What Is a Faucet Bleeder Valve?

A faucet bleeder valve, also known as a stop-and-waste valve, is a common variety of outdoor faucet, or spigot.

Design

Faucet bleed valveFaucet bleed valve
The valve is used to direct (or stop) the flow of water from an interior pipe through the spigot, which is often used to fill a water basin or garden hose.

Faucet bleeder valves have a prominent turning knob with two, opposite-facing, horizontally angled faucet heads, or spigots beneath. A bleed plug is next to the spigot and can be removed for draining purposes. The bleeder valve is named for the bleeder plug, which "bleeds" out any excess water. Faucet bleeder valves are designed to withstand temperatures up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and a maximum pressure of 125 psi (pounds per square inch). Spigot heads are usually 1/2 to 1/4 inch in diameter.

Operation

To operate a bleeder valve, turn the knob counterclockwise to release the water from one or both of the spigot heads. To turn off one of the spigot heads, twist the washer at the end to redirect the water to the other spigot. To stop the water flow, turn the knob clockwise until the water stops flowing from the spigot.

Construction and Standards

Faucet bleeder valves are constructed of cast-iron knobs and soldered brass or CVPC pipe faucets, or spigot heads. The standards used to test faucet bleeder valves include the ANSI B1.20.1 (American National Standards Institute), NSF 61-8 ( National Sanitation Foundation) and CSA (Canadian Standards Association). It is important to note that some faucet bleeder valves do not meet the Vermont and California potable water application certification and are prohibited for sale in these states.

Winter Safety

In the winter, the bleeder plug is an important component of a faucet bleeder valve, as it allows the user to drain excess water before the trapped water freezes and damages the pipe. To prevent freezing water, place a water basin beneath the faucet or spigot. Remove the bleeder plug by turning it counterclockwise. Allow all water to drain from the faucet and replace the bleeder plug by turning clockwise.

About the Author

Leah Waldron is the head of Traveler Services at First Abroad, a gap year travel company based in Boston and London. As a travel, research and LGBT news writer, Waldron has publication credit on magazines and newspapers including "Curve Magazine," "USA Today," "The Sun Sentinel" and the "The Houston Chronicle." Waldron has a bachelor's and master's degree in creative writing from Florida State University.