"Back off" fully opened faucet?


Amigos y amigas, this has been bugging me for years. I was taught that after opening a faucet to its fullest, one should "back off" a little.
WHY???
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I can think of a couple possible reasons. If it's opened all of the way, you can only turn it one way to loosen it, and you lose the old, tighten it first before trying to back it off routine. Depending on the faucet, maybe the packing would be squeezed and take a set, then when you tried to close the valve it wouldn't hold.
R
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On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 12:09:01 -0700, Higgs Boson wrote:

Hola. Nunca he oído hablar de tal cosa.
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Pero si, lea las explicaciones de nuestros expertos,,,ellos deben saber de que si trata...
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On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 12:09:01 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

Look up valve backseat on google. I was a boilerman in the Navy and it was our practice to fully open a glove valve, then crank back down a quarter turn. If you didn't do that it could take much more force to close it later. Maybe corrosion sticking the disk to the backseat or maybe pressure equalization, can't remember if I ever knew. Gate valves were just fully opened or closed. This was 1500 psi steam or water. Never had significant packing leaks from not backseating.
I still do the same with faucets out of habit. Before I repacked it I had an old garden faucet that leaked less through the packing when I backedseated it. Don't think it really matters with common faucets. Somebody already gave the best reason for backing them down - so you don't get caught turning the wrong way.
--Vic
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I was not in the Navy but did work in a chemical plant for several years with miles of pipe and hundreds of valves. That was always SOP there for the same reason.
--
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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I would assume it has to do with compressing the packing and eventually causing it to leak. I wouldn't worry about it unless you're in the habit of torquing it open pretty hard.
But then you should probably wait to hear from someone who knows something...
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Granted, this is just another "I've always heard" answer but this is why I've always heard you do it:
If the valve ever gets frozen due to rust, you have no wiggle room - literally. If it's all the way up against the stop and it won't turn towards close, you can't turn it the other way to try and break the bond.
Not a good situation when you are trying to close a house main in an emergency.
I've done it twice this weekend already. Replaced the innards of my kitchen faucet and replaced a toilet. Both shutoffs were left about a 1/4 turn towards closed.
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When I was a kid (quoting Moses, or Aristotle, or my Dad, one of these.) We backed off half a turn. The next guy might not know if the fuacet was on or off. Might not know right or left. But, if the faucet is all the way open minus half tun. If he turns the faucet the wrong way, it's got half a turn of travel. So, the next guy knows it's not locked up shaft. Anyhow, that's worked well for me.
My condolences to the poster whose inlaws crank valves tight enough to crush the faucet washer. That's no fun.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 12:09:01 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

Tradition.
A full open "faucet" may splatter water everywhere.
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Thanks, everybody; at least I know now what the hell I'm doing <g>
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I have no idea, I've never heard that one before.
However, my in-laws were apparently taught to turn a valve OFF you have to cinch it down as tight as humanly possible. :) Before we upgraded their faucets, I had to constantly replace the rubber seals they had completely compressed to the point they wouldn't seal anymore.
Anthony
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re: "Get rid of them."
Just curious...Do you even read the posts you are responding to?
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wrote:

No. Obviously not.
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far better to upgrade to ball valves, that solves most of the problems:)
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wrote:

Hogwash! Mine are stainless steel and work every time. Have been for over half a decade.
'Course in the UK, one never knows what the government is telling you.
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harry wrote:

"Gettin' kinda touchy...aren't cha?" (Potato Head quote)
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You go, limey! We don't know what the hell our government is telling us. For just one example, take the Environmental Pollution Agency. Maybe tsome things are slightly better under Obama, but it will take forever, if even possible, to repair the damage caused by the Bush (and preceding Reps) robber barons.
Note that the REAL "robber barons" of old were cruel, mercenary, corrupt, etc.etc. but at least they LEFT us something tangible -- like Libraries, Foundations, Railroads, great Buildings, and othe useful assets. Not this Wall Street crowd; it's just a giant casino, and screw the Pee-pul. Capitalism is a better system than any other (given the fallibility of human nature as shown by the repeated failures of idealistic societies) but it has to be run on a moral foundation or we end up like we are. How come some wildly successful capitalists manage to give back to the society? (a) because they get tax breaks and (b) because they think it's morally right to "give back".
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wrote:

Why? I would really worry if our government was a Monarch, with no Constitution. We can even have sharp pointy sticks!
Besides harry, thinking gets me in trouble.
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Higgs Boson wrote:

If the valve has been open fully (months/years) it may be hard to close. Also, breaking it loose when fully open can take some of the stem packing with it. (Stem may leak unless fully open/closed) An example is a toilet or sink shut-off.
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