Just because the water has not been shut off at the curb (as far as you
know) doesn't mean it's a decrepit valve. They may well have maintained
it somewhere along the line.
At my curb (Southern California) the shutoff is about a foot below the
sidewalk with the meter right there in that box. I just use a crescent
wrench and a big screwdriver through the "hang-hole" on the handle to
get the torque necessary to turn the horizontally-mounted valve. I
really wish I had the proper tool, but I never think to pick one up for
the time in the future I'm likely to need it. I'd think something like
those old 3-foot-long manual sprinkler control tools might work.
In my neck of the woods the utility company is responsible for the
lines under the road. As soon as it crosses under the curb it is
the customers responsibility. The location of the meter does not
mater, although most of the time meter is close to the curb and the
utility will "handle the problem" up to the meter if the meter is
close the the curb.
As others have said, if the point of demarcation varies per
If it is inside the house (virtually all water meters here in
Ontario and most of Canada are) the shutoff valve ahead of the meter
inside the house is the homeowner's responsibility. The shutoff
hydrant at the street is the end of the "public works" responsibility.
When they came to change the meter at my house, the shutoff leaked so
they had to shut it off at the street. While waiting for them to shut
it off I ran out and got a new 1/4 turn valve and I had it replaced
in minutes while the public works guy readied the new meter for
Saved me a $100 plumber's call and doing it while they had it shut off
saved me the call-out fee to shut it off at the street. Since they had
to do it to change the meter, it was a NO CHARGE call-out.
On Fri, 24 Jun 2016 18:03:49 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
When I replaced the galvanized in my 2-flat in Chicago there was a
small meter pit with a valve in the front parkway. Cast iron cover.
I closed the inside valve (3/4" gate valve) at the end of the lead
pipe service, but was I was still getting a solid flow of water out of
the basement sink. I worked the valve good, but it was shot.
It needed replacement.
So I closed the outside pit valve (3/4" gate again) but it made no
difference that I could see in the flow from the basement faucet.
Worked that one good too, but that valve was shot too.
That's just what happens with 60 year old unused valves.
Made up the new opened valve with a teflon taped short nipple and got
a buddy to hold up a big galvanized wash tub. Same kind we used to
bathe in when I was a tyke spending the summer with my ma's folks in
When I cranked off that old valve it seemed like there was full city
water pressure coming out of the lead pipe. We both got splashed and
half soaked. He actually dropped the tub for an instant.
But I was pretty fast cranking in the new valve and shutting it off.
Had it ready and at hand. Probably spilled 3-4 gallons, most of it
caught by the tub.
That outside city valve was doing squat.
Gate valves don't fare well over time. Esp if you have mineral
deposits in the water.
I installed a ball valve *at* the house (downstream from the valve
on the load side of the water meter by the curb) so that I could be
*sure* the water was off when I wanted it to be so. Another downstream
from that to allow the irrigation water to be stopped and an electrically
operated valve to gate the domestic water supply (plus half-a-dozen
ball valves to allow the water filter and water softener to be selectively
bypassed, as needed. (ditto for the water heater)
When/if the city needs to replace their valve(s), they physically
deform the water main to pinch it closed to interrupt the flow.
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