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Old 10-16-2005, 01:13 PM   #1
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Main water shutoff problem


I'm new here, but I'm old everywhere else. I recently tried to shut off the incoming city water by turning the main valve at my foundation. It hasn't been used in a few years, and seemed somewhat stiff but I managed to turn it all the way. But the water still runs slightly at the faucet I was repairing...enough that any work requiring soldering will likely be a problem. Can a plummer put in a new shutoff valve further along the water line, and do so with this semi leaking condition, or will I need to get the water company to shut down the line? I suspect I already know the answer. Any suggestions as to the best type valve for this application? Thank you..!

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Old 10-16-2005, 01:43 PM   #2
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Main water shutoff problem


A plumber can put in a new valve as long as, as you said, it doesn't have to be soldered. If it's copper coming in, have the water co shut off the main at the meter for an hour or so. Have the plumber ready, an hour should be more than enough time, or better yet, just set it up with the city/water co. that you'll call when it's done.

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Old 10-16-2005, 02:37 PM   #3
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Main water shutoff problem


They make a dresser coupling that will fit on galvanized and I'm pretty sure copper also. It slides over the pipe and compresses around the pipe. Then you could fit another piece of pipe with a new shut off and take off from there. I think the dresser coupling meets our local codes but I agree with the last post that soldering in a new ball valve would be the best. Most of the plumbers in my area have a t-wrench to shut off the water at the street. I even have one and I'm not a plumber.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:43 PM   #4
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Main water shutoff problem


Shut the meter off yourself. No big deal. If you don't have a T-handle meter key (about $3 bucks or so at any hardware store here), just use a small adjustable wrench or channel-locks on the rectangular meter brass shut-off knob.
There should be a triangular leak indicator on the meter that spins when the water is on, and moves slowly when there is small leak. When that stops moving, you've shut off the meter.
If you have a copper line, solder in a brass ball valve for your main, as suggested.
Good Luck!
Mike
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Old 10-16-2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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Main water shutoff problem


I have always heard the valve ahead of the meter referred to as a 'curb stop', this may help you find the correct wrench. I have seen hand wheels (gate valves), square drives and flat drives (rotary valves).
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Old 10-16-2005, 07:12 PM   #6
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Main water shutoff problem


My t-handle wrench cost more than $3 because it is 8 ft long for frost. Meter is in the house. I think we call it a stop box at the street. HS
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:29 PM   #7
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Main water shutoff problem


The best advice I can give you is to contact your'e water dept. and find out their policy to shut off the water. Some departments will still replace the shutoff on the street side of the meter because it is their property. Around here we are not allowed to own or use our own "T" wrench. Most main shutoffs are in the street or sidewalk and that is considered city or town property. If we got caught we would face some hefty fines and penalties from the locals and state board.
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Old 10-17-2005, 07:16 AM   #8
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Main water shutoff problem


My water dept shuts off at the street. They say the interior shutoff valve is my problem. Guess i'll call a plummer, and ask for their recomendation. It's copper coming in by the way...I'm thinking one of those lever style valves that moves just a quarter turn in total from on to off would be better than that turn forever piece of junk I now have. Yes or no ??

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Old 10-17-2005, 07:49 AM   #9
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Main water shutoff problem


Yes, go with a ball valve.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:13 AM   #10
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Main water shutoff problem


I wouldn't use a ball valve as your main shut off, a gate valve is much more dependable. I like & use ball valves myself, but wouldn't use it for a main. Your water co. doesn't use them .
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:04 AM   #11
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Main water shutoff problem


Quote:
Your water co. doesn't use them .
Actually ......

Mine does. Our meters shut off with a quarter turn, which is essentially, a ball valve. Sure it doesn't have a handle like a typical ball valve, but the inner workings are the same.
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Old 10-18-2005, 09:22 AM   #12
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Main water shutoff problem


I would opt for the ball valve as well, gate valves have too many moving parts.

The municipality that I worked for had no problem with the HO or plumber turning the water off at the meter although technically it does belong to them.
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Old 10-18-2005, 07:30 PM   #13
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Main water shutoff problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by playintennis5274
I wouldn't use a ball valve as your main shut off, a gate valve is much more dependable. I like & use ball valves myself, but wouldn't use it for a main. Your water co. doesn't use them .

What?? :confused:
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Old 11-15-2005, 03:04 PM   #14
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Main water shutoff problem


Don't mean to hijack here, but since we are discussing T-handles...

Any suggestions in leaving water turned on/off somewhere (in house, or outdoor faucet) while turning on and off the main line to avoid pressure issues?
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Old 11-15-2005, 05:34 PM   #15
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Main water shutoff problem


All outlets should be fully opened when restoring water pressure, put a paint paddle under the flapper in toilets so that they run until all of the air is cleared. Know where the inlet is and beging shutting down from there to the furthest away.

A water hammer caused by purging air can create tremendous pressures and blow perfectly good pipes.

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