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What are Stop and Waste Valves?

A stop and waste valve in Utah.

Valves are essential to any plumbing system as they’re used to manage flow and drain excess fluid within the piping. A common example is the Stop-and-Waste valve.

In this email, we’ll go over what this valve is, how it works, and how to tell when to replace it.

What are Stop and Waste Valves?

The Stop-and-Waste valve gets its name from the two functions that it provides to a plumbing system. It can “stop” the water flow within pipes and “waste” (or drain) the remaining water.

Stop-and-Waste valves are mainly used in outdoor applications, such as for sprinkler systems to help prevent damage to pipes.

How Do Stop and Waste Valves Work?

Stop-and-waste valves are simple to operate but do require a key to open and close them. When the valve is closed, it prevents all water from flowing through your system. A hole then opens at the valve that drains any remaining water.

These valves are often left open for large parts of the year and are closed only when you manually shut them off, such as when you are trying to winterize your sprinkler system. Draining the water from your system before the colder months can help prevent water from freezing in your pipes (which can cause pipes to burst, leading to costly repairs).

When Should You Replace Stop and Waste Valves?

While a quality stop and waste valve can last decades, it’ll eventually need to be replaced. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell when the valve is at the end of its lifespan.

Thankfully, there are a few clear signs that you can watch out for:

  • Leaks: If your valve is leaking, especially when it’s in the closed position, it needs to be replaced.
  • Difficult to Operate: When stop and waste valves require a lot of effort to open or close, this means the valve is due for replacement. Trying to use too much force can damage your system.
  • Low Water Pressure: If your sprinkler heads aren’t popping up on your lawn, this could mean that there is a leak in your valve that’s causing your water pressure in your system to drop. 

If you aren’t comfortable with replacing your stop and waste valve or notice a different problem with your plumbing, our technicians are ready to help.

Call Black Diamond or book an appointment online today!

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