Gate Valve Problems - How Do You Deal With Them?!

1 Jul 2007
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United Kingdom
Hi All.

Trying to keep brief; occasionally asked to do bits of plumbing work - though not my speciality - but has to sometimes be done ;).

Hot water gate valves seem to be my curse - either being seized open, won't shut off fully or the spindle seems stripped - spins with no resistance and does nothing!

Noticed Travis Perkins do a "bung" arrangement to block off the feed inside the storage tank. Are these worth getting?

Does anyone consider using only the "bungs" and never touching the gate valves. I live\work in Berks - assume all down to hard water?

Can you replace just the internals of the gate valves - unscrew the centres and swap out? Is there any sort of "standard" to allow this? Have even come across TWO gate valves in series before - about 6inches apart - both knackered and had to empty the sotrage tank!

Also, seized open mains valves off blue poly pipe - how much "force" can you use to try to close? Any risk of twisting the valve off the poly pipe?!

Cheers for any advice,
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Gate valves are often problematic, just replace them.
I wouldn't use the bung system in any situation where spillage could be expensive unless you know exactly what you are doing.
assume all down to hard water?

No its not. Gate valves are from the age of steam, and should have remained there. They have no place in the modern world. Full bore lever valves every time.

:evil: :evil: Gate valves are the work of the Devil!!!!! :evil: :evil:
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bungs are one of the best inventions ever. 2 ports, 3 ports heat exchangers and cylinders are all possible on bungs. just dont bung a cylinder to change the immersion :LOL:

great minimal investment.
if your on about the cold feed to the cylinder gate valve, as long as it is above the height of the cylinder you only have to drain the tank and then replace valve. if u do buy a bung kit (they are brilliant) DO NOT BUNG THE VENT PIPE ON THE TANK THAT SUPPLYS THE HOT WATER/CYLINDER!!!
Hi all.

Cheers for replies - all helpful :)

Had more time to search\read forum on gate valve probs' - realise what a pain in 4rse they are for everyone, not just me! :) Agree, never use them and replace for quarter turn full-bores if needing changing.

Superb forum; found loads on "easing" stiff mains\gate valves (lubing and\or slackening off the gland nut slightly?) and seems best to do this where possible before the bungs? Yes, was proposing using bungs on cold feed from storage tank to hot water tank only. But can see you're in real trouble if totally relying on a bung - have no control when releasing it and quickly exiting loft to check the work you've done isn't leaking - then shutting off quickly again! ;) Will always try gates first in that case; or to back up a valve that won't shut the flow off totally.


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