Call the city for a for a street turn off then fix all of them. For
the in house main ive carefully used a wrench. But if yours is never
used it may not shut off. On many the seat- washer can be replaced.
But ball valves for replacement are forever.
There will usually be a shutoff at the street although you may have to call
the utility to cut it off for you and then to turn it back on again. If THAT
one doesn't work it is their problem and they should fix it for you. Once
you get the water cut off there you can install a working main valve and
take it from there.
As others suggested, you can have the water company shut off the water at
the street for you. Or, you can buy a water shut-off tool like the one they
use and do it yourself. I am not sure if they sell them at Home Depot, etc.
It's a long metal T-shaped bar with the "key" on the end. Years ago, I
bought one of them at a local plumbing supply company.
He can do it himself but why, the city does it for free, and if he
brakes the valve or if its damaged his fault or not he will may have to
pay. They usualy are on 24 hr call, emergencys happen all the time.
I've got the same problem. Well, the main shuts off just fine, but
none of the rooms in the front of the house have independent
shut-offs. The kitchen lines go back into the wall... no shut-off.
The bathroom lines do the same thing. Have to kill the water to the
entire house before doing any work so obviously, you can't leave
anything half-done overnight.
It's really frustrating.
Call a plumber and have him (her?) replace the main shutoff in the house
with a new full-flow ball valve. He'll either shut off the water at the
street, or freeze the line above the bad main valve so he can replace it.
You should be able to install shutoffs under the sinks, toilet, etc. once
you have a main shutoff that works.
"thanks for the replies to call the PWD.
but I was hoping there was a way to fix it with-out turning it off at
how do you freeze the line before the shut-off so it can be worked on?"
===================================I think you need to call a plumber if you are asking these kinds of
questions. No offense, but how many times do you want to go through this
ordeal and how much do you want to practice before you get it right. Al
*You* would use a wooden or styrofoam box and dry ice. A *plumber* would
use a special refrigeration machine that clamps around the pipe. I
wouldn't do it myself; it's quick and simple with the right equipment, but
I'm afraid I would screw it up and burst the pipe, or have the ice plug
break loose after I had the valve removed and no way to shut off the water.
Hiring a plumber is cheap insurance for this job.
thanks for the info guys and gals (and you too Artie)
my plumbing skills have succeeded.
4 valves and not 1 leak.
I did drain the line from the bleeder that was on the bottom of the
and used these "gel balls" to stop the water from trickling out so I could
solder on the new shut-offs.
"call in a plumber"?
and spend all that money for nothing.
damn plumber wanted $300 for soldering on a few ball valves.
highest paid tradesmen there is................everyone needs a toilet I
I thought you said the main valve also needed replacing because you
couldn't shut it all the way off.
About 5 years ago, I paid less than $150 for a plumber to freeze the line
and replace the undersized globe-valve in my basement that was being used
as a main shutoff and had sprung a leak. The valve was before the meter,
and the street shutoff was inaccessable. While he was waiting for the ice
plug to form so he could remove the old main valve, he snaked a clogged
basement drain, resoldered a union I was having trouble with, and he gave
me a half a can of some professional drain cleaner stuff (very large lye
crystals, I think.)
It was money well spent. The plumber said it was actually possible to
replace a main valve like that without shutting off the water -- you open
the new valve before you try to screw it on, then you shut it. But you
better have a way of getting rid of all that water that gushes out while
the end of the pipe is open.
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