Work On A Wet Tap Requires Skill And Expertise

Opinion & Expertise
August 26, 2015

by David Balkan

new tap installation
wet tap
Wet tap connection

A wet tap refers to the actual connection on the main line that is used to connect to each water service line. Water service lines can also be referred to as feeder lines. Almost all water service line repairs and replacements involve working on the line itself, but not the connection. However on occasion the wet tap is defective. That typically means it is leaking from either where it is inserted in the main line, or from the core of the tap.

A wet tap is a relatively simple plumbing fitting, or valve, made up of four components. It is rare for a tap to leak or become defective. However, on a recent internal private main, not only did the wet tap leak, but it leaked due to a defective and improper repair job.

The four components of a wet tap connection

A tap connection in essence is a specialty water valve. The four components of a wet tap connection, or valve, are as follows:

  1. The body of the tap, which is threaded on either end. This allows it to be screwed into the main water line. It also allows for the service line to be connected to it on the opposite side.
  2. The hollowed out core of the tap is a vital component. The core acts as a ball valve, enabling the tap to be both opened and closed. A tap is opened or closed with just a quarter of a turn. A specialty tap wrench it typically used.
  3. A washer is inserted over the protruding end of the core of the tap, once inserted in the body. The washer helps hold the core in place, and also prevents it from leaking.
  4. A nut is tightened over the protruding end of the core, and over the washer. If the nut is too tight, the tap will be hard to open or close.
wet tap
The four components of a wet tap

A defective repair on a wet tap connection

When it comes to plumbing repairs, ingenuity frequently does not take the place of expertise. For a Homeowners Association in Jamaica Estates this became a costly lesson. It seems that a few years before, the core of the wet tap began to leak. The contractor they hired at the time decided to jam a piece of plastic between the core of the tap and the tap body. Not the proper repair by any means, but it did stop the leak – for awhile.

water valve
Plastic inserted into a tap

One of the ironies of the improper wet tap repair, or any improper water line repair work,  was that it took no less time to do this job than it took to do the correct job. When Balkan arrived and began corrective work, it was completed the very same day. Having the know-how, expertise, and specialty fittings in stock, has its benefits.

Balkan shut the private internal main, and completely screwed out and removed the old tap connection. Balkan then inserted a brand new tap connection, one that met NYC DEP code. The service line was then re-connected and the water supply was turned back on. The excavation was backfilled and compacted the very same day. Plumbing expertise makes ingenuity unnecessary. To learn more read Wet Tap Connection For A Water Main Line tutorial.

water valve core
A rotten valve core cannot be repaired

The skill and expertise of a licensed plumbing firm

Frequently clients and property owners feel they will be subjected to exorbitant rates when they hire a NYC Licensed Master Plumber. Granted Licensed Master Plumbers are held to high standards of code compliance, insurance requirements, and expected levels of service and safety. But that all serves to benefit the public at large, and their clients in particular.

The key to adhering to the standards referred to above, and maintaining a fair price structure, is efficiency and organization. That is why Balkan can provide a superior service, as evidenced in the above job report, at prices below the industry average. Unlike typical plumbing repairs, which can usually be easily corrected, corrective work for sub-surface work typically cost thousands of dollars. To find out more contact us for free expert advice, or to arrange a free on-site tap installation

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

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