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When to Replace a Stop and Waste Valve: A Big Bear Plumber Explains…

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


It isn’t unusual to leave your sprinkler lines active for the entire year. However, you need to shut the water off during the cold to prevent it from freezing and bursting the pipes. This is where a stop-and-waste valve comes in. It is essentially a key for stopping water flow whenever you need to.

In this article our Big Bear Plumbers discusses everything you need to know about when to replace your stop-and-waste valve in Big Bear. We also examine tips for maintenance and getting a long-lasting component.

Where is Your Stop and Waste Valve in Big Bear?

As a homeowner in Big Bear, you may not necessarily be able to tell where your stop and waste valve is located. But to know when to replace your stop-and-waste valve in Big Bear, you need to know how to find it.

Typically, the valve is buried three to five feet below ground. But you will normally have a standpipe that rises to ground level and allows the meter key to control water.

In locating the valve, you might notice a round, dark piece close to your house. This should lead you to the standpipe that connects to the valve.

Why is it Called a Stop and Waste Valve?

Stop-and-waste valves are one variant on a list of water shut-off valves. However, it is so named because when it is shut during winter, the valve stops water from flowing through. When this happens, a hole opens at the bottom to let the water out. Thus the name, ‘stop and waste.’

Stop-and-waste valves are also referred to as water main shut-offs. Regardless of the names, however, it is important to know when it is due for a replacement.

When to Replace a Stop and Waste Valve in Big Bear

At some point, a stop-and-waste valve may begin to leak. This could be due to long-time use. The valve may also encounter issues when items such as rocks or dirt are stuck in the component. When this happens, water leaks in vast quantities.

The situation worsens when you do not immediately notice the leak on the external part of your house. Thus, when you observe a sudden, inexplicable hike in your water bill, the stop-and-waste valve is one place you could check.

Your valve can also be damaged by various factors such as water quality, pressure, placement, etc. To detect a leak, simply turn the valve off. If water continues leaking, you need to contact your service experts.

On the valve, there are spots where leaks can occur. The nut, for instance, holds the stem steady. However, when the nut loosens, leaks occur. In this case, you do not need to replace your valve; rather, you just fasten this nut.

Also, the washer on the stem can be a cause for leaks. If the washer loosens up, leaks will occur. But like the latter case, there is no need to make a complete replacement. You will need to get a new washer to fix this issue.

Similarly, you can have water waste when the drain to the side of the valve is not properly shut. The looser it gets, the higher the chance of a leak happening.

You also need to replace your stop-and-waste valve when water drains down the pipe into which the T-bar has been placed. This flow can be slow or rapid and mostly happens when the valve is on. The problem this indicates is a worn seal.

Furthermore, your valve needs a change when turning it becomes difficult. It is also important to note that you may not notice when water fails to drain from the pipes until they burst. This could mean that the auto-drain mechanism is clogged or faulty.

How to Replace a Stop and Waste Valve

Having looked at when to replace a stop-and-waste valve, we will examine how to do so in this section.

In terms of equipment, you will need a hacksaw, shovel, pipe-cutter, hacksaw, tongue-and-groove plier, 1/2-inch gravel, and PVC solvent glue. The materials you also need include a new stop and waste valve, PVC elbows and unions, a PVC pipe, MIP fitting, preferably one that had a slip threaded outlet and a male outlet. When you procure these, shut the water supply and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Uncover the Valve by Digging

Dig the soil around the valve’s location to expose it. To prevent damage to the pipes, use a hand shovel, not heavy equipment. You will normally find the valve below the frost line. This is the depth to which the ground freezes during cold.

In really cold regions, the point can be quite deep.

Step 2: Check Your Materials

Check the valve and determine what materials you will be needing. What you use depends on the specifics of your valve.

Step 3: Cut out the Old Valve

You can do this with a hacksaw or a pipe cutter. To cut, sever the pipe on one side of the component and unscrew the old one. However, if you’re starting the work afresh, you may need to cut out the entire fixture.

Step 4: Use Your MIP Adapters

Now, the MIP Adapters have a threaded end. To this, apply the plumber’s tape and attach each adapter to one side of the new valve. Screw this tightly with your pair of tongue-and-groove pliers. Afterwards, put the valve in place to see if there is anything else you might need to complete your project.

Dry fit your pipes, and be sure that you installed everything perfectly.

Step 4: Secure the Valve with Glue

Use glue to secure all the PVC components. Glue the joining areas one at a time, saving the part with the most movement for last. This helps with assembling the installation. Ensure that all arrows point in the correct direction from the water source to the end of the sprinkler line.

Finally, let the glue cure as the manufacturer instructs.

Step 6: Replace the Soil Around the Valve

Now, pour the gravel into the bottom of the pit right up to the valve’s level. This ensures that the item is not affected by soil and water drains fine. Turn on your water supply to see if there is any leak in the work. Where there is none, refill the hole with dirt, solidifying it with your palm as you go.

Why Do You Need to Replace Your Stop and Waste Valve?

If you have some vegetation in your living space, chances are you need to water them. To do this, you need a sprinkler system that can be active all-round; otherwise, they will wither in the summer. However, it is also essential that you provide for the winter.

This is where a stop-and-waste valve comes in. It helps to stop water supply to your lawn since you won’t need it and drains any remaining water in the pipes to prevent it from freezing and bursting. Therefore, if you do not replace your valve, you run the risks of high water bills from a damaged valve, overwatered vegetation, and repair costs of broken pipes. These make a replacement essential.

How Long Does a Stop and Waste Valve Last in Big Bear?

As stated earlier, stop-and-waste valves will fail with use. However, they are not expected to do so early. A typical valve should last for an average of 15 years or as long as 30. It is essential to note that the quality of installation and the product itself determine how long the valve lasts before the next fix.

If your house is about ten to fifteen years old, you may need to replace your valve now.

What Types of Stop and Waste Valves Are There in Big Bear?

We can classify stop-and-waste valves by the kind of material they use. A stop valve utilizes a rubber gasket to stop the supply. On the other hand, a gate valve relies on a brass wedge to cut supply, while ball valves use a steel ball to block or let water through.

What is the Price of a Stop and Waste Valve?

In determining how much it will cost to replace a stop and waste valve, you need to include the price of labor and materials. Nationally, replacing your valve costs between $170 to slightly over $200. Note that cheap materials and inexperienced labor do not necessarily save costs. Instead, you might wind up having to repair it in a short while.

Who Can Repair a Stop and Waste Valve in Big Bear?

Without a doubt, you will find a variety of services that can fix your valve in Big Bear. However, once you determine when to replace your stop and waste valve in Big Bear, you need a company that can guarantee long use after repair. Bear Valley Plumbing and Restoration is a service that has been in the area for decades.

We have a track record of delivering quality in a prompt and professional manner. We are available 24/7 to help with any issues your sprinklers may have.

Can You Replace Your Stop and Waste Valve Yourself?

If you have the requisite skills for doing the work, you can certainly make your own repairs. However, if you feel uncertain about any part of the process, hire a professional technician to get the job done. This will save more costs in the long run.

Reach out to a Plumber in Big Bear Today!

This article has provided insights into what a stop and waste valve is, where it is located when to replace a stop and waste valve in Big Bear, and steps to follow when replacing it. If you’re experiencing problems with your valve, Call Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating to schedule an appointment.

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.