main water valve is not shutting completely

I tried turning my main water shut-off valve completely in clockwise (maybe 2 complete revs) to turn the water off. I tried it on 2 separate occasions recently. I then opened all the taps and flushed the 2 toilets on both the main and basement levels. I did nothing to the natural gas water heater close by. It has no separate water out shut-off, and I saw no reason to unplug it (built in exhaust fan) or turn off the gas.
Both times the water ran on at the lowest open tap. I ran it for an hour or more. It is enough permanent leaking to fill up a cup in less than a minute. I believe it was cool water, if not cold.
The valve with the std. handle wheel I am talking about is just before the water meter coming up through the concrete foundation slab at the front of the house. The valve assembly is attached to the pipe and at meter with a hex threading similar to a gas fitting like the gas lines nearby. Hex on both ends, and also at the valve stem. Some 4" long or so, flower bulb shaped.
Is there any chance that the valve may not be broken? Do I need to do something else to get the water to stop completely? I recently painted around the pipes, and there is a out-jutting thingy at right angles that may be an air-release or something I don't know about that I painted over with white rust paint.
I've been reading about these things on the web and I may need to dig up my lawn, buy a wrench, call a plumber who may need to freeze the line, or other. Anyone add any help as to what/who/how much I'm looking at?
I'm in Toronto, ON.
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I recently had the same problem at my own house. 90 year old shut off valve wouldn't shut off. I "solved" the problem by adding a valve just downstream of the water meter, so I could shut the water off completely to my house. The water meter had a compression type fitting, so it was possible to pull this off even with water leaking out of it. The other solution is to shut off the water to your whole house at the street. Your city water dept should be able to help you find the valve. Then you need what is called a "street key" to turn the valve closed (might have to have a licensed plumber to do this).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I cannot picture what you did, could you expand slightly please - how much was your leaking?
I actually have to fix 2 lines (hot and cold) at the elbows, including maybe 4" either side. So I need 4 cuts. I am thinking I I could solder up some angles beforehand and I could use 5/8" compression fittings on the 4 ends, but don't know with all this water and I don't know if I can use a spin-cutter, &/or dremel, &/or 4-1/2" grinding wheel, &/or hack saw blade considering access. At a cup in less then a minute, that could quickly be a mess.
I have never used a compression fitting, and do not know how smooth, straight the ends need to be (i.e. if cut shove a rasp in it, done is enough), nor if I can do a good job with water leaking through it at the time. Is there any reason to suspect this doesn't always go as planned?
PS more info on original problem please. I know this situation isn't good.

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There is no room for anything other than the meter and its' fittings in the short horizontal run before it turns into a 1" or 3/4" vertical run that breaks off to the water heater. The vertical up from the foundation has the current (leaking?) valve, and theres no room there. So I would need to install a compression valve in the (3/4"?) horizontal run, and would not as you say, need to disconnect the meter I guess. Wondering what you did
I just noticed something. There is a shut off valve in the run between the main water supply and the water heater. It is after the meter, which is also after the current shut-off valve. Is it possible there is pressure in the hot water tank driving cool water to the pipes thirty/fifty feet of run away?
DO I need to shut water valve into the hot water heater off?

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am still concerned about the main topic, but now I am also interested in how a man is to locate his own shut-off valve in his/her lawn. Is it that round steel thing about 4" in Dia that has a square (approx 1") in the center that sometimes is visible. I didn't know what those were, and I can't say I've even seen one in my lawn. How do I find mine? Is it at right angles to the lines inside at the foundation. How close/far to sidewalk or other reference (same as others on street?) I think I can imagine what the wrench looks like: (<>)==. If I were to locate a wrench and my valve in the lawn, and since I don't have one working inside, is it a hanging offense to use it as the (capable) homeOwner?
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It should be a simple fix.
Go out to the water meter and shut it off there. Go back inside, pull the leaking valve apart, put in a new washer and that Should fix it. If the seat is roughed up, you may need a seat buffer but I doubt it.
wrote

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The guy at HD just told me that the metal 4" Dia with the 1" square is not the valve, or at least is not the thing to turn to shut it off. Or maybe he was trying to tell me the valve is lower in the ground- ? you get the picture - Besides the 2 feet of snow, and the fact I don't know where it is, is this (the 1" square in the center) the thing to turn, and which way, and how much?

