Today, we are going to talk about your water valves and how to maintain them, particularly during some of the extreme temperatures we find in Las Vegas. We’re looking specifically at the back flow anti-siphon valve. This is an expensive piece of pipe and when it breaks, floods or freezes, you are often looking at a large repair bill. We’ve asked Jimmi McKee from S & J Landscaping and McKee Development to talk to us about how to best maintain your water valves and protect them from inclement weather.
The easiest thing to do is to invest in a cover. Anyone can buy a cover for your water valves from places like Star Nursery or larger retailers such as Lowes and Home Depot. It’s a very inexpensive item and it keeps your valves well-insulated. The other option might be a fake rock, which you would just place over the valve, but we like these covers. You can see how it just slips on very easily. There is also a little latch where you can put a zip tie or a lock to keep it from being removed.
Underneath, the cover, you’ll keep your water valve wrapped well with tape and foam. Locate your shut off handles. The water comes in from one direction and goes out the other way to your valve box. Sometimes they can crack from the cold, and the heat can cause problems too.
Look for the little notch so you know how to turn the valves on and off. If you simply turn it where it looks like it’s cutting the pipe in half, it will cut off the water movement on one side. If you turn the other little notch the other way, it shuts that side off. If there’s a leak or you’re watering where you shouldn’t be, this is an easy way to shut off your irrigation water without going to the street to take care of it.
When it’s time to turn the water back on, turn those notches very slowly because you want the water to go to the pipe and not be abrasive. This is easy to do, and once you turn them correctly, you’ll allow the water to go back to the pipe. This is the best way to shut it off when you have leaks or other problems.
Take a look at the hose beds on the house. These are similar to the water valves in how they need to be maintained and protected. These hoses beds are exterior to the house and they’re easy to find. If the temperature goes below 32 degrees, they can freeze. Buy a bonnet that goes over the hose beds. These are simple to install and will keep your hose protected.
If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed, please contact us at Blackbird Realty and Property Management.