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Leaking fireplace globe valve

I have a globe valve on the floor by my fireplace which operates with a key. When closed, it seals completely. When open however, it leaks around the shaft. I suspect that the packing has deteriorated in the 90 years since it was installed.

I am curious if it is possible to repack this from the top.

The floor plate is labelled "United", which may have been the United Brass Mfg company in Cleveland when the house was built. I've attached a couple of pictures.

Any help would be appreciated.

Comments

  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    No access from below? What does this valve do?
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    It open and closes the gas to the fireplace. Old School, probably dates back to the turn of the century.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    They have to somehow be serviceable from the top. I have a couple on the second floor of my house with no other access to them except from the top.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 882
    There are quarter turn key valves now available. These old ground key valves were notorious leakers even before pressure testing. You new valve must be listed to ANSI Z21.15
  • sticksidehigh
    sticksidehigh Member Posts: 3
    Right, I should have been more clear. It's a gas valve. It seals completely when closed, but if I open it to run the gas to the fireplace, there is a slight smell of gas from the valve itself.

    There really isn't any good access from below; the area is framed by joists and the concrete hearth.

    The only way to replace the valve would be to break through the tiles and possibly the concrete hearth extension. I was hoping that there might be a way to repack the valve without replacing it.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    I'd measure the square portion, and get some key stock. Then drill the center to accommodate the stem, and try to tighten the packing gland. I would take a minimalists approach though, as it's a gas valve. If you have to open the floor, it can be done in such a way, that it looks pleasing to the eye when done.
  • sticksidehigh
    sticksidehigh Member Posts: 3
    Thanks - this seems like a good suggestion. I'll give it a try.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,931
    Just food for thought....are you sure the packing valve/insert is leaking and not the outlet connection/pipe of the valve and that gas is captured and routed up and seeping up around the floor opening? So if the valve is 90 years this means the gas piping is approaching a century. Nat gas was not so clean is the past and was thought to consume copper/brass. But in 90 years it seems it could have an effect on iron pipe also, plus your fireplace piping passes thru concrete, mortar and brick, all of which can erode on steel & iron.

    If some floor tear up is involved, maybe consider replacing piping. There may not be a union near the gas valve and might involve more piping than anticipated. FWIW

    I would avoid CSST as many will agree.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 882
    Re-packing a water valve is one thing. Gas is another entirely. No, you cannot repack a leaking gas valve. It's not worth the risk. A fireplace is non-essential. Shut it down until you can access the floor and replace it. We don't want to read about you in the headlines. You have a gas leak in a confined unventilated space next to an open flame. Think about it.
  • opssusan
    opssusan Member Posts: 1
    What did you end up doing? Dig up the floor around the valve? How much did it cost?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,480
    My experience: no it can't be repacked. Find a convenient place to cut the pipe going to it after shutting off the gas. Then run a new line to the fire place with a new valve.

    What is this fireplace for? Is there access to the fireplace itself? Some pictures of the fireplace would help.