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A Common Irrigation Problem

Although it’s buried and easily forgotten about, your irrigation system is actually one of the hardest working components of your home’s plumbing. Irrigation systems are typically more complicated than the handful of sinks, and bathroom plumbing fixtures in your home.

They also handle more volume of freshwater than all the other aspects of your plumbing combined. They do all of this while being subjected to the elements of the hard Santa Fe sun. When taking all of this into account, it’s no wonder that irrigation system problems can be abundant.

Many irrigation system problems can be tied back to one faulty component: the stop-and-waste valve. In this article, you will learn what a stop-and-waste valve is and why it is important to the operation of your irrigation system.

What Is a Sprinkler Stop-And-Waste Valve?

what are waste valvesAn irrigation sprinkler stop-and-waste valve is a design feature that is intended to protect your system from damage, particularly freezing damage. A stop-and-waste valve allows you to turn off the water to your system if you please, while also letting the leftover water in the irrigation lines drain out.

Some models are manual and are actuated only at the beginning and end of a watering season by the homeowner. Other models are automatic and are controlled by the irrigation controller so lines are drained after every irrigation sequence.

Seeing a stop-and-waste valve actuate can be surprising because they allow water to flow from the valve body, leading homeowners to believe they are faulty.

Where Is a Stop-And-Waste Valve Located?

Stop-and-waste valves are located at a low point in your irrigation system. Typically there will be a box somewhere on your property where your property’s freshwater supply hooks into your irrigation lines.


The box may contain a few other valves, an irrigation controller, and a backflow preventer. The purpose of putting this valve underground is so that gravity can drain your system through the stop-and-waste valve.

Cost of Not Repairing Stop-And-Waste Valves

sprinkler stop and waste costStop-and-waste valves are not expensive to repair but failure to maintain them in working conditions can be. After a few years, stop-and-waste valves can go bad and allow water to continue to sit in your irrigation lines over winter.

Shallow irrigation lines will almost certainly freeze and crack. Irrigation heads are also susceptible to freezing damage since water can pool in them as well.

Furthermore, homeowners often don’t realize damage has occurred until they turn on their irrigation systems in the spring and full pressure water washes away parts of their landscape.

By checking and replacing your stop-and-waste valve you can prevent all the hassle of having to constantly repair a plumbing emergency.

About Daniels Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC

Daniels Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC is a plumbing contractor serving the Santa Fe, NM region. Serving residential and commercial customers alike, they keep themselves committed to a high level of customer satisfaction.