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Accessibility of valves


Chris Bernhardt
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Should the whole body of the valve be accessible or is it ok if only the handle is? and what if the piping to the valve is some other material which it is likely to be, should then the whole valve and its connections be accessible? I inspected an unpermited garage conversion today and among other things only the valve handles themselves were exposed for the main shut off and a hose bib shut off in what is now a closet.

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Should the whole body of the valve be accessible or is it ok if only the handle is?

The code just says that the valve has to be accessible. I've got to think that the idea is that you should be able to turn off the water quickly when necessary. Personally, I don't see any need to have the entire valve exposed.

and what if the piping to the valve is some other material which it is likely to be, should then the whole valve and its connections be accessible?

I don't see why it should. We can have other transitions and connections inside walls. Why should a valve be different?

I inspected an unpermited garage conversion today and among other things only the valve handles themselves were exposed for the main shut off and a hose bib shut off in what is now a closet.

Valves often drip from around the packing nut. If the nut were behind the wallboard, I'd be concerned that a slow drip could cause damage. If the nut were exposed so that a drip would fall outside the wall, I'd say it's fine.

Jim Katen, Oregon

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thanks, Jim

I had remembered reading P2611.6 Except for necessary valves, where intermembering or mixing of dissimilar metals occur, the point of connection shall be confined to exposed or accessible locations.

But after your comments I re-read it and it impies that the body does not have to be exposed and only dissimilar metals are affected not plastics when the connection is not to a required valve.

However does this mean that non-required valves, ones that a homeowner might put in for convenience, should be accessible where dissimilar metals are present?

What think yee?

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

thanks, Jim

I had remembered reading P2611.6 Except for necessary valves, where intermembering or mixing of dissimilar metals occur, the point of connection shall be confined to exposed or accessible locations.

But after your comments I re-read it and it impies that the body does not have to be exposed and only dissimilar metals are affected not plastics when the connection is not to a required valve.

However does this mean that non-required valves, ones that a homeowner might put in for convenience, should be accessible where dissimilar metals are present?

What think yee?

If that were so, it wouldn't make much sense. It's a wretchedly written section and isn't really about valves at all. It's about the accessibility of connections between dissimilar metals. They should have written the part about valves as an exception in a separate paragraph. For instance:

Where intermembering or mixing of dissimilar metals occur, the point of connection shall be confined to exposed or accessible locations.

Exception: Necessary valves need not be confined to exposed or accessible locations.

I honestly have no idea what they're talking about.

Why "necessary" valves?

Why not all valves?

Why require access to all dissimilar metal connections anyway?

Why not just copper to steel? Is there a problem with connections between copper and brass that requires access? Brass & steel?

What the hell is "intermembering."

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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