Shut off your water the safe way

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

In an earlier article we warned of the dangers of leaving the water to your RV turned on while absent. You can only imagine what you might find if you came back to your rig and discovered a waterline fitting had “blown” in your absence — so a suggestion was made that to wipe out this potential, one might install a simple garden hose shutoff fitting. The idea behind this is rather than having to track out to the park-provided shutoff and “twist-twist-twist” it, you’d simply do a “quarter turn” on your own shutoff and be on your way.

mels water valveThese little shutoffs can be obtained at your friendly neighborhood garden supply for a couple of bucks, and utilize a plastic ball valve to achieve their magic. Reader Mel Goddard liked the suggestion, so he promptly installed a similar setup on his rig, and felt pretty good about the added safety.

However, Mel’s RV developed a problem — slow water flow. On learning of Mel’s shutoff valve trick, an RV dealer blamed the shutoff valve. Mel points out, “If you take a look inside the valve, you will see that the ‘hole’ [the flow-through section of the ball valve] is 5/16″ in diameter. With a 1/2″ or 5/8″ hose, you can see the water flow through a 5/16″ hole would be severely restricted.”

Point well taken. So, Mel set out to create his own quick shutoff safety device. From the hardware store he procured a male-to-female hose coupling, and a 1/2″ brass shutoff valve. A quarter turn turns off the flow, but the ball valve in this bad boy is a great deal larger than those in the el-cheapo plastic model. Mel says he had to do a slight modification to the threads in order to mate up with the couplings; and to overcome any possibility of leakage from his surgical procedures, he put them together with epoxy.

Yes, Mel no longer suffers from slow-flow. Much of that can be attributed to his new project — but some of it, it turns out, really was a fault with his RV, which was a factory defect, and has since been cured by the dealer.

Thanks, Mel!

photo: Mel Goddard