It turns out the plug to the pipe that leads down to the curb stop valve out in front of my house got busted somehow. Now the pipe is plugged with whatever crud made it's way in there so the valve is inaccessible. The only reason I even knew about it was because the city water guys came by and painted the cap and then sent me a letter telling me to clean out the pipe and replace the cap within 30 days or else they would do it (at a cost).
How do I clean this pipe out? I'm not sure how long the pipe is down to the valve. I shined a flashlight down the pipe and all I could see was standing water about two feet down. I thought I might be able to stick a shop vac hose down there but the pipe is too narrow.
How would a plumber clean this out? Would it be costly?
In my town, that is owned by the water dept. so they fix it- I guess yours is different though.
I'd start by putting a smaller diameter pipe on the shop vac hose somehow- suck the water out and see what you have left.
If the cap was cast iron, I'd get a magnet on a stick or pipe and try to pull the pieces out.
Call the water dept to find a supplier for a new cap
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