My house was built in 1978 and the water meter is underground. In 2016 a plumber moved my water meter away from the street and closer to my house. Apparently there was something weird about the PRV he used and it's a single union. Can I use a double union as a replacement? What is the difference? Thank you.

  • Thank you jwh20 for your reply. Let me make sure I'm understanding you. So even though I currently have a single union, I should replace it with a double union. Is that correct? I'm trying to figure this out myself because I can't afford to call a plumber.
    – user124810
    Oct 24 '20 at 22:06
  • If you put your comment under the answer you're addressing, you're much more likely to get a response.
    – FreeMan
    Nov 23 '20 at 16:08

A double-union device, and it doesn't matter if it's a pressure reducer or valve or whatever, should always be used where it's not at an end of the line. That way if it ever needs to be removed for replacement or service, that can be done.

The single-union will not have enough clearance to be removed since it's likely the pipes on either side of it will not be movable. As you unscrew the non-union side, the union side will be pushed into the pipe and likely prevent you from getting it off.

Interestingly, I've seen a water company service guy reach down into a valve/meter box, unscrew the two unions on the valve (it had broken) and screw a new one in without having to shut off the main. It didn't take him 30 seconds to do it. They didn't want to shut off the main because my street only had a single shutoff for the entire length of the main vs. hookup by hookup shutoffs which are standard these days. He could never have done that with a single-union valve.

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