Replacing shut off valve on the water main line

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Old 11-02-11, 05:28 PM
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Replacing shut off valve on the water main line

So I have this old house that never had a curb valve to shut the water. The water meter is outside the house inside a pit. It does have a valve that rotates, but it is broken (does not shut off the water completely). It is so old that I don't even want to touch it anymore.
Water company has sent a notice that they have to replace the meter with a new one and it must be done. Now to do that, water must be shut off at a point before the meter on the water main line coming int o my house.

I have called the city, they can not shut the water off. The water company has suggested I get a plumber to freeze the water in the pipe and then replace the valve.

I have so far not been able to find a plumber that has the equipment to freeze the line. I did some research and found a couple, but not sure which one actually works.
One of the plumbers that looked at the jobs told me that it is a lead pipe (if that matters).

Can you please give me some advice on how the pipe can be frozen? City is not helping and water company is of no help either but they are forcing me to have it done in 15 days??

What has worked for you (or you know that works) for this type of repair. I'm willing to buy some equipment if I know that it will freeze the pipe for sure (for enough time for a plumber to be able to replace the valve).

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 11-02-11, 05:39 PM
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Strange. Typically that is the water companies problem. The lead pipe matters, you should get that replaced.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 06:00 PM
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Seems something is wrong with possibly your info. If the meter is in the pit the shut off lave is part of the meter. Its the townships responsiblity. And if they want to replace thier meter they need to shut of the water befor the meter, so again thier resposiblity.

You are only responsible for your plumbing up to the meter.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-02-11, 07:23 PM
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The water company guy that came to swap the meter told me that it was my responsibility to have it replaced, since the city is only responsible for the plumbing up to the street, anything after that is mine? I'm confused. Do I need to fight for it? What argument can I use? Everyone else around seem to have that curb valve thingy but me. I'm in NJ if that matters.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 07:40 PM
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Call the township, or water company directly and have them show you the documentaion that you are responsible.

I dont think any homeowner is responsible for anything in the street. You know how many homeowners would be tearing up roads...LOL

Just get an official something and please let us know what you find out. IMO they need to turn off the water at the street. There are ususally main stops in certain areas. Possibly they dont want to have to go through the trouble to turn off blocks of homes just for you, and they are hoping you will bite and fix it yourself.

I would fight it. And also while they have the water off, they I believe are supposed to put a curb key in if you dont have one.

I will have to check the code and state regulations.

Please dont give your address on this site but I believe you can say what county are you in? I might know some of the fellows.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-02-11, 08:28 PM
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Thank you for all your responses.

Mike -The meter and the valves are actually on my property, (on the side of the house in a pit and not in the street) so they can easily put it on me. However, they should give me a curb valve at their expense.
Shouldn't the city/water company at least install a curb stop (or curb valve) or whatever it is called. I'm in Hudson county/ J city. I googled for the rules and didn't come up with a lot of info.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 09:45 PM
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OK, regardless where the pit it the water company is responsible for the meter. Where are these valves? Is there one before the meter, brass with a flate blade to turn it? That is part if the installed meter. I am betting they need to fix it.

I worked in your area before. Its politics. I tried to dig in the streets there and you need a minimum 10 million dollar bond just to dig in the street. Many lead sevices there. What happens is alot of the local plumbers are to small to secure the bond and the Mayors cousin ends up getting the job. Along with overtime for the police and dept of public works during the road closers..etc..

You know. One guy digs and 10 others watch. All while talking to the two cops standing around.

Hey. Hold your ground until you get an official letter with some kind of code, or sub code # and post it.

Take pics of the pit with the valve, or valves.

Our meters are often in the homes down here. Some are in pits. I know who owns what from my years of doing this sort of thing.

We have one water company down here that if you turn off the curb key its a $500 fine. Has to be done by the water company, period. Gee 80K a year job to drive in a truck and turn water on and off all day. Talk about wasted tax dollars...

Oh boy you got me going now. I feel my blood pressure going up. I better go take a baby aspiren...LOL

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 08:45 AM
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I called the water company and they told me that I own the meter. In my city, the customer buys the meter. I asked her to refer me to some documentation and she told me to go to their website and enter my zipcode and it should have it there. When I went to their website I found nothing.

I took some pics of the meter and the pit. I'm pasting the link below.

Water meter pictures by stuck_old_house - Photobucket

Thank you Mike and everyone else trying to help
 
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Old 11-03-11, 10:13 AM
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LOL. If you own the meter then tell them to get off your property and that you dont want your meter touched.... Ha ha.

OK in all reality they look like gate valves. Are you saying the one on the street side is broken? The handle just spins??? Or does it just not close all the way.

Again if it were myself I would want actuall documents that show what you own and dont own. But if you dont want the hassle just call some local plumbers in your area. I know a few that have pipe freezing equiptment in your area. Just call around. I cant give out that info here I guess because of whatever rules this site has.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-03-11, 05:11 PM
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Send a private message with that info.

My meter is in my basement at least 25 feet from the street. If I want the valve replaced between the meter and the street, the water company does it. I don't own that meter. Why would a water company trust someone else's meter anyway? And why would they come to replace something they don't own?

I hear those curb stops have been known to break. That's probably why that water company doesn't want every dopey plumber messing with them.
 
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Old 11-11-11, 01:55 PM
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Yes, that's what is bothering me too. If it is my meter and I purchase it, then why does the water company want to replace it? I don't know.
I talked to a local plumber and he can replace the valve for 1500 (it involves some excavation) or do the whole new service line with a curb stop for 7000. Does this sound reasonable? What do you guys recommend?


Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
Send a private message with that info.

