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What is this?

SuperTech
SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
edited March 2018 in Plumbing
I found this extremely corroded thing on my 1/2" water line coming off of my water heater. Whatever it is I doubt that it is functional. My house originally had a tankless coil on the boiler, but I've never noticed anything like this in any other house.

Any ideas about what it is and what it does? I feel like I should just cut it out due to condition, but if it serves a purpose I will replace it with a new one.

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    Perhaps under the barnacles is a globe valve with most of the handle eaten away. It looks like it may have been a drain back design because of the nub on the side.
    Some were not drain back but had a blank nub on the side where drain back/down part would have been.
    SuperTechHVACNUTHomerJSmithkcoppGordyrick in Alaska
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,324
    edited March 2018
    It looks like either one of two things:
    1. A flow limiter valve that's used with tankless coils




    2. A stop valve with a waste port (stop and waste).

    Due to the amount of corrosion, it's hard to tell.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Rich_49
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,515
    Hard to tell until it is cleaned off but it could also be a vacuum breaker also. I have one on my cold water pipe that came with a water heater I once installed. The water heater was all neoprene or some plastic material, including the inner lining. It was marketed by Sears and was called a "Survivor" The tank had a lifetime warranty. The burner was external to the tank and had a copper coil that the flame ran up the center of that coil. A pump circulated water through the coil and back into the tank. I liked the "Lifetime warranty" on the tank but the pump was the weak point and failed every 5 to 7 years and cost as much as the average new water heater. It had to go.
    Anyway, back to your question, a vacuum breaker had to be installed in the cold water line in case of a water main break. It would prevent the water heater from collapsing in on itself.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    This sucker is on the outlet side of the water heater. I wouldn't be surprised if it is a flow limiter. My DHW pressure is less than my cold water pressure

    I've made up my mind, I'm ripping that sucker out today since I'm not working. I'm off to the supply house. I'll update this post with my results, and I'll take a wire brush to the device in question after it's removed
  • ScottSecor
    ScottSecor Member Posts: 384
    My vote is a stop and waste valve.

    It looks like someone was about to replace it already by the vertical line on the copper pipe to the right of the valve. My guess is they fit the copper cutter on the tubing and never finished the cut.
    Canucker
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,800
    Occam's razor. Like @JUGHNE said, it used to be a globe valve. No handle, stem, packing nut and the little bleeder which was probably the culprit of the decay.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    If it is a globe valve, then it could be partially closed.
    They are by design somewhat of a pressure/flow dropper.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    edited March 2018
    I cut it out and replaced it with a straight piece of 1/2" type L. Hot water pressure is now equal to cold. :smile:
    I took some more pictures of it and tried to get a picture of the innards. It definitely restricts flow, likely for the tankless coil on the old boiler which is long gone. I noticed it has T and J as well as an arrow for flow direction cast in the brass.

    No one ever tried to replace anything, it's been there forever, this was my late mother's house, I know everything that has been done in the house since 1977.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,729
    Sure looks like a really tired globe valve. You can see the head of the screw that holds the warsher on in one of the pics.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    A soak in full strength vinegar might loosen a lot of the scale.

    If it is a globe valve, IIRC, the arrow is the flow direction so that when you open the waste port you drain the not pressured side of the valve. (such as a outside hose bib which you would open to get complete drain down...another HO chore to do when you put the storm windows on the house).
    Also, I believe you want the supply pressure on top of the washer/stem to help seal. If reversed then the pressure would have been pushing up the faucet washer.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    edited March 2018
    Maybe it's something like this flow restrictor in the attached picture. Certainly a globe valve would perform the same function.

    Maybe some CLR will help clean it up for further inspection. I'll try it after dinner.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    edited March 2018
    Bench grinder with brush would make quick work of it.

    Wear safety glasses BTY.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,729
    @JUGHNE, you sure about that? I've had water hammer with a boiler drain valve (same, internally) , I though it was because I was using it backwards to flush a mod con.
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,196
    edited March 2018
    Clean that sucker up and you can use it again. Waste not, want not.
    Danny ScullyRich_49
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,196
    edited March 2018
    The turn handle is usually made of zinc, which is why you don't see it--all gone.
    SuperTech
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    > @HomerJSmith said:
    > Clean that sucker up and you can use it again. Waste not, want not.

    I don't have any use for it anymore, I'm certainly not running a tankless coil on my boiler, but I know someone who does....
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    Ratio; I am wrong.....partially, sometimes maybe.
    So I found these valves in my collection:

    Prier, (K.C. Mo), 1/2" OD sweat globe valve with arrow for flow, the inlet flow would be against the bottom of the seating washer.

    Hammond, USA, 3/4" ID sweat globe valve with arrow for flow and waste port. Again the inlet is against the bottom of the seating washer. The waste/drain port is on the top of the washer, that is you can see the stem.

    Hammond boiler drain where the pressure is against the washer.

    So this is the standard, contrary to what I said. It stands to reason that with any of these valves you could shut them off, remove the packing nut and replace the packing and not see the system pressure during your repair.
    Just like a steam angle supply valve, you should be able to shut it off and repack the stem packing without getting burned....in theory anyway.

    However, referring to the 1967 Audel Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Library, "globe valves should be installed with the pressure on top of the disc, so line pressure can add to the seating pressure, particularly for hot water and steam where cooling may cause leakage to occur".
    The book also states that for easy servicing of packing to install valve with the pressure under the disc.
    So I am mostly wrong.

    An interesting point I never considered was to install a globe with the handle horizontally so if drain down for freeze protection was needed that the pipe could drain back.
    With the handle vertical then the valve would retain water on one side for about half the level of the pipe ID.

    This is really all old school, moot discussion, as just about all installed today are ball valves.

    The brand names of Prier and the original Hammond have been victims of corporate mergers and global outsourcing.

    The Audel libraries are still available in used book stores and are an interesting read for old steam systems and such. Every time I open one more pages fall out. :'(
    These were books that HO used to have and read concerning their houses etc.
    SuperTech
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,729
    It was my first mod con install, i had valves to flush the HX. Since our illustrious gusstimator didn't put in any valves (or back flow preventer, or anything else, for that matter), I tried to cheap out as much as possible. I tried to slowly fill the boiler to let the air leave, but the lower valve, where I was throttling the water, hammered like crazy; of course with the HO standing there watching. <sigh>

    I also got the dirt mag without the vent on top. Another mistake I'll never make again. I almost feel bad because of all the little mistakes like that I made, but the HO got a nice new mod con, piped pri-sec, for half the price of anyone else.

  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    Thanks for the help everyone. I knew one of the intelligent folks on here would be able to identify it. You guys are great. I love this site.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,175
    edited March 2018
    Do we get to see a picture of the device after cleaning??

    Inquiring minds want to know :p
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    Sorry I was on call last night and didn't get a chance to clean it up. But I'm going to!
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,319
    It’s a stop and waste valve...no mystery. Throw it in the scrap pile...i seriously hope @HomerJSmith has that deadpan humor down.
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,579
    I checked with my father who was a lifelong plumber and he confirmed that it was a stop and waste valve. It didn't belong on the long gone tankless coil and certainly doesn't belong on the tank style water heater. Either way it's history now. Into the scrap bucket. :smile:
    JUGHNE
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