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PWJ: First Day Out – Valves

Plumbing with Jill:

plumbing with Jill.First day out – Valves


Searching for a pair of work boots that I didn’t hate was tricky.  I am a big fan of shoes and I work hard to find the least ugly pair of steel toe work boots.  I eventually purchased Blundstone boots.

So I grabbed my boots, some jeans and I was ready to go.  I also go to grab a hard hat.  Sadly this adventure did not require me to wear said hard hat!

We went to a few different job sites and the first thing I realized was the amount of coordinating of trades that was necessary.  Of course I knew this was true as I had heard it around the office but standing in the job space talking with three different trades and the site supervisor it made me realize the immense need for the organizing to happen.  Things can’t get done unless the other one is ready, waiting around costs money and results in people moving on to other jobsites and then in turn holding up another trade.  Then holding up the whole project and costing even more money.  So trade communication is key!  First lesson learned.

Our first stop was a project that was just starting, Jeff marked out the space for the trench that needed to be cut in order for us to start.  Once again, very important for us to specify the location and size in order to have it done properly.

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We went to a request for quotation regarding a private business, it was interesting to see the different requirements that everyone needs.  Jeff has considerable knowledge of all things plumbing and easily knew what the customer needed and how we could do it!

Our last stop was a store renovation to create one large store.  We found one of our employees in a hole!

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We needed to find the sewer pipe to get ready to put in a new washroom in the space.  This is the location that I learn a little about valves.  This valve was placed in this pipe below because we were unable to get the water to drain off enough to cut the pipe.  This pipe was the lowest point in the building and all of the water drained in this direction.  In order to use solder you must have dry conditions.  Our employee had to add a valve in order to be able to cut the pipe and place a Y joint on the pipe to use the water for this new location.

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On our trip back to the office I started to wonder how the valve worked.  Since I don’t use them or even pay attention to them I didn’t know the answer.  Jeff explain the different kinds to me and when we arrived back at the office I got to see each version.  Which was very helpful as I didn’t quite understand one of them.

First up,  the ball valve.  This is the one I didn’t quite understand but I think I get it a little better.  The valve is curved out slightly and allows for a hollow ball to be turned (when open) to the hole allowing water to flow through easily.  When closed the ball quite literally is turned to complete stop the water from flowing through.  The above photo is what a ball valve looks like on your pipe.  Below is a picture of the inside of the ball valve closed.Photo 2015-07-22, 9 52 38 AM



Next up is a gate valve.  Of course my first question was, why do you need a different kind if they both stop the water.  The gate valve allows for you to slow the water down as an option.  So you can close it slightly to allow water to flow through but not as fast or as much.  The picture I have is partially closed to show you how is works.

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There is one other kind of valve that we have in our back shop but I don’t know the reason for it’s existence so I will leave it out for now.

Not that you or I are going to go out and start using valve but it’s nice to know a little bit more about them!

I hope that you enjoyed this edition of Plumbing with Jill, until next time!


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