An Unusual Tool For Getting Emergency Water

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An Unusual Tool For Getting Emergency Water

Postby Pilgrim52 » 11 Apr 2015 18:23

About ten years ago, my wife and I were returning from a trip to Wyoming and stopped at a motel that didn't mind horse trailers in the parking lot. We asked the desk clerk if we could use an outdoor spigot to get water for the horses and she said sure. But on closer exam, there was no handle to turn it on or off, just a recessed square drive valve. We had to go to a gas station to get the water. At the building where I work, I recently noticed a similar faucet and asked the maintance guys about it. Long story short, I ordered from Amazon for less than $10.00 with shipping, two each Four Way Sillcock Wrenchs. One is in my wife's F-350 glove compartment and one is in my jeep emergency tool box. I may never have use for such a tool ever again, but the idea of needing clean water in an emergency and being unable to activate a simple valve for lack of the right tool overcomes spending ten bucks for me. I would, of course, attempt to obtain permission from the owner first even in an emergency, but I see no moral or ethical problem in "outmanouvering" anybody with a building full of safe water in the pipes who would refuse a few quarts to someone in serious need.
I don't watch survival "reality" TV to be educated. I watch it to be entertained. There's a BIG difference.
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Re: An Unusual Tool For Getting Emergency Water

Postby Ekiwinox » 12 Apr 2015 21:43

That was a Really good post.
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Re: An Unusual Tool For Getting Emergency Water

Postby snypr_212 » 21 Mar 2017 07:22

Yes. As a Maintenance guy I have one in my tool box only because I have to shut water off prior to working on it. Never really thought about this but I will be moving it to my glove box now.
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Re: An Unusual Tool For Getting Emergency Water

Postby Pilgrim52 » 01 Apr 2017 12:53

I want to add something I was taught by a friend of mine who is a professional building maintainance supervisor with many years of experience in keeping a modern building system in good working order. He said that an inexperienced person can easily ruin a frost free water faucet on the outside of a building operated with a silcock (or a round knob, for that matter), and he has seen it happen several times. He said that most people automatically assume that a faucet that continues to run or drip is not completely shut off and will attempt to stop the flow by applying more torque to the shutoff knob. To avoid causing damage, you have to understand that the actual valve is not at the knob in a frost free faucet as it is on, say, a bathroom sink faucet. To avoid freezing the pipes, the valve is actually inside the building and separated from the faucet by as much as 12 to 18 inches or more. This means that there is still quite a bit of water between the valve and the faucet after the valve has been completely shut off and this water will drain very slowly due to the lack of water pressure. Most inexperienced people will think the valve is not shut completely and cause damage sometimes requiring replacement of the entire system by trying to force the valve to close after it is already closed. That's why most commercial buildings have silcock systems, not because the building owners are too stingy to let someone have a gallon or two of water, but so only those people who understand the system and will not damage it through simple ignorance can operate it.

So, if in the future, someone gives you permission to get some water from an outside faucet, don't damage their system by trying to force the valve closed. Shut it off, then wait two or three minutes to see if the flow stops on its own before using more muscle. You can also tell if the faucet is frost free by the angle of the knob or silcock key. If the knob is at a 45 or 90 degree angle to the supply pipe, then the valve is almost certainly at the faucet and it should shut off the flow immediately. If the knob goes straight into the pipe, the valve is almost certainly inside the building and it is normal for it to run/drip for a time after shutoff. :ugeek:
I don't watch survival "reality" TV to be educated. I watch it to be entertained. There's a BIG difference.
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Re: An Unusual Tool For Getting Emergency Water

Postby Joe » 03 Apr 2017 22:12

Ekiwinox wrote:That was a Really good post.

Indeed!
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