Well it’s taken forever but I’ve finally gotten rid of the last piece of galvanized iron pipe in my water supply line.
Here’s what the last shut-off valve looked like before I replaced it. The valve stem was pretty wobbly. Thinking back, I was always surprised that it didn’t start leaking.
In the picture below, the water from the street comes up through the floor. The pipe coming in from the street is copper. Then, it’s a galvanized iron shut-off valve, and finally it’s copper again.
In order to replace it, I needed to shut the water off at the street. I borrowed a shut-off key and read up on how to shut the water off myself. I even watched a few videos.
The water shut-off valve to my house was about 5-6 feet down. The key was pretty long, though. I couldn’t see the bottom, since the pipe only a couple of inches wide. So, I felt around at the bottom for the valve with the key itself. I couldn’t find it right away like I was hoping too. There was too much stuff at the bottom. I had read that you can pour water down to have loosen it up, but instead I thought I would call the water company since there was no charge for them to come out and fix it. I was hoping they would spray some compressed air in there to clean it out, but instead they just poured water in there to loosen up the dirt. Oh well.
Once the water was off, I quickly went to work. I cut the old pipe out. I expected some buildup from the galvanized iron, but I had no idea it would be that bad. Here’s what the inside looked like.
After an hour or so, I had the new pipe on and I called the water company back to have the water turned back on. I hoped that I had my first shut-off sweated correctly, because it would have been embarrassing to ask them to shut it off again real quick.
I did have a small pinhole leak, but it was after my first shut-off. So, I gave the water company the thumbs up. Later, I fixed my leak.
Here’s the final product.
Our water throughput is much, much better now (as you might have imagined). We were able to run most things with moderate pressure before, but only one at a time. If somebody was filling the bathtub, you would get very low pressure in the kitchen. That no longer happens. So, it was a big win. I just wish (like most things) I had done it sooner.