Main Water Shutoff Valve

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Old 01-19-05, 01:53 PM
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Main Water Shutoff Valve

I am on city water, in a neighborhood built in the 1960s. My water meter is inside the basement, and is read electronically from outside. There is a shutoff valve inside, at the inlet to the meter. There is no evidence of any meter box or shutoff valve outside the house.

So here's the problem: I need to do some plumbing repairs in one bathroom, but the shutoff valve doesn't completely turn off the water (worn-out washer probably). I called the City water department to have them come and locate the outdoor shutoff valve. They told me they will come and check, but it's possible there isn't one. WTF? Isn't there some code requirement for an outside shutoff? If there indeed isn't one, what can I do? How could I even install one?
 
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Old 01-19-05, 02:19 PM
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Not having a shut-off at the street is indeed strange. I worked for a large city water department up North and had the same set-up you seem to have. There was, however, a shut-off at the main outside. This way, they could shut off the water for non-payment without entering the house. Check out near the street and see if there isn't a 4" cast iron sleeve. Inside and down near the frost level is a shut off valve.
Anything on their side of the meter is their responsibility. Tell them you need it shut off. They can replace the faulty valve. It's really their problem.
Last resort. Get a piece of one size larger pipe than the meter is attached to. Cap it. Turn off the valve you have the best you can. Disconnect the meter at the inlet and screw the pipe with the cap onto the nut that connects the meter. It is a standard pipe thread. Taping a garbage bag to the wall above the meter saves a lot of water cleanup. Good luck.
 
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Old 01-19-05, 03:06 PM
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It's not certain there is no outside shutoff, only that I can't find one. But the neighborhood is so old it may simply be covered over. City sewer was installed only 20 years ago but I believe all the houses were on city water from the beginning.

I share your opinion that this is the City's responsibility, but getting them to install a valve if there isn't one may be another story.
 
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Old 01-19-05, 03:22 PM
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Where I lived in Toledo Ohio, our water services were put in around the 1900's. We still had "curb boxes" that made it easy to do turn offs. We had metal detectors to find the ones that had been covered over through the years. Had miniture post hole diggers called "clammers" to dig out any dirt that had gotten into them. I think your water department just doesn't want to be bothered.
 
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Old 01-19-05, 03:56 PM
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I wouldn't say that just yet. I reserve judgment until I hear what they say after they come out tomorrow.

You said anything on their side of the meter is their responsibility. I happen to agree, but is there typically something legal in writing stating that? Not saying I'll have a battle with the city but do want to be ready just in case.
 
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Old 01-19-05, 05:30 PM
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Try doing anything on their side of the line and they will let you know....Quickly
 
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Old 01-19-05, 07:09 PM
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Hi Try your best to have them help you. If that fails don't pay the bill. Then you'll find where the shut off is at!
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 01-20-05, 12:29 PM
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UPDATE:

I just got off the phone with the water department. They sent somebody out today to check, and apparently I do NOT have an outside shutoff valve. I was set to do battle, but before I could say anything, the fellow I was talking to said he had already put in a work order to install one. He couldn't say why there never has been one.
 
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