Water meter leaking, street-side shutoff valve missing in Philadelphia


Old 06-01-15, 08:18 AM
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Water meter leaking, street-side shutoff valve missing in Philadelphia

I own a townhouse in Philadelphia. My water meter is leaking, the shutoff valve before the meter is non-functional, and the street-side shutoff valve is missing (most likely buried under the sidewalk concrete, as most of my neighbors have one.)

A reputable plumbing company offered to excavate the street-side shut off valve but I am concerned that they will not be able to find it or that it would not be functional. In Philly everything is the homeowner's responsibility - I checked with the city.

I saw some references to pipe freezing as a method of shutting the water off. I would love to get some other suggestions or references to reputable plumbers/handymen that have the right equipment and can help.

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Old 06-01-15, 08:26 AM
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The actual water meter is the city's responsibility to replace.
Old 06-01-15, 09:05 AM
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At some point responsibility transfers from the homeowner to the city. In most places the city is responsible for the meter, it's shutoff valve and the water line to the main. The homeowner responsibility begins at the outlet of the meter.

If they are saying the meter it your responsibility where to they say that line of responsibility between homeowner and city is? Sewer lines often change ownership at the right of way line for the a road.
Old 06-01-15, 10:33 AM
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Yup, in Philly, EVERYTHING is the homeowner's responsibility. All the way up to the main in the street. (the meter is owned by the city, but nothing else). This is definitely a change from everywhere else I have lived or heard of.

I would talk to a couple plumbing companies. When I was pricing out a sewer street trap replacement, estimates ranged from $4K to $8K (including excavation, street permits, etc). And a few companies who came out did all the measuring and such, and never provided a quote. They also might have different experiences with the water company. A neighbor had a similar water main issue, he had his plumber do the work, but the city (PWD) "helped" with the connection to the main. I'm honestly not exactly sure how or what they did, but it's worth asking.
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