Replacing Water Main Shutoff and PRV

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by AHutton1972, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. AHutton1972

    AHutton1972 New Member

    Jul 4, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Hi. I live in a 44 year old house and have this problem on my hands:


    This is where the water enters my house in the basement. I live in an unincorporated county so I own everything from my house to the water main in the street except for the water meter you see here. The water meter is owned by the water company. I also own the curb stop out in my front yard.


    The shutoff valve does not work.


    And the PRV is leaking. There is also a leaky silcock connected just above all of this. I figure this whole deal needs to be replaced minus the water meter. I have several questions as to the ideal/proper setup of all of this.

    1.) What type of PRV should be used to replace this one? I am not sure of the pressure before the valve but I have measured the pressure from my water heater outlet to be about 80 psi.

    2.) When replacing the PRV I have read that placing a union somewhere in this setup is a good idea so that it can be easily replaced next time the PRV fails. Where would it go? Above, below, both?

    3.) Is it okay to replace the main water shutoff with a ball valve? Is this preferable?

    4.) Would it be advantageous to have pressure dials installed before and after the PRV?

    4.) When is a check valve required?

    I had a plumber out to look at this and he gave me a quote of 600 to repack the valve, replace the PRV and silcock. Because the valve does not work he tried to turn the curb stop but could not do it. We agreed that I would dig down to the valve which is about 5 feet below grade. I have gone about half that and have been able to shopvac most of the debris (broken pieces of cast iron pipe?, and old pentagon bolts). I can clearly see the valve now and it looks as if his key will fit on it perfectly now.

    5.) What are the chances the valve won't budge or will break when he tries to turn it? It's probably 44 years old and hasn't been turned off ever.

    Thank you all for your help,
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Dec 15, 2007
    Service Plumber
    A Watts 25AUB-Z3 is what I typically use.

    The Watts 25AUB-Z3 has a union built into it on one end.

    A full port ball valve would be my preference.

    Not really a PRV is typically a set it and forget it device. A pressure gauge that screws onto a hose bibb is used for setting the pressure and troubleshooting pressure problems.

    If a check valve is required the water company will install a new meter that has one built into it.

    Flip a coin leaning towards it will break since the plumber already tried to turn it and couldn't.
    Thats why he had you dig so he can be ready to replace it quickly.

    Although the watts 25AUB-Z3 has an internal bypass you probably should make sure you have a thermal expansion tank on your water heater. The internal bypass only allows water pressure to relieve to the pressure of the main.

    Hope this helps you out...
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  4. AHutton1972

    AHutton1972 New Member

    Jul 4, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Thank you for the help! And the PRV recommendation. The plumber was unable to seat his key on the valve because of the debris as hj stated. I didn't make it clear.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    He couldn't turn it because the riser box was filled with debris. It should turn, but if it doesn't then you have another excavating job to do at the water main so he can turn off the corporation cock.
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