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  1. #1
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    Default Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Is this a main water shut-off valve ? I don't think it is. I see these valves daily around Dallas homes. The housing box says ICV (Irrigation Control Valve), and I am sure that is what it is, however on this house today it was in direct line-of-sight path of the water supply feed coming from the city valve-meter. I could not locate any other valve in the flower bed except this one. (Typically in newer Dallas homes the main water shutoff is below ground in the front flower bed). Also, I have on occasion seen a house shut-off housed in a box that read "ICV". This does not look like any house shutoff I have seen. Anyone know?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    No, not unless they have the entire house supply running through the sprinkler double check valve.
    Nice shoes!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Jim, Thanks for confirming what I thought.


  4. #4
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Are you sure there was not a second meter? In my area there are often two meters one for the house and one for irrigation, the reason is that sewer rated are based on water usage.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    I rarely find water supply valve boxes except at new construction since they get buried over time since it seems all are in flower beds hiding under the shrubs.
    I tell my clients to get a meter key and wrench and hang it on the wall in the garage for emergencies since the meter will always be accessible out at the curb and the brass valves are much more durable than the service valve typically found at the front of the house.
    There are no required back-flow preventers anywhere in our area for residential except on irrigation systems.
    I would be really surprised if that valve was not an irrigation valve.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    David Bell's Avatar
    David Bell Guest

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Looks like a backflow for a lawn irragation system.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    There is always the pragmatic angle, turn it off and see what happens.
    No harm either way.

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  8. #8
    Richard Reynolds's Avatar
    Richard Reynolds Guest

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    This appears to me to be the manifold used to hook up an air source to purge the sprinklers. I have one at my home that looks just like this.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Richard
    You may have one, and someone may even connect air to, but it is not for that purpose.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
    Richard Reynolds's Avatar
    Richard Reynolds Guest

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Well that may not be what it is for but mine is hooked up to my sprinklers and we use it every year to blow them out in the fall to keep them from freezing. That might be why it is located in a sprinkler box.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Maybe it is for that purpose then, I thought the fittings were to connect guages to the manifold.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  12. #12
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Jim has it completely right.

    There are no main shut offs anywhere around here that have that set up. It is always for the sprinklers.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Even though it may or may not be connected to a sprinkler, I believe it is still a backflow preventer.
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  14. #14
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Even though it may or may not be connected to a sprinkler, I believe it is still a backflow preventer.
    Watts: 719 | Double Check Valve Assemblies, Bronze

    It is. It is required on sprinklers.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fritzkelly View Post
    It is a backflow preventer. Some municipalities (mine) require them on the main water line, particularly if there is a well on the property, some don't. So it isn't correct to say that they are "only" required on sprinkler piping.
    Ted and I were speaking specifically of THAT check valve and our service area, which is the same as Gene. No municipality in our area requires a check valve on residential water supply except on sprinklers. They ARE "only" required on sprinklers around here.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Ted and I were speaking specifically of THAT check valve and our service area, which is the same as Gene. No municipality in our area requires a check valve on residential water supply except on sprinklers. They ARE "only" required on sprinklers around here.
    I thought they had to be installed above grade? Maybe that was always just a presumption on my part is that is the way I've *always* seen them installed.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    I believe you would have the option (depending on the AHJ) of using an above grade anti-siphon valve or the valve pictured which is not required to be above grade. The double check valve assembly is supposed to be certified annually (but is rarely enforced) to ensure proper operation.

    From a local city (Allen)
    Plumbing Requirements:
    Materials shall be those which are included in the 2006 International Plumbing Code or
    in the 2006 International Residential Code
    Atmospheric vacuum breakers shall not be subject to continuous pressure and must be
    installed at least 6” above grade. If pressure type vacuum breakers are used, they must
    be installed at least 12” above grade
    Other listed backflow preventers (such as double check valve assemblies), shall be
    installed in accordance with their listing and according to 30 TAC 344 from TCEQ.
    Minimum of 2” space from gravel to double check
    Minimum of 6” gravel base in bottom


    Here is a handy reference from a local testing company

    What is a reduced pressure zone assembly?
    A reduced pressure zone assembly protects water from substances that may contaminate water causing illness or death.
    A sprinkler/irrigation system that has a chemical feed requires this device. It is also commonly used in commercial establishments to protect against numerous contaminants. These devices must be installed above ground.
    Back to FAQs
    What is a double-check valve assembly?
    A double-check valve assembly protects water from substances that may pollute but not contaminate the water.
    For instance, sprinkler/irrigation systems are required to be protected by these devices. They are normally installed near the meter in an underground box.

    Notice the reduced pressure valve must be installed above ground but the double check valve is normally installed below ground.


    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 02-08-2010 at 08:53 PM.
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  18. #18
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    You are only going to get in trouble for stealing water. If the line on your side of the meter cracks, breaks, leaks for what ever reason the meter gets shut off by you or a plumber. You fix the pipe/connection. Turn the meter back on. If the meter shut off breaks when you/plumber shuts it off the meter is old and should be replaced anyway.

    The only time I have ever seen or heard of someone getting in trouble or paying for a meter are those that are stealing water. Thats in Mass, Florida and now here in Texas. Do you think a plumber calls or stops at the city hall after 5 or weekends or anytime to fix a leaking pipe before or at your shut off for the house????? He goes to the meter, shuts the water off. Sucks the water out of the hole he made to fix the pipe. Fixes the pipe/fitting/leak. Turns the water back on at the meter.

    A little edit here

    I also tell my clients that they should have a key to shut the water off in case of an emergency as well. A whole lot better than flooding the home and causing untold amount of damage because there shut off has filled with dirt or no longer works. Get in trouble for telling them so. Not a chance.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
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    9

    Default Re: Is this a main water shut-off valve ?

    Looks like an irrigation system to me.


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