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Have you ever wondered what the difference between a stop and waste valve is? It’s commonly referred to as the “sprinkler main shutoff,” which is 4-5 feet in the ground and is turned off by that long “T-bar.” It’s basically an isolation valve that allows you to turn off the sprinklers in the winter without turning off the water to your house. Shutting off the stop and waste valves also allows a portion of the main sprinkler line to drain, reducing the likelihood of pipes freezing and breaking. System water is distributed throughout your home via complex plumbing, resulting in a faultless system that operates without your intervention. However, certain components of that plumbing system, such as the stop and waste valve, ensure that you never have any problems. A stop and waste valve is essential for protecting your plumbing and keeping your sprinkler system in top shape for homeowners in Salt Lake City, where temperatures can reach all-time lows in the winter.

How does it work?

A Sprinkler Technician will physically dig down to your main water line, which comes from the city via the water meter out near the road and enters the house through your foundation, when installing a sprinkler system. Older lines were made of galvanized steel, but copper main lines were introduced in the 1970s and 1980s. Copper is frequently found in new homes.

This mainline brings cooking water to your property. The sprinkler technician will cut into the mainline between the water meter and where it enters the house’s foundation and install a “compression T.”

The stop and waste valve is connected to the main culinary line via the compression T and runs perpendicular to it. The water flows from the stop and waste valves to the sprinkler valves, which are located in the green valve boxes around your yard.


Why is it called a “Stop and Waste Valve”?

It’s really quite simple. When you turn off the water in the fall, the flow of water past the valve is “stopped.” When it is turned off, a hole at the bottom of the valve is opened, allowing water to drain out between the stop and waste and regular sprinkler valves, thus “wasting” the water. This “wasting” reduces the likelihood of pipes freezing and breaking during the winter, at least in the main sprinkler line. The system should be blown out with an air compressor to ensure that all of the water has been removed from all of the lines.

Signs That Your Stop & Waste Valve Requires Service


Because your sprinkler system runs beneath the ground and is generally hidden, it is critical to be on the lookout for any signs that you require stop and waste valve repair. The following are some of the most common symptoms:



High water bill: Your sprinkler drain valve is designed to allow the necessary amount of water to leak out of your system. If the valve malfunctions, it may release too much water, resulting in higher-than-usual water bills.

Low water pressure: Do you have sprinkler heads that don’t work? A water leak at your stop and waste valve could be lowering the pressure in your sprinkler system as a whole.

Water Leaks: If your waste valve allows too much water to escape, you will notice water leaks around the water valve, your sprinkler pump, or even in your lawn.

System Doesn’t Run: Because a sprinkler system operates on pressure, if your pump isn’t getting enough water to prime or if your water supply is too low, your irrigation system will not operate at all.

Frozen Pipes: Frozen pipes are a particular concern for Salt Lake City residents. The purpose of a sprinkler stop valve is to keep water out of your plumbing. If your sprinkler system isn’t turning on after a particularly cold spell, your stop and waste valves may be to blame.

Valley Plumbing and Drain Cleaning specializes in stop and waste valve repair. With years of experience, our plumbers can quickly diagnose problems and provide you with a long-term solution that will keep your home safe.

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