The type of valve needed by code for fire protection in NYC water main service lines is an OS&Y valve. It’s critical to utilise the correct main control valve within the building when constructing a new water main for fire protection. The main control valve should be verified for code compliance even while repairing an existing water main for fire safety. But it goes much farther in that an OS&Y valve provides protection that a regular gate valve or ball type valve cannot.
What is an OS&Y valve?
OS&Y stands for ‘Outside Screw and Yoke’ in technical terms. That is to say, when the handle is turned, it directly raises and lowers the valve’s gate by interacting with the valve’s steam. Both the handle and the stem are threaded, allowing them to interact. Outside the body of the valve, the stem of the valve raises and lowers, while the handle remains in a fixed position. As the stem rises, the gate inside the valve’s body rises in lockstep, allowing water to flow through the valve’s body. The status of an OS&Y valve is always obvious, whether it is open or closed. This is critical for sustaining effective fire protection.
The fact that an OS and Y valve is always absolutely evident whether it is open or closed appears to add to its longevity. The fact that the stem is visible and clearly raised or lowered takes a lot of the guessing out of controlling the valve. As a result, using too much force to operate the valve is less likely. Furthermore, they appear to be better manufactured than many other common water valves because they are UL rated.
Why is an OS&Y valve so important?
For example, because a fire sprinkler main is just for fire protection and not for home usage, you can’t test whether the water is on or off in the typical way. To put it another way, flushing a toilet or turning on a sink will not alert you to the presence of a fire sprinkler system. You can tell the water is on by looking at an OS&Y valve with the stem elevated out of the body of the valve. A visual inspection of a standard gate type valve will not reveal whether the valve is open or closed.
For fire protection, all main control valves on NYC water main installations must be locked in the open position. This prevents someone from unintentionally closing the valve and turning off the property’s fire sprinkler system.
If an OS&Y valve leaks or the handle will not move
A packing nut or packing screws are found on every OS&Y valve. The aim of these is to keep the valve’s packing material firmly in place, preventing leaks. The packing nuts can be too tight or too loose at times.
The packing on an OS&Y valve may be too tight if the valve handle would not move. To get the handle to move, don’t use force. Simply crank the packing nut or packing screws a few times to loosen them. The handle should then be able to move around freely. Remember to tighten the packaging afterwards. The packing on an OS&Y valve is frequently overly loose, resulting in a leak. The leak can be stopped by simply tightening the packing nuts on the screws. This can be done with any basic wrench and does not necessitate the services of a professional plumber.
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