Where to put water service shutoff valve?

I have steel pipe to the street water meter. Leaks. Replace with PEX. Ok, but what to do about the shutoff valve? Current system has a gate valve adjacent to the foundation on the outside.
I've had a number of phone discussions about installing the system. One guy said he'd just put a shutoff valve in a similar placement. I can't imagine how that's done.
If the hole is drilled horizontally and the pipe is pulled from the crawl space out to the water meter, how do you insert the valve? It might be quite deep. Putting the valve under the house won't work. That area is not easily accessible.
Do I really need a shutoff valve? I've been using the water meter shutoff valve. It's easier than cleaning the spiders out of the local one. Since I haven't turned it in 30 years, I was afraid of making it leak anyway.
I'll call for some bids tomorrow, but I'd like a better understanding of my options when I discuss it with them.
Thanks, mike
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X.

Is that how they are doing it? I've never seen horizontal drilling done for a typical residential water line. Usually it'a a small trench via ditch witch or similar.

It has to be below the frost line. How deep is the existing valve?

One issue would be if it's required by code or not. The other would be if the meter is always accessible, ie it doesn't get buried in snow? Where is it, inside? Outside? My first choice would always be to have a shutoff that is easily accessible in the house itself. How easy or hard it is to do that depends on your particular circumstances.
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On 05/27/2013 11:07 AM, mike wrote:

I'd put it inside the house in the basement. I wouldn't delete it as it is having two valves for redundancy is a Good Thing.
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On 5/27/2013 8:07 AM, mike wrote:

I have several gate valves in my irrigation system. Use one to take water from the domestic wellhead. They never completely shut off the water. They might when new, but after a year or so, will leak.
Use a ball valve for a complete shut off. Gate valves are useful for adjusting flow, not shutting off.
Paul
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mike wrote:

Since you said the water line comes into the crawl space, my guess is that anyone who is replacing the water line is going to dig a trench outside to do it -- and not try to tunnel through the dirt. You may be thinking of those systems that people sometimes use for replacing sewer lines by tunneling through the existing line and not digging a trench. And, since you have a crawl space and not a basement, the water line doesn't seem like it could be very far down.
Where are you located -- in terms of climate and possible frost line depth?
As you said, using the shutoff valve at the meter is one option. But, you should add at least one more shutoff somewhere in the line, in my opinion, since the new line has to be connected somewhere to the old line. You could either add the new valve in the crawl space, outside, or wherever. And, yes, a ball valve is what people use as far as I know. Use a ball valve with a waste port so you can drain the line if you need to do plumbing work in the future or may need to winterize the property at some point in time.
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On 5/27/2013 3:53 PM, TomR wrote:

Well, the devil is in the details. I'm in Oregon near Portland. The water meter is in a box just below ground level. Pipe is about a foot down. The entrance into the crawlspace and valve are about a foot down. It's on a small slope, so the pipe is 24" down in the middle. Been here 40 years with no freezing issues. I think the code says minimum 18" down, but everybody I talked to says 24".
Yes, they do bore horizontally under the lawn and pull the pex back thru. Watched 'em do it for my neighbor. He had to go under the driveway and didn't have a choice. I can have it bored for $400 or spend $175 to rent a ditch witch and spend all day praying that I don't hurt myself doing something I have no experience with. The boring decision is a no-brainer.
Putting a shutoff valve under the house won't help in an emergency. Have to empty out the closet, crawl down under the house, over the heating ducts to get to it. Valve at the meter is always easy to get at. Just a matter of whether code allows it. I've got shutoff valves at all the sinks and laundry. Dishwasher is about the only thing that I can't shut off from inside.
And yes, you can do carpentry and pipe the water all over the place to make the valve accessible, but I'd rather not do that if possible. All it takes is money...lots of it!
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Bob F wrote:

Interesting idea.
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"mike" wrote in message
I have steel pipe to the street water meter. Leaks. Replace with PEX. Ok, but what to do about the shutoff valve? Current system has a gate valve adjacent to the foundation on the outside.
I've had a number of phone discussions about installing the system. One guy said he'd just put a shutoff valve in a similar placement. I can't imagine how that's done.
If the hole is drilled horizontally and the pipe is pulled from the crawl space out to the water meter, how do you insert the valve? It might be quite deep. Putting the valve under the house won't work. That area is not easily accessible.
Do I really need a shutoff valve? I've been using the water meter shutoff valve. It's easier than cleaning the spiders out of the local one. Since I haven't turned it in 30 years, I was afraid of making it leak anyway.
I'll call for some bids tomorrow, but I'd like a better understanding of my options when I discuss it with them.
Thanks, mike
Go with what Tom R said. I always add a ball valve after the regular inlet valve and then pipe it up to a bathroom base cabinet with another ball valve and back down to inlet line, This saves going back under house for a shut off in an emergency need for replacing faucets or toilet shut off valves. I even do this on the house that has a basement for convenience. WW
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On 5/27/2013 8:07 AM, mike wrote:

where do you want to go at 3am on a cold, rainy, miserable day when you develop a pipe leak somewhere in the wall?
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On 5/29/2013 11:33 AM, chaniarts wrote:

I can walk out to the street, open the box, turn the valve on the meter. Or, I can empty the closet, crawl under the house, over the heating ducts, thru the dust to the other end of the house to get at a valve. When I crawl out, I can wish I had water to clean off the dirt. You pick?
Bottom line is that the local inspector will require a shutoff valve, but I can put it in the meter box next to the meter if I want.
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On 5/29/2013 11:59 AM, mike wrote:

your choice.
in my area, it's always at the entrance to the house. i'd rather go there in an emergency (think burst pipe on an upper level and water everywhere) than go out to the curb, which is hundreds of feet away.
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PEX.

understanding

you

meter.

ducts,

valve,

I would like to have one near the house myself. Mine is down in the meter box by the curb, and it doesn't quite shut the water off. I have shut off valves on every fixture. But if I ever had to shut off the main line, I know for sure that my long-handled wrench will not be where it I thought I left it last time.
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On 5/30/2013 11:30 PM, Guv Bob wrote:

and it doesn't quite shut the water off. I have shut off valves on every fixture.
But if I ever had to shut off the main line, I know for sure that my long-handled wrench
will not be where it I thought I left it last time.

That's just plain silly. How do you remember where the shutoff valve is when it's near the house? Store your wrench there.
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away.

meter box by the curb,

house?

What? That doesn't make sense. The wrench is a 3-ft long bar: http://www.hornungsrentals.com/images/product_pictures/plumbing/water_shu t_off_wrench.jpg
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On 5/31/2013 7:16 AM, Guv Bob wrote:

http://www.hornungsrentals.com/images/product_pictures/plumbing/water_shut_off_wrench.jpg

Should make it easy to find ;-)
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mike wrote:

Sounds like a plan that will work for what you want and need.
After the work is done, it would be interesting to know how they went about doing the replacement. I have never seen any method other then the dig-a-ditch and replace the pipe method. So, if they do some other technique, I would be interested in learning about how they do it. Photos would be great, but that may be a lot to ask.
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