Nibco Classic stop valves (modern version)

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Wet_Boots, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    yet another Me and My Big Mouth event - a copper line circling an old house has a drain on it, in the form of a stop valve with a bad leak from a failed washer

    "No problem," I say, "It's a Nibco Classic, and I carry replacement washers for those."

    Famous last words. The bonnet on this stop valve won't come off. At least the homeowner wasn't watching my comeuppance. And all the while, I'm looking at the words on the handle. Nibco Classic - Lifetime Guarantee (and it's true - for the rest of my life, I guarantee I'll never trust that a Nibco stop valve is repairable like they used to be)

    But what's the deal with small valves being unserviceable? It was bad enough to see un-removeable bonnets on the imported boiler drains we had soldered in place, instead of threading them into a fitting, but on a "lifetime guaranteed" Nibco Classic? It's just wrong.

    If the kind of thinking behind these unrepairable stop valves is infecting the rest of the home plumbing products being offered today, my sincere condolences to all plumbers.
     
  2. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valve

    A wrench and a hammer is all I have ever needed to separate the bonnet from a valve body.
     
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  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    Hammers didn't even enter into the picture on the old Nibco stops. No extreme force ever needed. Same deal with Lee (Phelps Dodge) stop valves. Nibco and Lee were the major players in our area, and anyone who was anyone had the 3/8L replacement washers in quantity. The idea that you should be hammering at plumbing to change a washer is ludicrous, when it is so easy to spin off a bonnet on a well-made stop valve.

    I know standards have been slipping, but geez, how much money is Nibco actually saving by abandoning their original repairable designs? They aren't going to underprice whatever is coming in from China, even with their own manufacturing moved to Mexico. I can begin to see why that one little niche company in California, Arrowhead Brass, is making a go of it with their own old-style products, including ten-dollar stop valves.

    In any event, hammering in a crawl space at a stop valve teeing off from 1/2-inch copper attached none too strongly to a brick foundation that was ready to crumble like chalk just wasn't on the menu, not when I can replace it with a C x F elbow and a boiler drain.
     
  5. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valve

    If you are still using and repairing "stop valves", actually globe valves, you are an anomaly in the industry, and should be in a museum next to the dinosaurs.
     
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    You'll find me next to the guy who believes the tire shop isn't supposed to tighten the lug nuts so much that a guy can't change a flat.
     
  7. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    lug nuts

    Isn't he the guy I see on the road after his tire came off and beat him to the next corner?
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    Hammers and old plumbing = bad ju-ju
     

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