What is this part?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by crankycowboy, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. crankycowboy

    crankycowboy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    dallas
    Hey guys. First I need to give the disclaimer that I'm not a plumbing professional. I would say I'm an above average DIY guy who has taken on some large projects for myself. Recently my wife noticed the ground outside our house pretty wet. We had also noticed our water bill had gone up substantially. So I started to dig down where the ground was the wettest and found a valve box with a inline valve and some other sort of check valve, or some other kind of item in-line. whatever this is, has a couple pin holes in it. I am posting a picture because I'm wondering what it is. The repair is rather straight forward, I just don't know what I'm looking for as a replacement part. Any help is appreciated. Oh, by the way, this is right in front of my house just before the slab. photo.JPG
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    WHere is the water meter...I'm assuming with the leak and your increased bill, it's closer to the street. Often, before the meter, the city is responsible. I can't tell from the picture what you have. It could be a pressure reduction valve, a check valve, or, if you have a sprinkler system, maybe a backflow preventer.
  3. crankycowboy

    crankycowboy New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    dallas
    Meter is near the street. This leaking part is just in front of my house, right in front of the slab. On the back side of the leaking part (closest to the house) is another needle valve (just like one you would see at a faucet to turn on your water hose).
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,015
    Location:
    New England
    A close up, in focus, and we'd have a better chance of identifying what's there.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,146
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    What ever it is seems like it should not be buried, If it is off of the main line.

    It could be a shutoff valve that the city owns.

    Most likely a watering system that was discontinued.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is a "lousy" picture so we can't tell much about it. A partial side view would also be better than a picture of their tops. Almost EVERYONE thinks they are an "above average" DIYer.
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,175
    Location:
    Maine
    I think it's what's left of a pressure reducing valve, the top bell having been rusted completely away.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,146
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I think your are correct.

    It seems kind of silly to bury it.

    Only in the city I guess.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,005
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If it's a PRV (pressure reducing valve), then it's time to replace it anyway. If you house is on a slab, you may need to find a way to enter the home with a new line from the meter. Old pipe can be useless to work with. What age is the home?
    And the water district can tell you what the street pressure is. If it's over 80 PSI, then it needs a PRV.
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    A PRV really should be located inside the house, and certainly not buried. It also might be a back flow prevention fixture for a sprinkler system. If that is what it is, it should not be buried either and should located where it can be tested by a certified inspection annually. The poor picture quality really leaves us guessing, but whatever it turns out to be, it should be replaced and as Terry points out, old galvanized pipe can be impossible to work with.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If it were a PRV with a missing top, he would not have any water, because it would have been the same as backing the screw all the way out for "zero" pressure. The "lower" item looks like the top of a broken gate valve which has been unscrewed from its body. But since it is a "lousy" picture we are all guessing.
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