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Leaky gate valve


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I have a steady flow that looks like it is coming from this gate valve.  It has 4 screws in the corners which I cannot see how I can possibly get to these ( I can get to one).  I wanted to try to tighten the 4 screws first and if that doesn't fix it - I guess I will replace it.  What is the normal procedure for this?  Do you normally just start tearing out the foam insulation to get to the screws?  Any input would be appreciated!

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See if you can find a gate valve like that.... the ones I have do not have screws.... but yeah a screw driver and a wire wheel on a drill will clear out the foam.

Could be rebuildable..... maybe just gasket seal and an o-ring... but plan for cracks...

you might disconnect one side from the pump.... then cut the pvc on the other side.... might need a coupler if you cut it...

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Gate valves are the bane of all hot tubs.  They sit there for years deteriorating or getting coated with minerals and scale, and the moment you go to use them, they either stick or leak. 

I have a large screwdriver where I ground the end down to make it rounded for chipping away at insulation.  The problem is there could be small vinyl tubing in there, and you don't want to nick it.  I've never tried a wire wheel on a drill.

There are two types of gate valves, one with the 4 screws like in your photo   so you can rebuild them and another type that's permanently sealed.  Often, I'll recommend to the customer that we just cut the gate valve out and use fresh PVC to replace it.  One less leak point for your hot tub.  The only downside is that if you replace a pump or heater in that circuit, you'll need to drain the tub.  Of course, as you found out, having an extra valve to leak is no great value to you.

Dave

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At least in my region, Home Depot only sells PVC for drain pipes, not pressure pipes.  Loews has high - pressure PVC.  The difference is that low pressure PVC has a 1/2" gluing surface, while the high pressure has 1" gluing surface. (in other words, the shoulders that the pipes fit into).   For gluing, we use Christie's Red Hot cement or Weldon.  I don't know if the PVC glue from Home Depot is any different, I had a sales rep tell me they're all the same.

I've never seen a Fernco fitting last longer than a few days, I don't think they can handle the pressure coming out of a pump.  Although I have read posts on this board from people saying they've used them.

Dave

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Here is the picture after I cut away insulation.  What do you suggest I need for parts?  Can I use any coupler with flex on one side and rigid on the other?  I don't think I can re-use the part that connects to the pump again?  Looks like it may be too short after I cut out the gate valve?

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You're going to need a 2" pipe coupling (which is made up of the screw on fitting and a "tailpiece" where your gasket fits) and a short piece of PVC pipe (flex is much easier to work with then rigid) and a coupling to connect to the existing flex pipe.  It's going to be difficult to do the work because it needs to be exactly the same length when completed and you have very little space to work within.

Remember, when you glue all the PVC together, you have to include the amount of pipe that is hidden inside your couplings.  For Example, if it's 15" from the pipe on the right to the pump and the pump coupling is going to take up 2 inches, so you only need 13" of new pipe. 

You might be better off removing the pump on the left, or at least disconnecting the bolts that hold it to the base, so you have a little wiggle room when you're putting the whole thing back together.  Even better, check out a few YouTube videos on working with PVC, you'll probably pick up a few gluing tips.

Dave

 

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  • 2 years later...

 Ok, I give up trying to add a picture so I'll just explain. 

My tub has been leaking so I took one side off and found water consistently leaking from the bottom of a gate valve. It is a one piece valve not the two piece with screws. The left side has a hose that goes into the valve, then there is the 2" valve, then an elbow that goes on the outside of the valve, then a smaller elbow goes into that, then that goes into a fitting with that is like a big screw joint. 

I'm assuming I need to cut the hose on the left then replace the gate and 2 elbows? 

What size fitting goes around the 2" gate fitting then what size fits into that piece? 

I already have the tools and glue and primer. Any help is appreciated! 

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