It took an embarrassingly long time to finish this…

…because I only get to town once a week and I didn’t get the right stuff the first time. Or…the second time…

…but I finally finished repairing/replacing the valves at the foot of the water tank.


Sunny and warmish, a perfect day for working outdoors except for the wind, which is like unto a tempest. But it wasn’t a hard job at all, once I finally got all the right parts. And so I could close off the valve to the cabin and turn the well pump on. I’ll let it run all this afternoon, then this evening I’ll measure the tank level and start to see if I can figure out where the water went. I’m thinking there’s only one possibility, since I never found any wet spots. But by tomorrow I should be able to confirm or reject that theory.


Since I had everything dug up, I installed this nice valve box rather than bury everything in dirt again. Tonight before I knock off I’ll stuff it full of insulation, though the past couple of nights haven’t been cold enough to freeze the pipes. Now that I have the plumbing complete, of course the temperature will crash.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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8 Responses to It took an embarrassingly long time to finish this…

  1. Zelda says:

    Looking forward to your analysis of where the missing water went. I will be up early and looking for the answer while I drink cup after cup of coffee..the valve box will be a huge improvement.

  2. Zelda says:

    BTW had you considered 2 inch rigid closed cell foam panels outside the box, all around it and on top?
    with rocks and/or dirt on top? in addition to the insulation inside? Do you have foam tubular pipe insulation around the pipes that are sticking up out of the ground and a foot below?? And you can do two layers of that. Maybe not this year but some year you know you will be glad you did.

  3. Mark Matis says:

    Congratulations on using at least one ball valve. I suspect the ball is stainless with a teflon seat, while the shell is brass. That should outlast you as long as you cycle it at least three or four times a year. I see the second valve is still a gate?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe, instead of insulating everything, you should prop a mirror to direct some sunlight toward the shaded plumbing, keep it a bit warmer in winter.

    You could also run heat it with a electrical resistance heater, if you scrounge a spare solar panel to dedicate to that purpose – probably easier than figuring out the geometry of the other way.

  5. Anonymous says:

    When I worked at home Depot in the plumbing department I used to tell guys all plumbing jobs take 3 trips. Some would question my comment, to the point I think they went to Lowe’s for that 3rd trip.

  6. Joel says:

    Yeah, I originally bought 2 ball valves but I got them with 3/4” threads without asking if I – or the hardware store – had matching fittings for the flexible pipes. Now I have a spare for when I rebuild the Lair end of the pipe, hopefully not until Spring. Running out of cash, I bought only one of the proper size ball valve and cleaned and lubed the gate valve. That valve never seems to be needed in practice, and still worked fine.

    You may be gratified to hear, though, that in the event I turn out to be wrong about that, I did connect this new manifold to the system with a removable union.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    Hallelujah! And I see that you have “unions” on the downstream side of both valves. The hose clamps holding the flexible pipe to the pipe-to-hose adapters can be removed, and you can then unthread either or both valves without doing no cutting.

  8. Joel says:

    Yeah, that’s how I removed the original.

To the stake with the heretic!