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I want to get a new stove and when I pulled out the old stove I found the gas line within a hole in the wall and the gas line had a metal bar on its sideenter image description here. I am thinking this bar is a gas valve but I am not sure I haven't seen a pic of a gas valve that looks like this on the internet. Also when I tried to move it it seems to jiggle a little but I couldn't get it to move. Has anyone seen this before and can let me know if it is the gas valve and how I can get it unstuck to move it to turn off the gas?

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. If an answer is helpful, please click the large check mark next to it to accept. And, be careful out there when dealing with gas. And, please take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. – Daniel Griscom Sep 6 '20 at 10:44
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Yes it's a gas valve. Sometimes they become very stiff when they aren't operated for a long time. In the photo you posted, notice the little tab sticking down from the silver lever. That's a stopper; it limits the rotation of the lever. Make sure you're attempting to rotate the lever in the correct direction, ie not pushing against that limiter (or another less visible one).

The shutoff valve at an appliance should work reliably so that gas can be shut off in case of emergency (or convenience, as in the case of replacing an appliance). I suggest the following:

  1. Learn where your gas meter and main shutoff are located and how to operate that shutoff.
  2. Be prepared to replace this appliance shutoff valve - have parts and tools on hand, or a plumber identified, and work at a time when you can deal with having a gas outage for a few hours at least.
  3. Attempt to turn the lever on the valve with a wrench. If it turns easy, operates properly, and doesn't start leaking out the valve stem then you're all done. If it breaks, leaks, or things otherwise go badly then at least you went into it prepared with a recovery plan!
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  • I would urge a bit of extra caution. Water leaking from a valve can be dealt with using a bucket. Gas leaking from a valve, not so much... – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Sep 6 '20 at 2:26
  • Hello Greg, Thanks for answering! Since the valve is in between the wallboards.I had to actually cut open the hole more to even get my hand in to try to turn it. Do you think I should create a bigger hole to see what I am doing with the wrench? Right now I can't really see beyond what I showed in that picture. The other side of the wall has my water heater in front of it and I can't access it from there. I'm not really sure how to access this valve or see like you said if there is any other limiter etc. What would your advice be? – Josh H Sep 6 '20 at 2:41
  • @JoshH You might get a better view by using a mirror. A smart phone selfie-camera sometimes works; a pocket mirror of the sort found in compacts for makeup also could be useful. This could be one of those cans of worms for which there's no easy fix -- manassehkatz's suggestion to have the valve moved so it isn't embedded in the wall is a good one (add an elbow so the valve and flex pipe become parallel to the wall, rather than sticking perpendicularly out of it). A bigger hole gives room to try to manipulate this valve.. but it can be replaced/rearranged without making the hole bigger. – Greg Hill Sep 6 '20 at 4:20
  • Remember the handle will only rotate 90 degrees ( 1/4 turn) between off and on. – blacksmith37 Sep 6 '20 at 16:09
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I am very much in favor of DIY. But gas, not so much. "Little" mistakes/can't-quite-finish-the-job situations with water very often mean "a drip in a bucket until the plumber gets there". Similar issues with electrical mean "turn off or disconnect one circuit until the electrician gets there". But with gas there is (a) often no easy way to shut off the entire supply (which might mean no heat/hot water too, but at least be safe) and (b) you can't catch a gas leak in a bucket like a water leak.

While I can't say if it is to code or not, my gut feeling is that there should never be any operable valves, and almost never any joints of any type inside the wall. Which is what you have here.

In addition, there may be firestop issues - drywall is relatively fire resistant and is relied upon to delay a fire from making it from one room to another, particularly from garages to habitable spaces. I don't if that is the case here, but if it is then this big hole is a big problem.

Based on this, I suspect that the original installation was for the hot water heater and the gas line to the stove was added later (which is not that unusual), and that the line to the stove was not installed properly.

My recommendation is to get a qualified plumber/gas-fitter (not all plumbers do gas, and the licensing varies by jurisdiction) in, to do the following:

  • Disconnect the flexible line.
  • Replace the rigid line from the hot water heater with a longer line that goes all the way through the wall. This might be "replace all the way to the end" or it might be "cut off a few inches on the other side of the wall and couple a new line to the end of the old line.
  • Install a new cutoff valve and an appropriately sized flexible line.
  • Install the new stove.
  • Leak check everything.

The last part - installation of the new stove - anyone can do when you have good flexible line and a functioning valve. The advantage of (this time) letting the plumber do it is that he can check everything for leaks all at one time.

After that, you can do the drywall repairs yourself. If the room on the other side is another regular room in the house then I would just patch up to 1" or so around the new line. If the other side is a garage (or other room that requires a proper firestop) then you should find out the rules and the recommended procedure to seal around the gas line.

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