My meter is in my basement at least 25 feet from the street. If I want the valve replaced between the meter and the street, the water company does it. I don't own that meter. Why would a water company trust someone else's meter anyway? And why would they come to replace something they don't own?

I hear those curb stops have been known to break. That's probably why that water company doesn't want every dopey plumber messing with them.
 
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Old 11-11-11, 04:34 PM
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Just personal opinion not advice. I'd be looking to see if they make Sharkbites for lead pipe and buying a rain suit and boots. Also be looking to rent a pavement buster (jackhammer).
 
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Old 11-11-11, 09:45 PM
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While I have no doubt that you paid for a water meter I seriously doubt that you "own" your water meter.

I suspect that the rules for connection to your water utility requires a person to pay a fee that includes the price of a water meter but that "ownership" of that meter remains with the utility. If this is the case then the utility does indeed own the meter and may do with it whatever they desire. If their connection regulations state that the landowner must supply the piping and shut-off valve from the "corporation stop" at the main to the premises then that IS the way it is and griping or complaining won't get you very far.

Ask to see the rules and regulations for water service and I'll bet you a dozen donuts that's the way it is.
 
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Old 11-12-11, 07:40 AM
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Ask to see the rules and regulations for water service and I'll bet you a dozen donuts that's the way it is.
I will bet a bakers dozen of bagels then the town needs to install a curb stop at the towns expense. IMO they are throwing it on the homeowner to fix the valves by the meter.

The problem you need to realize is Jersey City, and I think I am right in this case, Is all paved and side walks. Its what it says, a city. I have seen many towns push this off to homeowners because of cutbacks and lack of skilled labor to open the road. Most town sub it out anyway, but big $$$$.

They are not going to shut down a street or several blocks for one home to get a curb stop. But me being the person I am I would fight it.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-13-11, 03:30 PM
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Throwing in my 2 cents from someone who lives in Jersey, but not Jersey City...

I wouldn't do anything, if they need to replace the meter, they'll have to figure out how to do it. Until you get a summons or something more official than a letter in the mail from the water company, how can they force you to do anything? Seems like they can't even shut off your water if they wanted to.
That said, I'd be very nice and pleasant to them, tell them that you're working on finding someone but haven't been able to, don't have the $7K to replace it, blah blah blah.

The other option would be to get a sawzall, propane torch and new valve, cut the water line and stand back with a confused look on your face for when the water company shows up and the block is flooding because you don't understand why you couldn't solder it on with a geyser shooting out since they told you to replace it.
No wait... don't do that - I'm just kidding...
 
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Old 11-15-11, 12:39 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their responses and ideas to fight with these people (Zorfdt - I didn't know they actually send summons before shutting you off, I just thought this "letter" was kind of a last warning). However, I figured it would be a lot less headache just to bite it and have someone replace the valve.
So I had a local plumber come over and install a new ball valve and he also relocated the meter inside the house. Charged me an outrageous amount of money for the kind of job it was. Took the guy 4hours to do the entire job and 4 hours of killing time, chatting, waiting for someone to get a part he forgot. I'm happy with the work (I'll watch all the plumbing for next several days for any leaks), however not the price I paid for it (a little less than 2k) since it only took about 4 hours and the only "special" tool needed was a jackhammer. I'll post some pics later and I have scheduled an appointment with the water cmopany to come out and replace the damn meter.
 
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Old 11-15-11, 01:27 PM
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and he also relocated the meter inside the house.
I can't understand why you would want the meter inside. I know it's common some places but that means unless it is "wireless" you have to read it or let someone in to read it assuming there is even someone home during the day. Sounds like a lot of extra hassle. {/opinion}
 
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Old 11-15-11, 02:21 PM
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The other option would be to get a sawzall, propane torch and new valve, cut the water line and stand back with a confused look on your face for when the water company shows up and the block is flooding because you don't understand why you couldn't solder it on with a geyser shooting out since they told you to replace it.
No wait... don't do that - I'm just kidding...

That is the funniest thing I have read in a long time.......




I didn't know they actually send summons before shutting you off
,



How are they going to turn you off....LOL



however not the price I paid for it (a little less than 2k

$500 an hour... Thats about right for The big box truck plumbers in NJ..

Sorry to hear you did not stand your ground. Well always next time.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 11-16-11, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
I can't understand why you would want the meter inside. I know it's common some places but that means unless it is "wireless" you have to read it or let someone in to read it assuming there is even someone home during the day. Sounds like a lot of extra hassle. {/opinion}
Here in Jersey where it gets cold (but not nearly as cold as it gets further north), they either have to bury the meter down 4 or 5 feet or put it inside the house. I haven't a clue how they replace a meter 4' underground in the little 12" tube. The meter has some kind of electronics wired to a transponder in a 3" square black box on the exterior of the house. The meter reader walks by within a foot or two of the plastic box outside and magically has the meter reading.
 
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Old 10-10-12, 07:06 AM
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This is an old thread but my 2 cents anyway. In Jersey City, the homeowner is responsible for everything form the city main in the street to the house. This often comes as an expensive shock to homeowners when their service line springs a leak. As far as ownership of the meter, I don't know but the pipes on both sides of the meter belong to you. To the OP - there may very well be a curb stop under the concrete buried by a careless sidewalk installer. Mine was half cemented over without a cap but the rim was still visible. I am dealing with that now, removing dirt from the box and fabricating a new cap in preparation for new concrete. I have no idea if the valve will still work and I'm not about to try it but I will clean it out anyway in hopes that I never need it.
 
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Old 10-10-12, 04:10 PM
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OP fixed his issue and I am closing this thread.
 
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