Mystery Valve

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Bird Doo Head

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Hi Everyone.

I've got a very un-important question about a valve that has been on my mind since I bought my house 25 years ago. I just happened to remember it as I just hit my head on the valve while bending over to unplug my computer! It is just a mystery that I think about sometimes.

The valve has a hand wheel about 10 inches in diameter. It is stamped "Smith" (Hence the guess that it is for plumbing). It exits my North basement wall at a 45 degree angle, about 4 feet from the floor.
I would suppose it ends under my (concrete) driveway, so I can't dig to look.

My main drain line, under the basement floor, runs along the North wall, about 3 feet from the wall. The last item is a building trap and a tie-in for the weep tiles (it is a very old house). According to stuff written in the floor, the basement was added under the existing house in 1952 & 1953. I assume that is when this valve was installed.


My guess is that the valve is for the main drain line. But, my drain is 3 feet inside the wall and this valve aims out. (Of course, the line could turn. I've only had to open the floor 5 feet from this valve.) I wonder if it has something to do with storm and weep drains? My house is the only one on the block without a sump pump and my basement is dry. (When the floor was open I did see weep tiles in a criss cross pattern, at least for the part I had open. A plumber once told me my weep tiles and footing drains tie in to the sanitary, as was the practice in the day.)

I've snaked my main every 2 years (roots) and don't feel anything goofy with the snake at the point, like a valve seat.

Do any of you have a guess what it is? Once, years ago, I tried gently turning it until my guardian angle smacked me on the head and told me I was crazy messing with it!

Could it be for the main building drain? Is it possibly an old valve on a heating oil tank? (I'm not sure this house ever had oil. I think it went from coal to gas.)

Thanks for your input! I'm stumped!
Paul
 

Handyguys

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Weird - I would love to see a picture of it. Close up and a wide shot showing it in context. I have no idea. I have never heard of a valve on a drain. Ten inches is a big handle.
 

Bird Doo Head

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Hi Handyguys-
Here's a photo of the head-knocker (I think I attached it right!)
The wheel actually sits about 2" further down the stem. I didn't want to bang it down where it used to be. (I took it off some time ago to put a shelf there.)

I goofed on the size: It's 8 1/2" in diameter. On the back, the number 4292 is cast into the handle. The pipe around the stem is 1 1/2" BIPS and the cap is a regular IPS cap, with a hole drilled for the stem. There's no packing around it. (I've taken it off and looked down the pipe with a light. Can't see anything. It looks quite long. I can't smell sewer gas in there either.) Crazy Huh?

Thanks for any insight you can lend to this 'Mystery of Life".
Paul

IMG_1500.jpg
 
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it looks like a steering wheel from a bus! seriously , ive been a plumber for 20 years and ive never seen anything like this.if it isnt broke dont fix it! leave that thing alone. maybe some old timer is up in heaven having a good laugh.
 

majakdragon

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I, too, have never seen a valve in a drain line. Since the stem goes into a pipe and no packing is inside it, I am led to believe it is an extension handle for a water valve that is now unaccessable. Sort of like the cast iron sleeve around the main shut-off for each house on the main water line. Just a guess.
 
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