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have read your questions and responses. I cannot figure out what you are trying describe. Often, residential water services have a pressure regulator before or after the meter: here are some sample pictures: <http://www.watts.com/pro/_products_sub.asp?catIdd&parCat (5>
There are only a few kind of valves, perhaps you can find a picture of one as an example:
Ball valves are relatively recent (probably not what you have, but what you should use to replace existing) these come in plastic and brass: <http://www.watts.com/pro/_products_sub.asp?catIdd&parCat 8>
Gate and globe valves (most likely for you to have): <http://www.watts.com/pro/_products_sub.asp?catIdd&parCat "8> When these get old, very often you can close them one last time, or not quite completely, but the stem breaks and you can never open it fully again. The only solution is replacement.
OS&Y valves:- not likely on residential
Butterfly valves - not likely on a residential installation
Your municipality should be involved and responsible for shutting down your service ahead of the metering device. You should have all of your repair/replace parts ready to go and they may insist on only working with a licensed plumber. Any water usage in the house higher than the area you are working on can continue to send water to lower areas. It can be surprising how much water is in the pipes of a multistory. The best solution is to open several valves above to let the residual water out ASAP. Fairly unlikely to be sending water backwards from the hot water tank, but it sure won't hurt to close the isolation valve UNLESS it is an old gate valve and you break the stem, this is not a trivial issue, consider changing out to a ball valve while you have the system down. It is probably safer to turn down or off the heat to eliminate expansion ______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Its like these ones (not being too specific) Its about 4 inches end to end, notin' but stem on the 3rd hex, stem, end :

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And there is the matter of the (air-release thingy?) I painted over
wrote

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I know you're doing your best to describe a situation unfamiliar to you but it's really hard for us to tell what's going on (for sure)
Any chance of posting some pictures?
If the valve is upstream of the meter it is usually the water utilities problem (at least in the US)
My guess is that the "thingy' with the knurled knob is a back flow preventer...........
cheers Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Is it possible I dabbed over something I shouldn't have in this situation which would prevent a complete shut-off?
(air-release thingy?) I painted over
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My water comes up in the basement floor, then a valve, then a short horizontal run to the meter, and then goes up from there. I unscrewed it from the downstream end of the meter, let 'er leak for awhile, while I installed a ball valve in the vertical section.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like a very similar situation. If you were leaking at the time, I can understand that if the ball valve you installed was compression fitted, but why would the meter having pressure fittings be of value? It may not matter, and if I were to do the same thing (I haven't done a pressure fitting before and don't know what kind of edge and mainicuring would be needed, or even if its a good seal anyways) I 'd just have to deal with the leak (maybe a bucket in the time I'd finish, cut out a section of the Vertical (3/4" is it), and coerce in a ball valve. Does this sound familiar? In my ramblings I am just asssuming that any fitting with a hex on the ends is a "pressure fitting", and similar in nature to the type I have been considering for the actual repair I am trying to get to 50' of run away. Before my meter however, everything seems to be pipe-thread fitted, but with hex connectors, is some taper pressure fit I guess.

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you are just shutting off water to fix a leaky faucet or whatever, you should be able to shut the water off as much as you can and still fix the faucet. Another trick is to turn on all other water faucets while fixing the leaky faucet.
If you need to have the water completely shut off for one reason or another, then...
Fix the valve if you know how.
If you can't fix the valve, replace it if you know how.
If you can't do the above, call a plumber.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Actually the 2 lines that need fixing are attached to a sink and a toilet and are in competition with one other sink nearby on the same basement level for the lowest in the gravity table. Of the two sinks I think the one that leaks permanently is the one I have to fix - I mean its the one that drips when both are open. Just my luck. SO, am I right in assuming I cannot fix this without curing my main water shut-off problem?! Somewhere else and I guess you may be right.
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The thing I may have painted over is a knurled head 9/16" H x 11/16" Dia on a post sticking out 1" complete that is molded into the steel valve bulb-shaped housing at right angles to the main shut-off stem and is inline with the center of the housing located at a point just higher than center (higher than the main shut-off stem). There seems to be a hole in it (or a point that looks like where a rollled steel cotter pin is put), and the knurled head suggests it can be adjusted. Its centered after the shut off, barely. What is this thing?
I'm trying to put this post at the end, for everyone to see.
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Weird" valve things you may see near a water meter are backflow prevention devices. And sometimes connections to test these devices.
What can happen is that you are watering a tree with a garden hose and have just sprayed the tree with insecticide. And there is a puddle of water the hose end is laying in.
Then the city water is shut off maybe because of the main breaking or whatever. And you are located up on a hill. Someone down the street is also watering. Well in the absence of pressure in the main, water flows downhill to where someone downhill is watering.
Water is sucked "backwards" through your hose and into the city water main! Also the insecticide is also sucked into the city water main!
To prevent this from happening, many cities require backflow prevention devices near the meter. This can be what is called a "gate valve". Sometimes there are connections on either side of the valve for testing. Someone can connect a testing device to these to test the valve to be sure water will not flow backwards.
Also you will see toilet and garden sprinkler valves which say "anti-siphon". Some are also "vacuum breaker". This lets air in to break a siphon. If you paint over the air hole, it may not function properly.
Diagram of an anti-siphon vacuum breaker valve... http://www.dwbp-online.com/avb_flow.htm
Anti-siphon... http://home.howstuffworks.com/question166.htm
Backflow testing... http://www.atlanticbackflow.com http://www.advancedinc.com/backflowtest.html http://backflowtestkits.com/gauges.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.