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Below-ground water shutoff question

1467 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  woodchopper65
The water line running into our house has a below-ground water shutoff about halfway between the house and the street. It is like an emergency shutoff I think. There is a cap that covers a cylinder with the shutoff. I need to use it because none of the shutoffs in our house work (it's a very old house, and the water slows down but doesn't fully shut off). In order to do this I will need a water key but then which way do I turn it and how much? The thing looks so old I don't want to force it the wrong way or too much and cause a leak in it. And what if I get a leak anyway, is there some plumbers trick to stop it?

Here's what it looks like:
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You are correct. Those old fittings can be a pia. It can be tricky.

I would check with your local municilpality or water district first. It depends, sometimes they are resposible and will shut it off for you. If they break the curb stop, they are on the hook.

I would have a plumber standing by as you may be on the hook anyway, depends on your local municilpality. If you break something there, you got a big mess on your hands.

If you do decide to diy use an easy rocking back and forth cw/ccw motion to try and break it free. Cw will tighten (turn off) ccw will loosen(turn it on). Those water keys can be found at any big box store.

If you can, i would hire a plumber for this one. When Dealing with very old pipe, Never know whats going to happen. Especially a water main.
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