I think your best bet is to try and excavate the stop cock in your front
If the brick lined shaft is less than an arms length then hopefully you can
get your arm down ( but you may find yourself excavating with a teaspoon).
If the shaft is too deep, then bite the bullet and dig around it - you need
to be able to turn the water off in an emergency so this does need fixing.
If it is the water board's stopcock then presumably they should fix it.
If it is yours then the water board need to turn the water off for you
whilst you replace or fix it.
There may be a stopcock under the pavement (if tarmac, then it could be
Metal detector could be the only way to find this.
I presume the water board would know, and if the stop cock is buried then it
is probably their responsibility to unearth it.
For the inside tap, you are snookered unless you can disable the mains.
The only way that occurs at the moment is to use a freezing kit on the mains
input prior to the stop cock, cut out a length of pipe and fit a new
stopcock. Then remove the old one and redo your pipes.
However this is well dodgy as if you get it wrong you have a gusher and no
way to stop it.
even if you can't get your arm to the stopcock you might still be able to
probe through the muck with a long-handled stopcock key (probably crutch
type - like a U on the end of the shaft) and find it and turn it off. It
won't be rusted away: they're built to last in the ground like this.
When you've got it turned off you may be able to repair the inside
stopcock - unscrew the main hexagon part of the tap head and replace the
washer (or replace the head if you have one that'll fit off another stopcock
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The stopcock will be under the earth in the brick shaft. They always fill up
with silt and debris. The waterboard man will have a scoop thingy to clear it
out with. A stick and a wet and dry vacuum cleaner will do just as well.
Dave Baker - Puma Race Engines (www.pumaracing.co.uk)
I'm not at all sure why women like men. We're argumentative, childish,
unsociable and extremely unappealing naked. I'm quite grateful they do though.
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