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Thread: Plumbing manifolds and their valves

  1. #1
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    Plumbing manifolds and their valves

    Can a valve on a copper plumbing manifold be unsoldered and replaced if the need arises?

    When a plumbing manifold is used, do people still install the standard shut-off valves at sinks and toilets?

  2. #2
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    Someone skilled can often un-solder a valve, but it takes great care to avoid overheating and it's best to strip out any removable components.

    A manifold doesn't take away the need for a local shut-off, IMHO, especially if there is some distance between the "appliance" and the manifold. Manifolds are most often "room centric" rather than "appliance" centric meaning you might want to shut off a toilet for maintenance without also shutting off the sink or vice versa.
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  3. #3
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    I have no idea what code is but I can tell you that I've installed a lot of shutoff valves in my time. In my case, I was replacing cheap contractor ones with nicer quarter turn valves. At the same time, a friend nearby was just replacing reducers from 1/2" soldered to 3/8" compression with valves. He kept a box of valves in his basement that he got a deal on. Any time he had to work on a toilet or something, he replaced the reducer. We never understood why the builder would put in a simple reducer instead of a shutoff. I guess they saved $.50 or something on each one. I supposed that adds up if you are doing a whole development. Hmmmph!

    Neither my fried or I had any sort of manifold.

    Another friend told me that he buried a lot of quarter turn valves in the walls while doing various projects. They would remodel a bathroom and put in shutoffs to the shower or something to make it easy to put in the fixture later. Then they would just leave the valve open and sheet rocked over it.

  4. #4
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    Yes, an individual valve can be removed and reinstalled on a manifold. It's going to depend a lot on your skill level, and the design of the manifold, but it's done all the time.

    In my opinion, no, a remote manifold valve does not remove the need for the local shutoff valve to a sinks and toilets. When you want to shut the water off locally for a failure. You want it off now!. Not run to the basement and hope you're isolating the correct valve on a manifold.
    All of the plumbing lines in my basement have shutoff valves at each branch coming off the main headers. Hot and cold. All of my sinks, and toilets, have shutoff valves locally.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  5. #5
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    I agree with what the guys above have said, you still need shutoffs. I replace nearly every single valve that I run into because it leaks or has some defect. Same thing when they are stacked up in a manifold, they still fail. I'd go so far as to say that in most situations, manifolds (like manaports and the copper equivalent) are a silly waste of time and money usually. Much better systems exist, like Uponor Logic.

  6. #6
    I'm no expert plumber but - in the past - I've taken a valves off and re-used them. But with experience, I now replace any valve I remove for any reason. Valves fail and when they do it's usually at a bad time and it makes a mess, sometimes an expensive mess. I'll buy the insurance of using a new valve - and I buy the best valve I can find, not the cheapest.

    I had one situation where I had a leak and when I went to the valve to turn the water off, the valve broke. I could turn the handle but nothing happened. That was a mess. I had to turn the water off at the street (to the whole property).

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
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    I agree with Mike completely that "best practice" is to replace the valve. Even the really good ones are not that expensive when you consider how long they need to perform...
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  8. #8
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    My experience is also similar to Mike’s. Anytime I work on a valve, I replace it with a new high-quality valve. The future mess is not worth The small savings.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  9. #9
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    Valves are cheap at the BORG.

  10. #10
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    Is there a good way to have the PEX connection to a shutoff valve be outside the wall? - instead of connecting PEX to a rigid pipe inside the wall.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    Is there a good way to have the PEX connection to a shutoff valve be outside the wall? - instead of connecting PEX to a rigid pipe inside the wall.
    I use PEX A (expander) usually, and yes you can make that outside the wall if you want. I usually do, with one exception being a toilet supply valve. I like to pull a little hose through the wall, like 4", expand, seat valve, let set a few seconds, then friction fit the expansion ring back into the wall hole. There are dress rings that do the same thing just outside the wall. One of the beautiful things about PEX is the ability to rough it all in and leave longer than necessary tails that you can then trim precisely to fit when the cabinets are set or valves installed. If you are doing much of this, switch to power pex (pex A), you won't be sorry. I use the Milwaukee tool, but Dewalt makes one now to.

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