Sunday, July 31, 2016

An Old Saddle Tap

This is probably not worth a salvage attempt.

This saddle tap was on some copper pipe that I picked up from the roadside while out for a walk. The copper pipe was certainly a worthwhile find, but this tap appears to be past it. I only took it off the pipe out of curiosity.

The valve stem is seized. The gland nut has been tightened down all the way, and it appears to have a crack in it, so the valve is unlikely to ever again be leak-free at the stem. But, it's not as though I have anything better to do, so let's at least examine the thing, and maybe learn something about saddle tap failure.

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Here it is fully dismantled.

The gasket is a ruin -- a replacement could easily be made.

The clamp halves and the 1/4" - 20 fasteners are indestructible, and could be wire-brushed back to a decent appearance.

The valve stem and the gland nut are in rough shape; you can see the crack in the gland nut in the photograph. The valve stem's handle is not meant to be non-destructively removed from the valve stem, so that makes servicing of the valve stem and its packing a challenging proposition.

The valve seat is way down inside, and difficult to see to examine its condition, which is unlikely to be good

But just for the heck of it, I'll see if I can drill the handle off from its swage to the valve stem, and get a look at the valve stem's packing.

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On second thought, maybe not. This thing is truly past it. Here's a close-up view of the valve stem portion. (I managed to get the packing washer to reveal itself.)

That packing washer is probably an item that I'll never be able to get a new replacement for, and re-using the existing one is a pretty iffy proposition.

I've spent enough time on this. I'll salvage the 1/4"-20 screws and nuts, and the saddle halves and toss the rest. Some things are just not worth pursuing.

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