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Thread: water main shut-off problem (leaks)

  1. #1

    Default water main shut-off problem (leaks)

    I'm a general contractor doing a bath remodel in a colder climate location (not my usual area), and encountered a problem trying to shut-off the water main (which is located under the house accessed thru a small panel on the floor). When I turn the paddle style valve towards the off position (1/4 turn to the right), the valve starts pissing water out of a tiny hole (approx. 1/16") on the side. I'm able to turn it the full 1/4, thinking that I just needed to fully engage it the full 1/4 turn to get it to stop, but at that point it is at full pressure.

    I've also located the water main on the street, but that has the same problem.

    Hope someone can help.


  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    First, I'm not a pro, but I think I've read that some valves have a little drain hole in them that, once turned off, facilitates draining the water out of the area it fed. Most of those seemto have a cap on them. If so, then it should stop, but only after as much of the water as suction will allow will have been drained out of the house.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 07-20-2006 at 07:23 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I'm not sure what the "proper" name for this type of valve is, but I've always known them to be "Stop and Waste". As Jim stated in his answer, these drain the water in the side of the valve that has be shut off. They are commonly used to drain pipes that will be exposed to freezing during the winter. It should take 1/4 turn to shut them off. Unfortunately, sometimes there is no positive stop on the valve at 1/4 turn so you can end up passing the off position and water flow is restored. I have one like that on my irrigation system and it's 5' underground. I have to shine a light down a 6" PVC manhole to see it. I've learned to be very careful to stop in the off position because once the water drains from the line, I can't see the valve anymore. It's a real PITA!

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default valve

    They are called "stop and waste", or sometimes "check and waste", and are usually used underground to allow the water to drain when the valve is turned off. If one was used inside the basement, it is the wrong valve for that arera, and must have been installed by an inexperienced person, because there is no way to prevent the water from draining and possibly causing damage.

  5. #5


    Thanks for your reply's, as your answers were right. So I guess it is a "stop and waste" valve to "winterize" or drain the pipes to prevent freezing. I thought that's what it might of been, but I also thought if there was a pressure relief port like it has, that it would of also had it's own shut off as well (so you don't have to drain the pipes if you don't want to).

    When I said it was located in the basement, I meant it was in located in the lowest level of the house, near a bedroom in a big closet below the floor down about 3' deep (1/2 buried in the dirt). The problem is when I shut it off it created a a nice size mud pudddle. That's why I think think there should be a second valve to drain the pipes only if you want to.



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