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Watts Ball Valves Malfunction -

rudyshlesinger
rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
Has anyone else experienced Watts brass ball valves, breaking in half at the seam long after installation.

Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,975
    All sort of things break for numerous reasons. Sometimes they are over tightened,water hammer, freezing, manufacture defect?
    Do you have picture of the failed valve?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    its not from freezing or over tightening ( that would be at point of connections ), valves are rated 600 WOG psi, yes i have pictures, dont know how to put them up, its in the middle of the valve where the manufacturer inserts the ball mechanism then seals the valve, it looks like threaded in the middle, then i guess the answer is no from you, never happened to you, thanks.
  • TheKeymaster
    TheKeymaster Member Posts: 36
    To add a picture you click on the button that says "attach image". It's on the right side above where you add text for a post. You then just hit choose file and navigate to the file where ever it is on your computer. If the picture is on your phone the easiest way to get a couple picture onto the computer is just email the pictures to yourself then open the email on the computer. Right click on the picture in the email and either download or save it. Pay attention to where it goes so you can find it to post. Sorry for the long explanation, but you said no idea so I tried to step by step it. In case you need it in the future.
    rudyshlesinger
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15

  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    it actually worked, when i first tried, it looked like computer code symbols
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,252
    What type of system is this on and at what temperature? Valve looks look like it has been hot. Is it steam?? 600wog is not a steam rating.

    In any event I am sure Watts would like to know.
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    4 valves failed at 3 different jobs, domestic hot an cold water, everything standard, this was on kitchens and bathrooms renovations, they just failed about 1 year after installation .
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    im a licensed plumber for 15 years, a plumber for 30 years, never seen anything like this
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,508
    Could the building have settled a bit, and stressed the valve body?--NBC
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    3 buildings ?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,934
    Are they the lead free brass? I believe Watts went to a white handle for LF/LL from the old yellow.
    Are they full port or the heavy duty reduced port opening?
    If threaded ends and you tighten the valve up as if it were a coupling then a lot of stress is put on the valve body. Maybe hairline crack that grows with time/expansion/contraction.
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    edited June 2017
    I worked for a large chemical research facility that would not allow ball valves that were screwed together like a watts. The reason was the thread could possibly be damaged by over tightening or it might be unscrewed inadvertently . We only used ball valves that were bolted together like this.
    bob
    rudyshlesinger
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,283
    Hello, Were these all from the same batch of valves that you bought? As EBEBRATT-Ed said, I'm sure Watts would like to know. Have you contacted them? Don't even want to think about the mess a broken valve could make! :o

    Yours, Larry
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    I do a lot of kitchens and bathrooms in NYC, yes i buy a lot of them monthly. I did contact Watts, they want me to send them the valve, but Im holding on to them.
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    I think when they changed their metal composition, trying to go lead free, the new mixture of metals is the problem, they claim to be 600 psi rated, cant be over tighten on a 1/2" valve.
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    bob said:

    I worked for a large chemical research facility that would not allow ball valves that were screwed together like a watts. The reason was the thread could possibly be damaged by over tightening or it might be unscrewed inadvertently . We only used ball valves that were bolted together like this.

    I can understand a chemical plant taking extra precaution and then some.
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    JUGHNE said:

    Are they the lead free brass? I believe Watts went to a white handle for LF/LL from the old yellow.
    Are they full port or the heavy duty reduced port opening?
    If threaded ends and you tighten the valve up as if it were a coupling then a lot of stress is put on the valve body. Maybe hairline crack that grows with time/expansion/contraction.

    I also noticed discoloring at the seam, Im thinking a bad composition of cast brass metal.
  • AJCimino
    AJCimino Member Posts: 21
    This happened to me a few years back. The valves were lead free 1/2" copper ball valves. After soldering, I noticed a leak at the seam and removed the valves. When I tried to tighten them, they broke. This happened with only two valves. These were Watts lead free yellow handle valves made in China. Also, the first iteration of lead free valves were very difficult to solder. Since then, and with the advent of the white handle valves, I have had no problems with leaking or soldering.
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 393
    Looks like it may be a manufactures defect to me. Only way I could see it not being a defective product is if the nipples/adapters were over-tightened and stressed the valve.

