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Old 09-06-2010, 08:36 AM   #1
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


I tapped my main water supply line with the lawnmower and it struck a leak at the threaded connection between the PVC that comes out of the ground from the city supply line and my main shut off valve (its old, galv steel I think, maybe brass). I'm pretty confident I can handle the pvc repairs and have some extra length of pipe, new male treaded fitting, etc. My problem is that when I shut off the city's cutoff valve at my meter to do the work, it does not stop the flow of water completely, and is still dribbling out of the leaky fitting. I am thinking I need completely dry pipes to do the repairs and work with pvc cement. I've been waiting on the city for a day to come out, and I'm guessing I need them to repair/replace their cutoff valve, but don't know what they will be willing to do when they arrive.

We've been without water now for a full day. Any help would be greatly appreciated! thanks

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Old 09-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


If you told them you messed with their curb stop, depending on the situation, prepare yourself for a repair bill from the city. You're not supposed to touch it. Maybe offer the city guy coffee and donuts when he comes out..

As far as a PVC repair, you don't need perfectly dry pipes. You should be able to make the repair even with water dribbling. With Hot Stuff (brand name) PVC cement you're supposedly able to make a repair completely submerged. I've never tried it "completely" under water, but a little dribble is no big deal.

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Old 09-06-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


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I tapped my main water supply line with the lawnmower and it struck a leak at the threaded connection between the PVC that comes out of the ground from the city supply line and my main shut off valve (its old, galv steel I think, maybe brass). I'm pretty confident I can handle the pvc repairs and have some extra length of pipe, new male treaded fitting, etc. My problem is that when I shut off the city's cutoff valve at my meter to do the work, it does not stop the flow of water completely, and is still dribbling out of the leaky fitting. I am thinking I need completely dry pipes to do the repairs and work with pvc cement. I've been waiting on the city for a day to come out, and I'm guessing I need them to repair/replace their cutoff valve, but don't know what they will be willing to do when they arrive.

We've been without water now for a full day. Any help would be greatly appreciated! thanks
get the glue in the blue can not the gold can if you are doing the box stores. the blue is for a small anount of water on the pvc pipe. If their isn't to much preasure. What old timer's do is take some bread and stuff down in the pipe and do the glueing fast. This works with soldering copper so should work with pvc. Now after this is done and not leaking go in at the sink and let it run tell you see this bread that will be broke into nothing comming out . Now this may not be a good idea if you have a ice maker clogging up the shut off. I guess have the valve change at the street. I have use bread with sucess tho
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


Without water for a day due to an outside leak ?
Turn the water on, flush the toilets, fill some water jugs, take showers
Then turn it back off
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


Thank everyone for the tips. I have some bread on hand, but am a bit scared by that idea. I also have the blue cement. I tested it and it dries really fast and is kind of gloppy in consistency. The instructions on the bottle say to apply 2 coats of the stuff, but I'm afraid the pipes won't fit in the fittings with that stuff built up on them. (I'm also using a cleaner and a purple primer). Any thoughts?

As for turning the water back on temporarily, yes I could. But I battled that very stiff city valve with a wrench for a half hour yesterday as cockroaches circled me so I'm trying to mess in there as little as possible.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:43 PM   #6
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


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As for turning the water back on temporarily, yes I could. But I battled that very stiff city valve with a wrench for a half hour yesterday as cockroaches circled me so I'm trying to mess in there as little as possible.
Again, I wouldn't mess with the curb stop anymore. The city guys have a key for that. If they break it they fix it. If you break it, they fix it and bill you.

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Thank everyone for the tips. I have some bread on hand, but am a bit scared by that idea. I also have the blue cement. I tested it and it dries really fast and is kind of gloppy in consistency. The instructions on the bottle say to apply 2 coats of the stuff, but I'm afraid the pipes won't fit in the fittings with that stuff built up on them. (I'm also using a cleaner and a purple primer). Any thoughts?
Sounds like you just need to hire a professional.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


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Thank everyone for the tips. I have some bread on hand, but am a bit scared by that idea. I also have the blue cement. I tested it and it dries really fast and is kind of gloppy in consistency. The instructions on the bottle say to apply 2 coats of the stuff, but I'm afraid the pipes won't fit in the fittings with that stuff built up on them. (I'm also using a cleaner and a purple primer). Any thoughts?

As for turning the water back on temporarily, yes I could. But I battled that very stiff city valve with a wrench for a half hour yesterday as cockroaches circled me so I'm trying to mess in there as little as possible.
the blue stuff should be just about as thin as the blue cleaner. If is like jelley don't use it. As far as 2 coat's go with the blue glue 2 coat's are back to back don't let it dry. They will go togother
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


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the blue stuff should be just about as thin as the blue cleaner. If is like jelley don't use it. As far as 2 coat's go with the blue glue 2 coat's are back to back don't let it dry. They will go togother
The cleaner I am using is clear, and goes on like water. The blue cement is kind of like olive oil, that quickly turns to something like maple syrup when I apply it. I just bought the cement from HD. It was tightly sealed. Does this stuff go bad?
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:01 PM   #9
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


I hope you are successful in the repair. In my town the municipal water company charges $80. to shut off the main. I would not even attempt to mess with it. Sure, it can break (its a ball valve according to the water company so it should last a long time) but if the town breaks it it becomes their problem. I would never advise someone to be dishonest but be aware that if it is broken and you admit to touching it or there is evidence that you did, you face a charge that will make the $80. shut off fee look like peanuts.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


How about using a dresser coupling? Glue what you need to above ground and use a dresser coupling to link it all up. I used to install water softeners and I used hundreds of these and never had to go back on one.

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Old 09-06-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


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The cleaner I am using is clear, and goes on like water. The blue cement is kind of like olive oil, that quickly turns to something like maple syrup when I apply it. I just bought the cement from HD. It was tightly sealed. Does this stuff go bad?
Yes it will go bad. When it get's like jelley. I wouldn't use it. It need to be thin. Their is a clear cleaner and a blue. They are the same. Some like the blue so as to see if they got all the cleaner on the pipe. But it never fail's. Some get on the hand's some how??
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #12
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


The bread trick does work. I've even used it on 4" lines. All you really need is to stop the water for what, 15 seconds? I've heard that Wonder bread is best and I know a commercial plumber with about 40 years experience and that's all he uses. For me, there's a surplus bread store nearby and I can get a whole loaf for 25 or 50 cents. Pass that PBJ!
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:46 AM   #13
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main cutoff valve does not stop water completely


Success so far...I turned my water back on yesterday evening and no leaks! I was getting impatient and ended up just using the blue cement I had bought. I convinced myself it was okay because it wasn't lumpy like jelly. Seems to have done the trick. I didn't do the bread because I was worried about clogging things, but I had my wife assist in pushing a plastic tube into the pipe, putting her thumb over the open end and yanking out to stop the flow for a few seconds while I applied the cement. If I had known they existed, maybe I would have saved myself the aggravation and use a dresser coupling

I appreciate everyones advice here. These replies were really helpful, even those of you warning me of the consequences of messing with the city's meter. You make good points, but the city still hadn't shown up yet when I canceled the service call last night. If I hadn't shut it off myself that would have meant at least a 2 day shower for the underside of my house.

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