Shutoff valve before water meter: Whose problem?

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The water shutoff valve just before the meter in my basement has begun to leak. Probably about a gallon a week, judging from the amount in the bucket I put below the valve. Simple enough problem I would likely handle myself, except for shutting the water off at the curb. I've seen them do this with a neighborhood deadbeat (apparently behind on their bill), they use a wrench about 4 feet long which I don't possess. Anyway, before I pay a plumber, it did occur to me that since this is BEFORE the meter, perhaps it's the city water dept's problem. Anyone know?
TIA Dan
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know?
Best way would be to contact the water dept in your area and ask them. B
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I'd think the city should take care of this since this is in a location before entering your house. Why not call the city?
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He said it is before the meter in his basement. I think it is his problem.
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In most cases, it is still your valve and water line. The city may come out and turn the water off for you and then turn it back on. Of course they will expect you to have a permit for the work also.
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Dan wrote:

You may need to check locally as I suspect it is not the same everywhere. In my case the pipe line and all valves etc, from the curb box to the house are my problem.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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I've
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Here in our area, anything before the meter is the water depts responsibility. B
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------------ It's pretty universal that the city/county is responsible up to and including the meter at the curb. Anything past the meter is your responsibility.
You can get the water meter shutoff wrench at Lowe's/Home Depot for a few bucks.
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Thanks for the replies. The thing with this setup is the meter & valve are INSIDE the basement (there is a main shutoff under a cover in the front sidewalk down by the curb). Just the same, I have to think if the METER which is AFTER this valve fails, it would not be my problem. The valve began leaking after I shut the water off a couple times due to going out of town for several weeks in the cold weather. It appears to be leaking at the packing around the valve stem, easy to fix were it not for the WATER being on ;-) I think I'll see if it calcifies & stops leaking after a bit, as it has in the past. Mean time I'll call the city, but wanted to get an idea of how this usually goes befire I do. I've seen short wrenches for the outside valve at hardware stores. I bent one 180 degrees one time trying to shut off the water at my inlaws house in LA, but there the valve was only inches beneath the cover; here it's a good 2-3 feet. I can just imagine what condition the thing is in, having never been shut off for the 40 years my family has owned this house ;-(
Dan
Abe wrote:

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The meter belongs to the city/town, but the piping belongs to you.
Have you tried to gently tighten the packing nut? Sometimes that is all that is needed.
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Good idea.
Dan
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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know?
Don't be tempted to shut off the curb water yourself. My shutoff valve also leaked and I replaced it with a ball valve. My plumber refused to shut off the outside water "too many bad tings happen". When the city shut off the water the shaft extension (from ground to the valve underground) broke in half. Result was that they had to tear up the street to get at the valve, install a new shaft extension, fill the hole and re-hot top the street. Plumber made the right decision. MLD
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Yeah, I don't think I'll attempt it. As I said the one time I did try it (another house) the wrench bent & the valve didn't budge. I'll try snugging down the nut on the valve stem, then go from there.
Dan
MLD wrote:

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About ten years ago the water main was replaced on my street. The main gate (shut off valve) just before the meter begin to leak. Called a plumber, then called the town to shut the water off. Plumber arrived, changed the valve ($100), then called the town to turn the water back on. The water was off for about two hours. Once the water was on all sorts of crap came through the pipes, metal chips, grease, real nasty stuff. I put a whole house filter on for about $30 and every thing has been fine since..
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Dan wrote:

If the valve is installed properly when you close it there is no pressure at the packing nut. You can at this point unscrew the nut and wrap a few strands of packing around the shaft, tighten the nut, open the valve and continue living your life. Dave

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Good point. That means he can probably fix the valve stem leak without having to shut off the water at the curb.
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I didn't think about this, I see what you're saying (stem screws down in body of the valve so will be held in place there with water off even though nut is removed) and I'm guessing you're correct, but I'm a bit leery to attempt this without being absolutely certain before hand I'm not going to get a geyser, with no easy/quick way of shutting it off (per the previous comments re the likely condition of the curb valve, lack of a wrench, etc.) Is this the universal design (no possibility stem, handle and all are going to come off with the nut)? Valve is about 50 years old. I guess I can easily shut the water off, then loosen the nut slowly to see what happens.
Sure like the "continue living my life part", lol.
Dan
El-Jay wrote:

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Well, I went down & shut off the valve, then backed off the nut slightly. Began to leak more, so I opened a nearby faucet to remove pressure on the outlet side & the leaking stopped. I slacked off the nut about half way; no leaking, so it seems I may be able to repack the valve w/o shutting off the outside water control. I'll go to the hdwr store & see what they have for this before proceeding further. Plus I'm having to soak the screw that retains the valve handle in penetrating oil to get it out w/o risking breaking it off. Ironically, after all this when I reopened the valve, the leak has substantially quit.
No doubt not for long, however.
When it comes to plumbing, I'd rather do electrical ;-)
Dan
Dan wrote:

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When it comes to electrical, I'd rather do plumbing. I can sometimes outrun a water leak, but have never been able to outrun electricity.
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Dave Morrison wrote:

Let me toss in a question:
There's bound to be an existing packing (which is, of course, worn or deteriorated). There's too much volume under the nut to fill completely with the teflon thread / string, so the idea is to add a few wraps to seal. Would those wraps be added between the existing packing and the nut? Or under the packing?
I've tried to purchase replacement packing before, and maybe there's a variety available to pros, but the folks at the hardware store just shrug and hand me the teflon string.
(Stem leaks have been a consistent curse at this 65-year-old house...).
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