Stopcock or Gate Valve?

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Joe Shmoe

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Hello.

I'm installing a new kitchen for family member. The existing stopcock is right where a cupboard shelf will be, so I'm going to replace it. Can anyone advise on the best quality thing to use? Cant seem to find a definitive answer on the Web. I'm unsure if I should use a Pegler stopcock or Peglar gate valve, or something else? I want the most reliable thing going. The water pressure in the property is the highest I've ever seen (if that makes a difference?).

Secondly, the other stopcock in the photo is the original 1950s. It's completely seized, which is probably why previous owners installed a second one in the 1980s, I think. Should I just leave the original stopcock alone, or could it one day leak and I should consider removing it too? Currently it's not leaking. Don't want to make extra work if not required.

PXL_20240301_121559273.jpg

Thanks
 
That is an easy one, Peggler lever valve

https://www.screwfix.com/p/pegler-ball-valve-blue-15mm/11085

https://www.screwfix.com/p/pegler-tee-ball-valve-blue-15mm/21860

I use both the T valves and the lever valves in 15 and 22 mm, apart from the handle they are the same valve. They are ideal for isolation purposes and I have not had any problems over many years. The T valves are good where access is good and the lever valves for things like the central heating flow & return and main shut off, ie replace stop cock. If you get any leaks then it is so quick and easy to shut of the lever valve, just 90° and off.

You don't say how old the pipework is so make sure it is 15mm and not 1/2 inch otherwise you can find problems and need to convert

https://www.screwfix.com/p/flomasta-solder-ring-adapting-couplers-15mm-x-1-2-2-pack/69948
 
Stockcock. They are designed for this job.

Gate valves provide a high flow when open but aren't a reliable full shut off valve due to their design.
Ball valves are another good full flow design, but I wouldn't use one as the primary valve.

I prefer to remove old and unnecessary fittings and clean a job up, but in this case I'd say leave the old stock cock. The only reason for saying that is when you remove it, the tail coming out of the ground gets a little shorter, and a little shorter each time somone else replaces the stopcock. OK, this only happens maybe once every 50 years but I'd just leave it be until something actually leaks.

Chances are that the gland on that stockcock and the compression fittings on the ends are solid with limescale and the chances of a leak are very small.
 
If I was fitting that kitchen, I would be inclined to remove both stopcocks and replace them with a new one in an easily accessible position.
The reason being, God forbid I left the original in and it started leaking for some reason, the Client would be ringing me up to sort it out.

While you've got the room stripped out, it makes sense to me to just turn the water off out in the path/road and fit a new one.
 
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As others have said, use a stop cock it is what it is made for. Strip out all the redundant valves as they may leak.

If you go to a 'proper' plumbers merchant rather than one of the sheds you should be able to get a good quality valve - Peglar are fine but they have committed the cardinal sin of makeing a budget DIY range so it pays to get the range that has not been value engineered.
 
I would have to agree on the use of stopcocks I dislike gate valves because if they have been left in the on position for any length of time, you can never quite get them to fully turn off, I invariably end up having to remove the handle and use mole grips to turn the shaft.
 
I dislike gate valves
Does anyone actually buy, fit or like these gate valves, I am talking about the ones with that cheap red tin circular handle, the valves always seize and that handle just spins on the shaft and to me they are pointless and have no reason for there existance when there are far better alternatives. You can get decent gate valves, industrial ones are a different animal but often in larger sizes without the compression fitment.
 
+1 for stop cock and also remove both old ones and reroute pipe for easy access and placement of stop cock.
 
The water pressure in the property is the highest I've ever seen

Is the pressure causing any issues or making things work less well than they could?

If so, consider installing a pressure reducing valve at the same time as the stop tap work.
 
I would definitely change ghe existing stop tap for a new one as long as it’s accessible. If not repositioning it to a more suitable location will pay dividends. I’d also fit a remote sure stop as it’s far quicker to flick a switch to instantly isolate the supply. I’ve fitted several of these for elderly customers that struggle to get to the tap let alone turn it off especially if they have mobility issues or arthritis etc .

Collect tomorrow

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Does anyone actually buy, fit or like these gate valves, I am talking about the ones with that cheap red tin circular handle, the valves always seize and that handle just spins on the shaft and to me they are pointless and have no reason for there existance when there are far better alternatives. You can get decent gate valves, industrial ones are a different animal but often in larger sizes without the compression fitment.
They were primarily used on hot water supplies as there is no rubber washer as in a stop tap- the hot water can cause the rubber washer to expand and stick or worse block or restrict the flow. Unfortunately gate valves are not that reliable and can seize when turned off or when opened back up again. As said there are better options available such as full bore lever valves for hot and cold.
 
In my old house everything after the roof tank had gate valves (which I changed). Someone once did give me reason why stopcocks shouldn't be used on low pressure but I forget what it was. The main reason gate valves fail other than their total jamming is that the groove the "shutter" slides into fills with crud and the valve then fails to close properly. They're a pain in jacksie.
 
The main reason gate valves fail other than their total jamming is that the groove the "shutter" slides into fills with crud and the valve then fails to close properly. They're a pain in jacksie.
Primarily caused by people opening the valve fully and then not backing off the wheel half a turn to take the load off the spindle threads. The same applies to stopcocks as well.
 
The main stop cock should be a stop cock, not a gate valve or ball valve. Also, domestic pressure should ideally be around 3-4 bar, certainly under 5.5 bar, so a pressure reducing valve may be advisable.
We had a top end Aqualisa electric shower replaced twice under warranty before realising that our mains pressure, measured at an outside tap at 9am was in excess of 9 bar, so probably higher during the night when no usage on the network. That explained a few other random mishaps, including the cold flexi feed to the washing machine blowing off etc
 

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