes or in the bottom of the barrel tract builder houses.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    You would be hard pressed to find a soldered angle stop around San Diego. They were never used by any major builder, and plumbers of every ilk....from handyman to the 50 truck guys, use compression stops all day long.
  10. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    You mean your area is loaded with those cheap plastic push pull things?.. Here we have mostly a mix of directly crimped pex stops or soldered stops. In all my construction I preferred to use copper stubouts and solder on stops and do pex conversion in the wall. it looks better and provides more ridged support for the stop.
    Our local supply house tried for awhile to push those crappy stops on us but no plumbers around here were willing to take the risk on such cheap stuff.
  11. rosieniko

    rosieniko New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    charleston, sc
    Outside of the fact that these plastic push pull valves are garbage and cheap, is there a specific reason why they would occasionally "pop out" and close the water line?
  12. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    NO. theres no specific reason, heres several possibilities, off the top of my head.. Over pressure.. Ya got a PRV? is it working? is it adjusted properly?.. Have ya got a bladder tank? is it working properly? any possibility that water heater set or stuck way high? Maybe these valves are imitating hammer arrestors when some other water valve closes quickly??

    Maybe..... now I know this might sound crazy, the valve itself is worn out, defective, broken?

    And yes, it could be that its just cheap crap to begin with. You can check all that stuff I mentioned just to be sure none of those things are issues, and if all that stuff is ok You can live with it, or change em out, they arent repairable.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,948
    Location:
    New England
    The guts are a piston that gets pushed into a hole to close off the water flow. It's (I think) concentric, so if the friction that's holding in in the closed position is decreased (say a worn o-ring, or wear), line pressure can push it back out. It's a poor design.

    I've heard that some shower valves that used push/pull to turn on/off had the same problem if they were greased up too much...not enough tension to hold them in the off position, and they'd mysteriously turn on by themselves. WHen they get old, the mineral deposits often made them really hard to turn on or off, but when new...
  14. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sure there is......water hammer. Water hammer can spike several hundred pounds of pressure when fast closing valve turns off. Such as washing machines,ice makers, Hose faucet with a sprayer attached and released quickly.......ballvalves that are quickly shut by hand.....etc etc.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I dont know a single plumber who even uses compression, much less prefers them .. Not trying to be argumentative, I'm just saying. IMHO If you CAN solder then you SHOULD solder.

    You must not know many plumbers or they are all union members who prefer to do things the "slow way" so they get paid more for the job. I have been using compression angle valves for the past 50 years, and have only used soldered ones a couple of times. They are NOT the slide on plastic ones, however. Since the valves close by pulling the handle out, the water pressure is ALWAYS trying to close them and if the mechanism becomes "loose" enough it will happen.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Maine
    HJ, I think it may be a regional thing. I almost never see compression stops here and only one out of six supply houses even has them on the shelf.
  17. liquidplumber

    liquidplumber In the Trades

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Gastonia NC
    My quote..... I dont know a single plumber who even uses compression, much less prefers them .. Not trying to be argumentative, I'm just saying. IMHO If you CAN solder then you SHOULD solder.

    your quote....You must not know many plumbers or they are all union members who prefer to do things the "slow way" so they get paid more for the job.

    On the contrary, this is the south, we are not unionized here so theres no such thing as a union plumber. and I know plenty of plumbers... Most of them are small business owners with 5 or less employees. I had 15 (until the recession) and I am more than familiar with the 2 biggest companies in the area (100 plus employees before recession) and what they install. pex crimp or solder is what they ALL do. To be honest, I cant remember the last time I saw a compression stop at my local supply house, and Ive only ever seen a few of them in service in the field. Again, not trying to be argumentative, just answering to your comment. I guess its just the difference in style from one region to the next. And it may be true that compression can be done a little faster than solder, but when your good at it and do it everyday, solder is plenty quick enuff. I really cant imagine that installing a dozen stops in an average new construction house you could save any more than a few minutes in a day..... if that
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