    What I find unusual is they lasted about a year. I have had three piece ball valves leak, but it was always within a day or so. I recall they always leaked at the seam where the pieces joined. Never has a ball valve break at the seam, even when we beat the heck out of them ripping out an old heating system.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,228
    The biggest problem with parts from China is you never know what your going to get. Quality control on the raw materials end of things is their biggest problem, you have to ride them hard to make sure they do what they are supposed to. If they run out of something they will substitute anything to complete an order, remember the melamine in the milk a few years ago?

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2008/10/09/the-story-behind-chinas-tainted-milk-scandal

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15

    Looks like it may be a manufactures defect to me. Only way I could see it not being a defective product is if the nipples/adapters were over-tightened and stressed the valve.

    What I find unusual is they lasted about a year. I have had three piece ball valves leak, but it was always within a day or so. I recall they always leaked at the seam where the pieces joined. Never has a ball valve break at the seam, even when we beat the heck out of them ripping out an old heating system.

    at 3 different job sites, 4 valves total, its not over tightened, these valves claim 600 psi WOG, over tightened meaning threads would be made on a vise so hard, it would go through the valve, all normal but the valve
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    AJCimino said:

    This happened to me a few years back. The valves were lead free 1/2" copper ball valves. After soldering, I noticed a leak at the seam and removed the valves. When I tried to tighten them, they broke. This happened with only two valves. These were Watts lead free yellow handle valves made in China. Also, the first iteration of lead free valves were very difficult to solder. Since then, and with the advent of the white handle valves, I have had no problems with leaking or soldering.

    i hear you, nothing on these valves stated made in china, white and blue handles - model # LFFBV - 4
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,017

    AJCimino said:

    This happened to me a few years back. The valves were lead free 1/2" copper ball valves. After soldering, I noticed a leak at the seam and removed the valves. When I tried to tighten them, they broke. This happened with only two valves. These were Watts lead free yellow handle valves made in China. Also, the first iteration of lead free valves were very difficult to solder. Since then, and with the advent of the white handle valves, I have had no problems with leaking or soldering.

    i hear you, nothing on these valves stated made in china, white and blue handles - model # LFFBV - 4
    The spec info on Amazon shows China. I think Watts offers import or domestic on most valves?



    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    rudyshlesinger
  • rudyshlesinger
    rudyshlesinger Member Posts: 15
    i try to avoid china stuff, no markings on valve where its made
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,934
    Today's Watts have "China" printed on the back of the handle, yellow or white. Older yellow full port Watts are marked "Italy" on the back of the handle.
    The maybe only nice feature of the watts was the reversible handle from left to right sides. And a packing nut which seems to need tightening after soldering.
    But for my last job I went with Legend...Made in Italy. Seem Ok so far, not bad to solder, I coat the valve body with Thermal Block gel. Don't have to bury many threads for IPS, haven't cracked any yet with SS nipples which seem to be a hard material versus brass nipples.
    No packing nut to tighten which makes me a little leery, but the lit claims no problem, the nuisance is eliminated to the need to tighten packing??
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,252
    Using these valve on residential is about as light duty a use as you get in the valve industry.

    I would definitely let Watts know. Holding on to the valves is just scrap value.

    I don't think I have ever had a problem with Apollo. Don't know how the price compares. I am sure others have their favorite brand
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,975
    edited June 2017
    I'm not sure how you are determining that a 600 WOG cannot be over tightened. The rating is referring only to internal pressure.

    I am also puzzled as to why you would not send one to Watts. How else are you going to get it figured out?

    My guess is that someone over tightened it , could be the machine at the factory, could be the installer. It also could be a combination of bad casting and over wrenching.

    If you put your backer wrench on the opposite side of the valve as you tighten the attached pipe, you could definitely break a valve like that.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,017
    It's possible the assembly was over torqued when the valve was assembled, maybe on an automated assembly line?
    The connection of the two halves is usually sealed with Loctite and does not require a lot of torque to seal.

    The white deposit around an assembly or brass component could be caused by dezincification. Certain ph fluids can pull the zinc out of the alloy and you have a porous copper left.
    Most manufacturers use only DZR brass alloys now, ask your supplier or manufacturer if the brass components you buy are DZR brass.

    I saw these valves at a supplier recently, they started leaking shortly after being installed.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    rudyshlesingerkcopp