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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a cover with a lid over my main water valve out near the street. A company came in with some heavy equipment to bury some new utility lines in the easement. Once they left, the cover is gone and I can't locate the valve.

The water line is still marked on the street and I know approximately where it was, but I poked around with a 10" screwdriver and never hit anything. I even dug down several inches where I thought it was and still never hit anything.

My girlfriend called the city and the lady said that was normal and to use the house shutoff valve if needed. When she said she didn't know where that was located the lady laughed at her. IMO, the main meter should still be accessible. Am I correct?

Second, I have no clue where my house shutoff is located. I'm in central Oklahoma, which means no basement and built on slab. In every house I've lived in, I've turned the water off at the street meter when needed. I also don't have a hot water tank, I have a tankless system, which is where I'm told it normally lives.

I've looked all around and can't find it. Any tips/ideas?

I called my plumbing buddy and he said I should have a valve, but it's normal for them to be hard to find. He says he typically uses the meter at the road.
 

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I had a cover with a lid over my main water valve out near the street. A company came in with some heavy equipment to bury some new utility lines in the easement. Once they left, the cover is gone and I can't locate the valve.
Call the City Water Dept. again.
INSIST that the meter box & cover be properly installed.
It could take a week or two to get to... but don't accept excuses

Second, I have no clue where my house shutoff is located.
..no basement and built on slab. ...Any tips/ideas?
Somewhere along the front wall of the house and probably on the most direct line to the meter connection spot...
because the service MUST come through somewhere. Right?

Under the kitchen sink is common.
At the front hose bib is as well (warmer areas)
Ask your neighbors where THEIR water line coes in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Call the City Water Dept. again.
INSIST that the meter box & cover be properly installed.
It could take a week or two to get to... but don't accept excuses

Somewhere along the front wall of the house and probably on the most direct line to the meter connection spot...
because the service MUST come through somewhere. Right?

Under the kitchen sink is common.
At the front hose bib is as well (warmer areas)
Ask your neighbors where THEIR water line coes in.
The company burying the lines was back again today, so I talked to one of the guys. He said he notified his foreman and he would stop by today and talk to me (Yeah, right). I also got the number to the supervisor and foreman.

I'm pretty PO'd about the situation, so my g/f wanted to make the call. It looks like I might have to call or even drop by the water department, but saying it's "normal" to not have a cover and it buried seems like a lazy answer to me.

The water line definitely has to come from somewhere. The house was built in 2005, so my buddy said it shouldn't have passed inspection if it didn't have a shutoff, but I can't find it for the life of me. I honestly thought houses built on slabs in this area had to use the main meter. Every plumber I've ever seen work on a house in my 40 years used the meter if needed.

I really appreciate the response. I feel like people think I'm a crazy person for wanting an accessible meter and cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I caught the foreman out looking at it and was able to talk to him. He said he'd take care of it.

Now to find the mystery shutoff valve in my house.
 

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Being you know approximately where the line is at the street using a metal detector to locate the line from the street to the house may be a possibility.


Option II - do a one call ( 811 ) stating you are considering planting some shrubs and need utilities located. They may or may not locate from the street but nothing lost if they don't.



Be prepared to provide detailed information about your location. Example: possibly even legal description of the property. But it's free and all utilities with lines in that area will be called.
 

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You state that you have a tankless water heater. Does the water pipe branch from there? Follow it back as far as you can and see where it disappears. Chances are it disappears into the slab somewhere in line with the hidden box by the street.

Is there a shut-off before the water splits and separates into Hot and Cold water lines? Or is there a shut-off on each line? Are there any tee's before that? If not, then the shut-off before the split, or the shut-off on each line, will be your main shut-off.

Try turning it, or them, off and see if you have water flowing anywhere .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You state that you have a tankless water heater. Does the water pipe branch from there? Follow it back as far as you can and see where it disappears. Chances are it disappears into the slab somewhere in line with the hidden box by the street.

Is there a shut-off before the water splits and separates into Hot and Cold water lines? Or is there a shut-off on each line? Are there any tee's before that? If not, then the shut-off before the split, or the shut-off on each line, will be your main shut-off.

Try turning it, or them, off and see if you have water flowing anywhere .
The tankless units are recessed into the exterior brick finish of the house. I can only see about 6" of the pipe before it goes into the wall.

The two tankless units each have two shutoff valves. I was thinking earlier that maybe shutting off the "input" line to each tankless unit might do the trick. I'll have to test it out.
 

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The tankless units are recessed into the exterior brick finish of the house. I can only see about 6" of the pipe before it goes into the wall.

The two tankless units each have two shutoff valves. I was thinking earlier that maybe shutting off the "input" line to each tankless unit might do the trick. I'll have to test it out.
Although I have 0.0 experience with tankless heaters, after reading about water heater explosions a few years ago I've never felt good about closing the supply to those without turning the heater to OFF or on gas units at least to pilot. Something that might be a good plan is at least check in the manual or with the manufacturer of your units before closing the supply valve.


Maybe I'm just over sensitive about pressure explosions after retiring from a industry that's known for those type of things but lived to tell the story. :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Although I have 0.0 experience with tankless heaters, after reading about water heater explosions a few years ago I've never felt good about closing the supply to those without turning the heater to OFF or on gas units at least to pilot. Something that might be a good plan is at least check in the manual or with the manufacturer of your units before closing the supply valve.


Maybe I'm just over sensitive about pressure explosions after retiring from a industry that's known for those type of things but lived to tell the story. :wink2:
Excellent point.
 

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Our NY house has the meter in the house or it would freeze.
Our FL house has no shutoff except at the meter pit by the sidewalk. Hot water can be turned off at the water heater and irrigation can be turned off, but there is no valve to turn it all off.
 

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Don't pay your water bill and wait for them to come out to turn your water off.
 
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