I have a system which has experienced 2 valve housing failures in 6 years. The valves were both 1" brass quarter-turn shutoffs at the entry point into the house for the water supply. After the first failed I replaced it and then its replacement failed. Each valve developed a small crack in its housing.

The system draws from a shallow well approximately 300' from the building with 1" ABS black polyethylene plumbing the distance. Inside, water comes through the shutoff valves that failed, a check valve, and into a pump/pressure tank, then on to the rest of the house.

The pump is a 1/2 HP jet pump controlled by a mechanical pressure switch set at 30psi / 50psi.

Here is a picture of the inside parts of the system:

enter image description here

A marks the leaking valve. B is the check valve. C is the pump. Arrows indicate the direction of flow of water.

I don't want to just replace the leaking shutoff valve to have it fail again in a couple years. What should be changed about the overall system to reduce the chances of this happening?

In case it relates to a possible solution, I am already considering replacing the pump with a constant pressure system because the current pump is very loud.

  • 2
    It is unusual for them to fail that fast. I can see the valve itself sticking or not sealing completely in the shut off position, but for the housing to crack usually takes some work. Are you sure you are not tightening threaded connections too tight? They just need to tighten to not leak.
    – crip659
    Oct 11, 2023 at 15:10
  • 2
    Looks like (the usual) black polyethylene, not ABS. ABS doesn't use barbed fittings & hose clamps for connections.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 11, 2023 at 15:31
  • 1
    If you are considering replacing the pump, consider a submersible pump in the well.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 11, 2023 at 15:57
  • It's bizarre for valves to fail that fast. I would take a serious look at your procurement practices vis-a-vis the quality you are buying. Note there is no consequence to putting 2 in series, and McMaster-Carr will sell plumbing kit of qualities starting at "nobody ever got fired for buying this reputable brand" clear up to nuclear reactor grade. Oct 11, 2023 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


Other than "two bad valves in a row" (try to find one not made in China for the third time - which may take some hunting, these days) the main thing that seems like it would contribute to valve failure here is that the valve is just hanging in the pipe, and being pretty close to the pump it's subjected to vibration (leading to fatigue, leading to cracks) so spending a few feet of pipe to put it where it can be mounted to a board on the wall and there's a bit more pipe to soak up the vibrations between the valve and the pump could be a factor.

Another possible factor: Local plumbing code may require it there, but my research into check valves and pump systems means I have the one at the submersible pump, (foot-valve or injector in your case with a jet pump) and no others. Note that there are also sources claiming you should have a check valve every 200 feet, so this is not an area without debate. Multiple check valves can lead to reflected shock waves in the piping, as one check slams shut and sends a shock wave to the next valve. If your code requires it or you want it for whatever reason, a small expansion tank or hammer arrestor plumbed in between the check valve and the well would ameliorate that somewhat. Evidently some types of check valves, marketed as "silent" are less subject to causing pressure spikes.

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