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-   -   Community water shut off (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/community-water-shut-off-29022/)

zevon 09-30-2008 08:13 AM

Community water shut off
 
I have an odd problem that I hope folks here can help me with. The water supply shut-off inside my house is leaking and needs to be replaced. This should be a straight forward matter of calling the county (Anne Arundel in Maryland) to shut off the water, replace the valve (which I'm comfortable doing) and have the county turn the water back on.

Unfortunately, "they" saw fit, when they originally built my community, to have one meter and one (and only one) shut off for the whole community or for around 30+ houses. I find this exceedingly hard to believe and at the same quite easy to believe. I'm sure I can locate a water shut off wrench for less than a plumber to come out twice to shut off the water and turn it back on.

My question is, any idea on how to find where the community shut off is located?

Thanks.

DangerMouse 09-30-2008 08:22 AM

every house on my old street had one in the front yard, some hidden, some not. try a metal detector if you have access to one. i too find it hard to believe they just have one valve for 30 homes. i agree with rippy if this is so, don't mess with it. when i had to replace the valve between meter and inlet in my old basement, i called and they came and turned it off and the guy even waited when i told him it'd only take 10 minutes. turned it right back on when i was done and all was well.

DM

RippySkippy 09-30-2008 08:23 AM

YIKES! Even if you could locate the community valve...are you sure you want the responsibility of turning off the water to all residents with out advance warning? If there is only one shut off...whats to keep the county authorities from turning it off at your request to replace the valve that is leaking? They have the right to disrupt the water service to the community for maintenance, get them to do it. In our parts, the city is responsible to and through the meter. You might want to check and verify ownership and responsibility.

zevon 09-30-2008 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RippySkippy (Post 166649)
YIKES! Even if you could locate the community valve...are you sure you want the responsibility of turning off the water to all residents with out advance warning? If there is only one shut off...whats to keep the county authorities from turning it off at your request to replace the valve that is leaking? They have the right to disrupt the water service to the community for maintenance, get them to do it. In our parts, the city is responsible to and through the meter. You might want to check and verify ownership and responsibility.

Thanks for the quick responses. Apparently it's a private water line/supply in the community (same goes for our sewer) so the county is not able to turn it off/on. I'm trying to figure out where stuff is now so I can coordinate with the property management company and (possibly) the plumber to let the other residents know what's going on.

majakdragon 09-30-2008 09:54 AM

I find it hard to believe that there is only one shut-off. When the community was built, each house had a line run to it. I am sure that all the homes were not built at one time. I would check with the community developer and make sure there is not a curb box(shut-off) in front of each home for the water.

zevon 09-30-2008 01:27 PM

So it may turn out to be less of a problem than I originally thought. The leak I need to fix is coming from the packing nut of the shut-off valve. So I should be able to either 1). tighten the nut, 2). undo it slightly-clean the threads-re-tighten it, or 3). unscrew it, add some packing, then screw it back on. Luckily a call to the fairly handy step-father caused the obvious/simple solution to rear it's head. Thanks for the responses, everyone.

4just1don 09-30-2008 01:28 PM

In this situation,,,I would certainly consider dry icing your pipe where it comes in,,if you have enough room. It is easier IF you can get NO water passing first,then repair or replace valve and your good to go. Even to the point of chipping enough cement to get back a ways. grocery stores are good places to look for dry ice,,they get it with produce and waste it generally anyway. Turning off water to THAT many homes is going to make YOU the bad guy,no matter what. AND if you have extended problems,,,triple whammy. Other option is to dig down where pipe is coming in,in your lawn and put your own curb stop in,,,saves FUTURE similiar headaches!! There is a HUGE chance the water system would have to report a no pressure condition to the state governing agency and that causes a avalanche of paper work and 'headaches' all of its own!!

zevon 10-02-2008 08:12 AM

So forget what I metioned before about tightening the nut on the valve, it still drips. Looks like I'm back to waiting for the plumber to tell me where the shut off is located. Maybe I'll install my own shutoff outside the house when I'm doing all this. Any advice on that task would be much appreciated.

DangerMouse 10-02-2008 08:18 AM

4just1don, EXCELLENT idea on the dry ice!

DM

4just1don 10-02-2008 09:53 AM

Thanks Mouse(is that the real name,,or should I call you danger??Or just M&M??) I used that idea once myself when my curb stop was stuck,,,worked great. Its NOT for every situation,,but BEST for this one!!!(AND no dont worry about freezing and splitting the pipe,,,doesnt work that way!!)

zevon 10-02-2008 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4just1don (Post 167568)
Thanks Mouse(is that the real name,,or should I call you danger??Or just M&M??) I used that idea once myself when my curb stop was stuck,,,worked great. Its NOT for every situation,,but BEST for this one!!!(AND no dont worry about freezing and splitting the pipe,,,doesnt work that way!!)

I was actually curious about the freezing and splitting. Is it because the water can still expand in either direction? Also, how much dry ice did you use for what size pipe and how long did it take to freeze?

4just1don 10-02-2008 01:08 PM

'zackly zevon,,,I dont remember how much ice was required, it was 30 years ago. biggest problem is to get water completely stopped. take meter off and plug IF necessary. doesnt take too long. BTW your ONLY freezing like 6 inches of pipe,,,If you freeze 10' you MAY have probs!!

Nuther tip I have heard but never used,for getting pipe plugged or dry for sweating when it 'drips',,,use a piece of bread in there, doesnt hurt the pipes. and flushes pretty good

zevon 10-02-2008 02:19 PM

I knew about the bread but had never heard of the ice. I actually found another website that mentioned it as an actual procedure, not just a workaround. It also mentioned that some plumbers have a setup that uses liquid CO2 or N2 (I forgot which) to do the same thing. There's a grocery store near me that sells it so I'm going to try it this weekend.

Just so I have the procedure right:

1. Apply dry ice to pipe prior to valve (to be replaced).
2. Periodically check water flow by turning on a faucet.
3. Once water has stopped, open several faucets to drain the standing water.
4. Open the bleeder on the shut off valve.
5. Cut or unsolder the valve.
6. Install new shutoff and turn off.
7. Remove dry ice.
8. Once thawed, slowly open valve.
9. Close remaining faucets.

Right?

4just1don 10-02-2008 08:06 PM

that SHOULD work

zevon 10-03-2008 07:16 AM

Cool, I'll try it this weekend and let you all know how it goes. If I'm feeling especially generous I'll even take pictures. Do you recall off hand how long it took to freeze? I have 1" copper pipe.

Also, I heard back from the community's plumbing contractor yesterday. They had a plumber in the neighborhood try to look for the main shut-off (for the community) and they couldn't find that at all. I'm really hoping to have success with the dry ice.


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