Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How To Change a Waterbowl Valve...

Just because you might need to know this some day...

A few days ago, we found a small flood in the barn.  One of the old cast iron water bowls had rusted, had an irreparable leak in it, and needed to be replaced.  Jim replaced it with a lighter weight, plastic bowl, and we were good to go.  This morning, however, we noticed that the water bowl was full to the brim, and the floor was wet. Hmmm... (yes, that's a bit of rye in the water bowl.  The cows should have better table manners!)

Sometimes when working with old pipes, bits of rust come loose and clog the screen on the water bowl valve, resulting in a leak.  It's a simple fix, really...

First of all you turn off the water source to the bowl.  We have valves on the main water line that we can easily close when needed.

Then...find the correct wrench, and turn out the valve.  Lefty loosey...

See the rust and debris that is stuck to the screen?

Clean it off and put the screen back in place on the end of the valve...

Then, before putting the valve back in...or replacing it if necessary...flush out the line.  You turn on the water line just long enough to flush out any more pieces of rust or debris that might be in there...

...put some thread tape on the threads to help make a tight fit...

...and put the valve back in.  Righty tighty...

Now the cows are happy...

Just in case you ever wondered!  It's just part of life in the barn.


  1. Nice clean looking bowl. I have two bowls that are in need of replacing. We use stainless steel bowls now. I just bought two new ones and the guys are supposed to replace them whenever.

    You are a great plumber Alica. I'm no good with that sort of things.


  2. Too bad you can't get plumber's wages for that fine fix. Still, the amount you saved by knowing what to do and having the right tools was probably BIG. Your ladies look so clean, happy and contented. So many could take lots of lessons from you.

  3. Always good to know and learn a new thing every day ! Glad it is all fixed up now and so are the girls by the looks of it lol ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good week !

  4. Oh now I know what "lefty loosey(Lucy)" is. Great job wish you could come fix my dripping tap:) Hugs B

  5. You just never know when this might come in handy! :)

  6. Very interesting. Growing up on a western dairy, I never learned anything about stanchion barns. I always found it interesting. Maybe I was born too late, or maybe in the wrong state?

  7. Good job! We have some friends who have automatic waterers in the horse stalls in their barn. You should have seen the mess when they all froze a couple of years ago! Yikes!!

  8. I love my automatic water tank, but they do take a bit of maintenance, especially when fed by an old well. The cow looks quite happy with that nice clean drink.

  9. Isn't it nice to be married to someone who knows how to do EVERYTHING? I always wanted that, and I have it, too!

  10. Oh the things a farmers wife has to learn to do! Your hubby is a lucky man!

  11. Interesting. We just had a similar problem with the stool in the mbr after turning off the main water valve....same fix exactly.

  12. You are lucky! You have a barn and running water in it. We have a lean to horse shelter and no permanent water other than a garden hose that has to be drained in the winter after every use. Did I mention that it gets to -40C (-40F) here? Not a fun job! Great plumbing fix !


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