View Full Version : Plumbing Question-Main Water Cutoff to the House??

Randy Meijer
07-29-2005, 3:43 PM
For reasons I won't bore everyone with, I'm going to redo the plumbing for the cut-off valve, hydrant and drain valves to my home. I've done this several times before so the technique is not a problem.

Whenever you see a standard installation, the valve stems are oriented in a vertical position. I got to thinking(dangerous for me, sometimes) that from an ergonomic perspective, it might make more sense to rotate the valves 90 so that the stems are in a horizontal position with the handles rotating in a vertical plane?? Anyone know if this is permitted(or prohibited) by standard plumbing codes and what problems, if any, do you see with such an arrangement?? Thanks.

Jerry Clark
07-29-2005, 5:00 PM
I see no reason that it will be a problem-- But I would change it from a gate type valve to a full ball valve. I have had to many gate valves that would not shut off which required shutting off at the main. These have a lever that when off is accross the line which show when on/off. :cool:

Michael Perata
07-29-2005, 7:21 PM

You mentioned you had a hydrant. There may be a local fire code mandating valve location/operation.

Ernie Nyvall
07-30-2005, 5:46 PM
The valves I use have a straight handle, and with a quarter turn, they are on or off. I do have one vertical and another horizontal. Oddly enough, with a straight away hole to get to the vertical and with the straight handle, it is harder to get leverage on it to turn.

When I lived in a colder climate though, the concern was freezing and so valves were underground. We used a 2' "T" shaped rod to turn it on and off. Of course that was at a time when there wasn't all the ways we have to insulate now.


Russ Filtz
07-30-2005, 8:52 PM
Ernie, the stright handle valve is a ball valve that Jerry mentioned. I also HIGHLY recommend using a ball valve. I think a normal valve (gate type I believe) would be too easily damaged in the horizontal arrangement and may therefore be prohibited. A ball valve stem would be harder to hurt, but I'd still consult the local inspector.

Frank Hagan
07-30-2005, 11:57 PM
I see a lot of ball valve cut off valves installed so that the stem is horizontal (the ball valve itself is installed vertically). With a ball valve, I don't think there is any restriction to how it is installed.

Randy Meijer
07-31-2005, 2:35 AM
Thanks for the comments and sorry if I mislead anyone. By hydrant, I mearly meant an outside faucet, not a fire hydrant.

noun: a discharge pipe with a valve and spout at which water may be drawn from the mains of waterworks

noun: a faucet for drawing water from a pipe or cask

The valves that are there now are just the simple rubber washer cut-off valves. As someone mentioned previously, I've had a problem or two with gate valves so those are out. The ball valves are a little extra trouble to install; but I will probably go that route unless the local code prohibits them.

Michael Perata
07-31-2005, 10:26 AM

I built seveal houses in the hills above Santa Cruz (as referred to by the Doobie Brothers). Local fire regs require a hydrant. Not the kind that dogs pee on but a stand pipe with a specific valve type.

I knew you weren't talking about "fire hydrants". ;)