Alternative to ball valve with waste

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jim mills, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    I'm adding some water supply shutoffs to zone a 4 unit apartment so the individual units can be serviced without shutting off water to the other units. I want to be able to drain the lines at the valve, but I don't have a lot of confidence in ball valves with waste. I've sheared a couple off opening them, so I get a bit paranoid when I see one. Any suggestions for a good alternative?
  2. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    I think you need to explain "I've sheared a couple of them off" in more detail for us to understand your concern.
  3. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    Cant remove them with my fingers, so I "gently" grab them with a plier to try & remove them only to have the entire nipple shear off.
    bv.jpg

    PS: I actually sheared one off with my fingers once.
  4. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Put a tee and hose bibb after the valve.
  5. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    thought about that, but not sure it's legal.
  6. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    Hmmm. I thought I would get some responses to this. Do pex manifolds have waste drains? What's more annoying than having to cut a pipe full of water?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,525
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is one company that makes a ball valve, with a ballvalve drain on the side of it, normally used for servicing a tankless water heater.
  8. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    Yeah, I've seen those. Webstone I believe. Very spendy. Maybe I'll just forget the idea...
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

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    2,133
    Location:
    IL
    That is an odd reaction.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; thought about that, but not sure it's legal.

    Why not? It is how MOST hose bibbs are installed. You just need to have the approved vacuum breaker on the hose bibb, because someone will connect a hose some day.
  11. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    Now all of the sudden I have a dozen hose bibs in my plumbing system. How rube Goldberg is that? I don't know about you guys, but I like to drain water lines before I work on them. Hmmm...another reason why I don't like pex manifolds with home run. Sure you can turn the water off to individual fixtures, but you can't drain the line.
  12. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    Why not use ball valves with a waste. Take the cap off before you install it and put a little plumbers grease on the threads.
  13. jim mills

    jim mills New Member

    Messages:
    141
    Location:
    nebraska
    You are probably right Tom. But almost every house in this area has non frost proof hose bibs outside with a valve with waste inside of the house that needs to be drained every winter. I have replaced countless numbers of them with frost proof spigots & have noticed that just about every one of them is corodded or stuck. Probably from neglect, but I just don't have a lot of confidence in them.
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,133
    Location:
    IL
    Are you saying a boiler drain valve would not be allowed for this application?
  15. Smooky

    Smooky Member

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    600
    Location:
    NC
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,133
    Location:
    IL
    So the normal laundry tub faucets are not allowed in your world either?[​IMG]

    If this were about safety, there would be a backflow valve to each apartment. A drain valve draining the water from a third floor apartment is not going to suck water in.

    This must be some new thing for basement faucets, because it seems that among the big box stores, only the hose connections designed for outdoors have vacuum breakers.

    Would you feel satisfied if he added a vacuum breaker to each MHT faucet? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  17. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    600
    Location:
    NC
    Reach4
    If a hose can be attached then a vacuum breaker is required. If someone putts a hose bibb adapter on the end of the sink spout it must be removed or they must put on a vacuum breaker. You could do it, until you get caught or poison yourself.
    In the case of a multi story building it is especially important. Since 9/11 most every municipality has required RPZs on businesses, but vacuum breakers are still required on hose bibbs, ice machines, dish machines, etc. etc. The RPZ protects the source but the vacuum breaker on the third floor would prevent that water from backing up into the water line and being drank on a lower floor or somewhere else in the building.

    Stores sell things that people will buy but that does not mean it is going to meet code. They sell bell traps at the local Lowe's, I don't know anywhere they meet code. A hose bibb or sillcock with out a vacuum breaker is OK on a rain barrel, otherwise you might not get enough flow. So there are legitimate reasons to have them and you can always put on a vacuum breaker.

    To answer your question about the hose bibb vacuum breaker, sure he could do that. I would install them with an allen screw and not the break-a-way screw or just not include the screw. With water gravity flowing out I am not sure if it would all drain out with a vacuum breaker in place.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,133
    Location:
    IL
    Thanks.

    Regarding the bell trap, good example. But they do sell a lot of non-bell traps too. Those stores don't seem to sell any washing machine supply valves or home laundry sink faucets with built in vacuum breakers. It also seems to me that if a vacuum breaker were needed/used in a system, it would be a lot more effective placed up higher but before the next valve, rather than on every tap.

    I guess with the valves for the OP, he could maybe tee off to a plug/cap. Now there is no MHT on the drain. Of course the valves with the built-in drains supplemented by the plumber's grease, used as anti-seize, seems to be a clean option.
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