Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

leak proof valves

leonz Member Posts: 1,154
Not that draining off the steel compression tank is an issue for me I need some advice.

What do you all use for leak proof valves? Knife gate valves with replaceable stem packing?.

The Nibco 3/4" ball valves I have were new three years ago and they are both bypassing allowing
water to fill the steel compression tank over time.

Its going to be a summer repair job after the heating season and I have to plan ahead and decide whether I just want to install a physical break with two facing boiler drains and use gasketed sill cock caps at both connections and a short washing machine hose to fill it when and if the need arises or a knife gate valve at the feed end of the copper line that feeds the system when needed. I also need to repack the stems of the gauge glass as well.

NO; I am not going to rip out my 15 gallon steel compression tank as it works very well. The steam chest barely registers any pressure and the system runs silently when I have a heat call or the system dumps heat in the single heating loop.


    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
    I have come to regret all the gate valves that I installed 20-30 years ago. I have cursed most of the gate valves that someone else installed 30-60 years ago. Gates fall off, wear out and stem strips on gate etc.
    The ball valves I installed 20-30 years ago still for the most part are working. Watts not made in China worked out good.
    Now it is Legend brand, sort of OK . Lead free has affected brass.

    You can still get some not lead free Apollo valves from the supply house.

  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,154
    Thanks JUGNE,

    has the watts product quality gone down hill?

    I will check the grainger catalog tomorrow when I am more awake too.

    If worse comes to worse I will use boiler drains and drain caps if the ball valve quality is so so.

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
    Watts had 2 lines; green handle (some Italy or USA) that was reduced port but very good...…..yellow handle full port, now China.
    Real Apollo, (lead or no lead) USA very good or Apollo Global--China--it is called competitive.
    You get what you pay for.
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,154
    Hello JUGNE,

    I agree with you about what you pay for. I found that out with coal suppliers and the "plumbers" I hired for my coal stoker boiler installation.

    Thanks for getting back to me about the Watts and Apollo products.
    I will have to be doubly sure about the origin before I spend any money.

    I have a 38 yearold Mathews Company Lawn Genie Pick Up mower that my father had that is still running well after having the flail mower rotor bearings and wheel bearings replaced and it has the original Briggs & Stratton 16 horsepower I/C engine.

    It is certainly crazy seeing that these engine manufacturers refer to their engines with CC's rather than engine horsepower. I imagine that is because most of them are built in Asia now and imported.
    It was not that long ago that Briggs & Stratton made 52000 engines a day in Milwakee, Wisconsin.

    Hopefully they will start building engines here again soon since the trade war is heating up and the cost of transportation from asia is still climbing.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,246
    Or look into a quality brand stainless steel ball valve. Generally a top quality ball valve should be 100% shutoff. Cycle them a couple times a year to keep them freed up.

    Maybe shop an industrial quality SS valve online. A squirt of hydronic treatment with corrosion inhibitor helps with moving parts in hydronics.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,154
    Hello and good evening Bob,

    I found 125 P.S.I.G. 3/4 inch Milwakee brand knive gate valves female/female NPT thread at the local W.W. Grainger sales office
    for $36.00 each plus tax and shipping and I will be buying one or two of them this coming spring if not sooner as both Nibco ball valves are bypassing.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,419
    On the steel compression tank. Is this the sort that has a gauge glass on it to check the water level? And, perhaps, a special air valve to adjust the water level? If so, you do not want any air removal device on your system. The air is supposed to wind up in the tank, and be released if and when necessary. Otherwise, the tank will waterlog over time...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
    I like Apollo ball valve and have also used Milwaukee with good results but If I had to pick one it would be Apollo. I would stay away from gates. The cheap ones are NG. You have to pay big bucks to get a decent gate
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,154
    edited October 2018
    Hello Mr. Hall,

    No I do not have an automatic air vent in my system but I do have a gauge glass and one or both of the packing's in the valves leak and I need to fix that this summer.

    right now I am operating at almost 1 P.S.I.G. and 170 as the high limit and the house is warm and there is no dampness in the house.

    I am using a buckwheat/rice mix of Anthracite Coal and my flat grate stoker is running at a very slow feed rate using two 3 minute hold fire cycles and two 2 minute hold fire cycles every thirty minutes. If I had an forced draft underfed pot stoker I would have a hold fire cycle that would be much shorter per hour due to the deep bed of coal that is burning in the pot.

    I don't mind paying for quality. I would have purchased gate valves the day I bought the ball valves for the coal stoker when the plumbers were installing it but I could not get them from the supply house I dealt with.

    So I plan to remove the ball valves and replace at least two of the three them with the 3/4" N.P.T. female/ female Milwakee gate valves. I need to repack the gauge valve packing's when I shut it down for the summer too.