A Valve That Leaks A Lot When Closed (and Its 8 Feet Underground). - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:00 PM   #1
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A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


It's time to shut off and blow out the sprinkler lines here.

I went to close the main valve to them, and when I close it, which requires reaching down there with an 8 foot tool and turning the valve off, it starts to leak rather fast.

This is some what of a hail mary, as I assume that replacing the valve isnt a big deal once you dig a few tons of dirt out.


I can't see a packing nut, so I am thinking that this type of valve might not use one.

Here are my questions.


#1, the frost line here is 30 inches at most.. any thoughts on why it would be so far down?

#2, any thoughts on how a valve can be replaced without digging the whole thing up? (Sounds impossible to me, but you guys are smarter.).

#3 Am I wrong about the packing nut? I'd love to think I could fix it from up here without all the digging, not that it wouldn't still be tough to do.

#4, Is there a type of rental equipment that can dig down that far, if I have to do that?
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:15 PM   #2
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


Does it leak when all the way off?
If it is a hydrant type valve it will leak from pressure when it get near off and until the lines drain when completely off.
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Old 10-15-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


Wish I knew. It appears to be a valve on a 2 inch pipe with a 90 degree rotation from on to off, with a straight line raised control that i interface with via a long tool and a pipe wrench. To test this out, would i just turn it off and see if it's still leaking tomorrow?



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Old 10-15-2016, 11:09 PM   #4
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


It seems to make no sense that it would be down that deep. Joed's suggestion and your response make sense. It may well be that the valve is self draining and the 'leak' is the water in the line(s) being drained, although that would seem to negate the need to blow out the lines. Is the system new to you or is this a new problem with a system you are familiar with?
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:03 AM   #5
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


I hadn't thought about it being a self draining thing on purpose. What worries me is that while I haven't lived here long, I don't recall this happening last year. I'm going to close it in the morning and see how long it seems to leak

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Old 10-16-2016, 01:54 PM   #6
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


You might want to get a sprinkler company over for a one-time visit. They might be familiar (or at least heard of) your design and offer some insights. The danger might be that if you convince yourself it is the lines draining and you are wrong. . .

If the lines are down that far, imagine how long your risers are.

Yard hydrants (found on farms, etc.) are typically designed to be buried for a 4' line depth, and are usually installed in a small pit of gravel to aid drainage. The point being is to put the valve, and hence the supply water, below the frost line. If you can see you valve way down there, it means that it is open to the surface, which might negate it being a frost-free design. So I'm kinda talking myself out of thinking it might be self-draining.
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Old 10-16-2016, 02:45 PM   #7
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


My guess is you have a self draining curb stop. They're quite common in my area- 4 to 6 ft deep
If this tees from your service line and goes to your double check and zone valves, then it can't be blown out with air- so it needs to gravity drain to protect the riser to the zone valves.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:43 PM   #8
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


The thing is if you don't turn it all the way off you can get into a position where it wants to drain and water is still flowing. There is a bit of a cross over point right near the all off position.
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:18 PM   #9
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Re: A valve that leaks a lot when closed (and its 8 feet underground).


It appears that it is a hydrant type valve. It stopped draining after a while.
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