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I just recently purchased a house that was built in 1979 with galvanized plumbing. The water main just outside the house looks like this:

Water main shutoff

I'm planning to replace it, but I want to make sure it's done right. Disassembly isn't going to be that tough (cut the PVC, spin the tee off the stub), but when I put it back together, I want to make sure I have the right fittings in place.

My thoughts are to do the same thing, but I'm wondering if I should have at least one union in there somehow. I was considering having one between the stub and the tee, then one between the shutoff valve and the tee, but I have a feeling that may be overkill.

Any advice on this would be much appreciated.

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call the water company, if they see any tampering before the meter they'll accuse you of stealing water –  ratchet freak Mar 31 '12 at 20:03
    
I'm not terribly concerned about that. The water meter is easily accessible, the local hardware stores sell water meter keys, and there are no locks or tamper-resistant seals anywhere. Everyone I've talked to in the area said that everything on the house-side of the water meter is my responsibility as well. –  Skudd Apr 1 '12 at 2:09
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I have to ask: what does the part of the pipe that's underground look like? This might not be the time for half-measures. –  kdgregory Apr 1 '12 at 14:13
    
The underground pipe, I believe, is all (C?)PVC. –  Skudd Apr 1 '12 at 18:34
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1 Answer 1

I don't see the need for a union, just one more expense. I would replace the shut off valve with a ball valve, it will give better flow. Also I would go with copper pipe, not the galvanized.

EDIT: Normally the Electrical Breaker Panel needs to be grounded to the water main. Because you have a non-conductive PVC water main, I believe NEC code requires that there be two ground rods connected to the Breaker Panel ground-Neutral bus bar. You should check your local codes to see if your's is up to date.

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Gate valve? Use a ball valve, 1/4 turn on/off, less likely to get stuck open/closed. –  Tester101 Apr 1 '12 at 15:00
    
@Tester101- Your right! I meant to say ball valve, but in a senior moment it came out gate valve:) –  SteveR Apr 1 '12 at 15:53
    
Eventually I would like to re-plumb the entire house. But for the moment, that's not an expense I want to mess with. –  Skudd Apr 1 '12 at 18:33
    
If you go with a ball value make sure you use one with an integral non return as the one that's there now looks like a jumper value type with has non-return in its design. –  UNECS Apr 18 '12 at 11:43
    
@SteveR: To your edit, the electrical panel is grounded to the gas main and to an earth ground. The inspector said that this is what local code requires. Also, I did end up putting a union in there, because there was not enough flex in the plastic pipe to get it into a joint at assembly time. –  Skudd May 8 '12 at 22:10
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