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How old is this valve?

ChrisJ
ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,128
I've mentioned this a few times over the years.
Under my basement winder stairs is a very old shutoff valve on a water pipe. Due to it's placement, I have to assume it was there before those stairs were built which I estimate to be sometime in the late 1800s.

Here's the best picture I can get of it as I can't get near it.

The only real date I have is the town had "city water" put in back in 1881 and it ran about 80 PSI.

Directly behind this, is a huge stone cistern, but I believe that was used before 1881.

There's something laying on the handle, like a piece of foam insulation or who knows what, but it's a 2 spindle handle on what looks like a pretty beefy body and the entire thing is black.





Anyone know of a place to find pictures of old valves like this with info on them?
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

Comments

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,829
    Don't Touch it ! :)
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    Why don't you pull the valve out and clean it up? You might find some markings on the body.
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
    Lead pipe ?
    bob
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,128
    > @bob said:
    > Lead pipe ?

    Could be. I can't get under there so I won't be going near it until we rebuild the stairs
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,128
    If it is lead pipe that'd be interesting because the original owner died in his 80s after living here for a long long time
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,333
    Is that your charged water line?
    If so have you tested your water for lead?
    Where is your water meter?

    CI boiler up and then down those stairs? :*
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    There are a great many homes in the Duluth/Superior area that still have active lead water feeders from the main to the house. They're usually an inch or so in diameter. It's on the homeowner to pay the cost of replacement, and as most water services around here are buried about 8-9 feet down, replacement doesn't happen unless there's a leak.

    In Duluth, the homes that have been identified as having lead services get notified by the water utility to run their faucets for 2-3 minutes each day prior to drinking it, and get a monthly bill credit for the excess water usage. They also use that chemical that "coats" the insides of the pipes to prevent corrosion (not sure what exactly it is, though the local paper did an article on it after the Flint debacle).

    I remember my friend's dad telling me about this 20 years ago, and it hasn't changed much - another friend recently bought a house in an old neighborhood and that warning/information was in the disclosure.

    As for the valve - my mom's house has a water main valve with a handle identical to yours, @ChrisJ. There's a newer ball valve cut in 12" above it but it's still there. Next time I visit I'll take a picture for you - it's in the corner of the basement but out in the open. Her house was built in 1886 and had city water from the start.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,128
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > Is that your charged water line?
    > If so have you tested your water for lead?
    > Where is your water meter?
    >
    > CI boiler up and then down those stairs? :*

    No that line was by passed a long time ago. All of it in the house is copper and recent. The main coming in is galv.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,333
    Would the stone cistern water flowed by gravity into the basement thru that valve. Maybe a pitcher pump at the kitchen sink then connected to it? Maybe look for an abandoned 1 1/4" pipe size hole in the floor under the original kit sink location.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,128
    JUGHNE said:

    Would the stone cistern water flowed by gravity into the basement thru that valve. Maybe a pitcher pump at the kitchen sink then connected to it? Maybe look for an abandoned 1 1/4" pipe size hole in the floor under the original kit sink location.

    No, that valve used to feed a water line that passed through the basement stairs, and likely into the kitchen.

    The house was built sometime in the 1860s, so the cistern was likely used up until 1881 when the town had city water put in. Likely with a hand pump at the sink like you said.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment