Mystery Valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Bird Doo Head, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Bird Doo Head

    Bird Doo Head New Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Plumbing's been on my mind al lot these days, with projects. So, I've been here for hours on end, studying and asking. An often forgotten plumbing question popped into my head today (when I bashed my noggin' on it again!)

    In my basement is a Mystery Valve. It sticks out of the wall, at about a 45 degree angle and is about 4 feet above the slab. Outside of that wall it is my driveway (3 or so feet higher than this valve). The wheel is stamped "SMITH" and has the number 4292 cast into it. It's about 8 1/2" in diameter. I don't know if this is a clue or not, but the house above it is about 100 years old and the basement was added in the early 50's (I think).

    The sleeve is a piece of 2" BIPS and the stem exits through an ips cap with a hole drilled into it for the stem. If the cap is off, I can see, with a light quite a distance, but nothing much to see. There is no smell with the cap off & there's no packing around the stem.

    About 20 years ago, I tried to turn it until my Guardian Angel smacked me in the head and told me not to poke a sleeping bear. I can't imagine what it is. Obviously, this is not a critical issue, I'm just curious if any of you know what this valve is for.


    Attached Files:

  2. export!

    export! DIY Member

    Oct 19, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    If you turn it you can change the relative position of your island in the space time continuum.

    (If you watch LOST you might smile. If not - disregard ;) )
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    That would normally be a sewer shutoff valve, although Smith's 4292 is actually a cleanout, but it could be an older numbering system.
  5. Bird Doo Head

    Bird Doo Head New Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    If I bang my head on it one more time, I'm afraid I will permanently change the relative position of the island known as my brain!
    Got to put something in front of it soon!

    Thanks for the info about it being a sewer shut of valve. It does make sense, as this area of the city was well known for frequent sewer back ups, according to long time residents, until the 80's when larger pipes were installed. (Which already had to have liners installed) Most of the houses have their weep tiles, footing drains, sump pumps and sometimes downspouts tied into the sanitary line, overloading it. (For some reason, I'm the only one on the block without a sump pump. My basement is dry. Don't tell anyone)

    Sadly, that confirms that my house is piped under the pristine concrete driveway. I have a root problem. Eventually, I suppose I won't be able to auger it out anymore & up comes the driveway!

    Thanks Again,
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