Stop and Waste 101

Every spring and fall we tell our customers to turn on or off their stop and waste valve as needed, but since we’ve seen some problems with this in the current year, we think a little background might help.

What is a stop and waste?

A stop and waste valve controls whether or not water flows into your sprinkler system from our pressure irrigation (PI) system. The valve is typically buried in your yard inside a tube.

How to turn it on or off

  1. Remove the cap from the tube containing the valve.
  2. Insert the key into the tube.
  3. Maneuver the key until the end of the key fits down over the valve.
  4. Turn the key left (to turn on) or right (to turn off) one-quarter of a turn.
  5. Remove the key and replace the cap on the tube.

What could go wrong?

Leaks. If a stop and waste valve isn’t turned completely on or off it will leak. This wastes water, can cause the ground to settle around the valve, and may stir up grit that can actually ruin the valve.

To prevent this, just make sure to turn the valve a full quarter turn until it stops. If you’re not sure, put your ear to the valve key – you’ll be able to hear a hiss that indicates a water leak.

Stiff/sticky valves. Some valves become very hard to turn over time, and it can take some muscle to turn the valve. However, if you put too much muscle into it, you can actually break the pipe.

Consult a landscaper

Remember, the stop and waste is the homeowner’s responsibility. If you have problems or find your valve needs repair or replacement, contact a qualified landscaper.