Speeding up a main water shutoff gate valve.
A simple hack to make opening and closing a gate valve faster
The shutoff for my water supply is a gate valve. This takes 12 revolutions to open or close. (I don’t like leaving valves half open). It was just a little aggravating to go through that every time I wanted to shut the water off and turn it on.
One solution would be to have a plumber install a ball valve. That would mean 1/4 turn of the handle would open or close the valve. I could try that myself but I’m not sure about the condition of the street valve.
Above is a picture of the gate valve in question. It has a standard handle.
The parts needed for this project were
- A speed/spinner knob for a steering wheel. $10 from Amazon. I looked for a spinner knob that had a threaded shaft and nut at the bottom.
- A flat piece of metal. I had an angle bracket that I cut for a straight piece for the handle. The nice part was that the pre-drilled holes matched well with what I needed.
- Two bolts. The diameter needed to be small enough to fit through the holes in the valve handle.
- Two wingnuts (or regular nuts)
- Two washers for the nuts and bolts plus two larger washers.
I removed the part of the spinner knob that would connect to the steering wheel. I needed to enlarge the hole where the knob would be attached to the handle. I had a small drill press that made the job a lot easier.
One hole lined up fine with the valve handle. For the other hole, I needed to elongate the hole in the metal bar. That was simple with the drill press.
Installation was simple.
Take it easy near the end of the opening/closing cycle. The sudden stop caused by going too fast will eventually break the valve handle
The end result was that an irritating process became a lot less irritating. As a bonus, I was able to use the clamp that would attach to the steering wheel to fix a dolly / hand truck with a broken weld.
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