Water meter aggravations
I've been posting on the subject of water meter and shutoff, as well as check valves.
I have learned a lot over the past couple of days, doing a lot of Googling.
Today I went to Home Depot to pick up a ball valve for the shutoff after the meter (there is of course one before the meter as well).
I had to go to a plumbing supply to get a meter coupling and check valve.
I was supposed to get a dual check valve, conforming to ASSE 1024, but what the guy sold me was only a single, which I didn't know until I looked it up on the Watts site.
I am going to return it to him tomorrow, and hopefully he will have the correct one (Watts 7 series) was what the Watts rep told me on the phone this afternoon.
I am wondering why the water utility doesn't install/replace the check valve when the meter is replaced, considering the device is for protection of its supply.
The device that's in my line now (if there is one at all) probably doesn't work anymore, as it's probably as old as the house, or close to 80 years!
While at the PS, I was going to buy a meter coupling, but the only one he had looked too big. It has a large hex nut on the meter side, and 3/4" male pipe on the other.
My meter is labeled 5/8 T-10, but the guy in the PS told me T-10 doesn't mean anything to him.
Now, after inspecting and measuring the nuts on the meter couplings, I find that the one he was going to sell me is probably the correct one.
Apparently the 5/8" is just the orifice size.
Has anyone here done any work on the water meter, and know about meter couplings and dual check valves?
I read the New Jersey plumbing code, and it does mention ASSE 1024 for dual check valves.
I think if I get any more frustrated over just finding the right parts, I'm going to just call a licensed plumber to do this job. Maybe that is what I have to do anyway.
I hope that if I do have to call the plumber, he will use my parts. He should actually be happy to have all the parts on hand instead of having to go out and find them himself.
And then there's the issue of an inspection. I don't see anything in my town's code about plumbing inspections, let alone plumbing code, but I assume they have adopted the New Jersey code, just as they have done with electrical.
I sent an e-mail to my water company to ask what spec the check valve has to meet.
I apoligize if I am sounding confusing, but all I want to do is fix a leak, and at the same time assure that there won't be another one next week!
Thanks for reading.
Measure the inlet and outlet lines take a closeup digital picture of the arrangement take that to the SH get what you need shut off the water coming from the street and replace same, open slow and look for leaks.
They don't make all permutations of couplings and elbows and sizes so you may need more than two pieces on each side of the meter to transition from meter port to 3/4 inch copper or whatever. This in turn may make the assembly quite long and force you to use additional elbows to double back and get the assembly to fit in the space provided. The whole meter assembly should have some support such as a tether from the ceiling in addition than the pipes it is connected to.
My meter is installed in a space where I believe I do have enough room to make all the connections without anything fancy.
I do not have to touch the input side of the meter. That is fine. I just need to replace the section from the output of the meter to the rest of my plumbing.
I went back to the PS, and found that they have two different sizes of meter couplings, so not being absolutely sure which one I need, I purchased both (will return the unused one).
I have already purchased a ball valve for the shutoff after the meter.
I am now trying to determine whether or not I need a backflow prevention device.
There is some sort of elongated coupling type fitting in the old line, but I cannot tell whether it is a backflow device or just a long coupling.
I received information from my water utility which indicates a backflow prevention device required if the customer has another water source connected to the same system as the utility, or if he has fire equipment connected to his system.
If my utility does not require the backflow prevention device I don't want to install one. It seems to me that these devices restrict water flow to some extent, and I could use all the flow I can get<g>.
It would also ba an added expense, and more work to install.
I am lucky so far in that this is not an emergency. There is a very slow drip at one of the elbows after the meter, but I think it will remain just a slow drip for some time.
With the exception of lawn irrigation lines and outside silcocks (faucets), I have never seen a requirement for backflow preventers to be installed after the meter. Even though the Water Department owns your meter, the piping from the street (main line) to your home is your responsibility. Anything on the street side of the curb stop (your true main shut-off valve) is the Water Departments property. Sinks and tubs are required by code to have a 1" air gap between the end of the spout and the top edge of the fixture. This prevents back-flow. A 5/8" meter has a large nut, but is made for 3/4" piping.
What I did find though is that my furnace does not have a backflow preventer in-line. I talked to the Watts rep and he told me that there is supposed to be one upstream of the regulator to the furnace.
That makes more sense than putting one in-line with the silcock (at least in my situation), since loss of house pressure could result in water from the heating pipes flowing into the system (and possible into the municipal water supply). I am going to install one in that line shortly.
My mistake, since I forgot about hot water heat. Thinking about it, I am surprised water heaters don't need them since the supply line has a dip tube on it. All new homes I have worked on for a number of years have had back-flow preventers required on the outside faucets. Inspectors always checked to make sure the allen screw was broken off to insure it could not be removed later.
Where I live all water services entering the house have back flow preventer's, I think its a good thing because if you have a problem anywhere on the property IE: heater, landscape, etc it's covered.
At this point I am still waiting for an answer from my water utility on the need for a backflow device.
I am going to install one on the furnace regardless, but I'm not going to touch my silcock unless I replace it.
I guess if I cannot get a difinitive answer from my utility on this, I will install the approved dual check valve. This way, if an inspector says I need it, I won't have to cut apart my new plumbing to install it.
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