I have a valve in the water line from the well to my seasonal cottage. It
is about 3' deep and is turned with a very long wrench. Each Spring I turn
it a quarter turn, and each Fall another quarter turn. It rotates all the
way around, so it can be a quarter turn either direction.
I was told that the turn in the fall was to allow the water line to drain.
The turn in the Spring is to run again; if I don't position it properly the
water system doesn't hold pressure very long.
It is getting very stiff and I expect I will have to dig it up in the spring
and replace it. I can't really picture what kind of valve it would be that
allows the pipe to drain in one position, but is open in the other. Anyone
know what it is? Maybe some sort of backflow preventer, but not like any I
It is an hour drive to the nearest plumbing supply; I don't really want to
dig it up and take it to the store. I would be nice to have one with me when
I dig it up.
Jim is correct. It is a 'stop and waste' Turned one way it opens the
line to the house. The other way it blocks the line to the well and
connects the line to the house with a small opening allowing the water
to drain from the house. If you do replace it, get a 'stop and waste'
that has a stop on it. I think all modern ones do. They only allow a
90 degree turn then you have to turn it back 90degrees in the spring.
Your slow loss of pressure is due to your free rotation in either
direction. Unless you stop it exactly right, it isn't fully closing
the small hole. Your plumbing shop can show you one and you can see
what I am talking about. Much easier to understand the functions while
looking at one.
On the ones pictured, there is a cap over the small opening. When open in
normal use, is the small opening closed by the valve? If so, I understand;
one position it is open and small opening is closed, the other allows it to
drain through the small opening. If not I am confused, as I obviously am
not removing the cap when it is 3' underground.
Your understanding is correct as to how it works. Been a long, long
time since I saw one of those fittings with the cap. IIRC they are not
'stop and wastes' but will drain whenever the cap is removed. Doesn't
sound like the right valve for your use.
I believe you indicated that your valve turned continously. I do not think
yours then has a "waste" function. These have to be in the correct
orientation when "off" to drain the downstream side. If turned off 180
degrees around the drain would not function. A "stop only" type valve often
You could install either type unless you want the downstream lines to drain
when turned off. If you install a "stop and waste" and do not want the drain
function, you just leave the little cap on. If you do want the drain
function, you have to put rock and gravel around the valve so there is a
space for the water to drain to.
Be aware that the "stop and waste valve" has to be installed in the right
direction for the drain to function properly. If you reverse it, the drain
will connect to the water intake when turned off instead of to the outlet.
Any regular plumber will have them in stock. Just ask for a 'stop and
waste' describe what you are using it for and you will get the correct
one. Pay attention to the flow arrow cast into it when installing so
you have it right.
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