Plumbing valve - looks like a little Liberty Bell?

In my Georgia basement, just inside the main cutoff for the whole house (and 7 feet up), is a device that looks like a little bell (4") sitting on top of the copper piping. It has a tag on top. It is dripping water.

I can do toilets and sinks, but I’m confounded by this dripping bell on my intake line.

What is it, plumb-dopers? It’s dripping onto the washer and dryer. Not good.

My guess (which was semi confirmed when you kinda told us the location) is that it’s an air hammer. You put it on lines that have washing machines, dish washers etc… Things with valves that turn on and off quickly. It’s filled with (or should be) air. When the valve closes quickly the air inside compresses and absorbs the energy of the rushing water. Without it, not only will the plumbing be a lot louder, but it could also rattle the solder joints off. If that’s what it is (BTW what does the tag say) you should be able to go down to the local hardware store and get a new one. I’ve never installed one my self, but I can’t imagine it’s more then a 20-30 min job and should be too tough, especially if you have some plumbing backround.

IANA Plumber

Whose side of the meter is it on, yours or the cities? If it is on the city side call them. It sounds to me like a water pressure regulator. Does it look something like this.


On seeing Jim’s link, that’s probably what it is.
And ditto on the IANAP.

Could be a pressure regulator, or a strainer, or even an air release valve of some kind. But I’d guess a pressure regulator.

If it’s leaking, it should probably just be replaced.

They’re not terribly expensive ($30 to $50, usually), but they may be a pain to replace to replace, depending on how they were installed.

Take a picture of it and take it into your local plumbing supply shop, they’ll know what it is.

Thanks, all. That’s the item in question. I’ll put a new one in this weekend. What does the tag say? Can’t tell you - it’s DIRECTLY over the only light source (flourescent tubes) in the basement. I’m lucky I could describe the shape without going blind.

Thanks to every poster - I’d name you all individually, but I’d have to do a shitload of coding to bold everyone’s name. You know who you are. :slight_smile: