Need a new stopcock. Two problems.

The mains water enters my property thorough an iron pipe. The stopcock is leaking slowly, maybe so slowly that I could leave it and do nothing, but I'd rather get it fixed. A plumber tells me that he cannot replace the stopcock _because_ the pipe is iron. Really? Why?
There is a second problem. The pipe is so near an external wall, that installing a new stopcock will be very difficult. Maybe a few bricks would need to be removed and replaced when the job is done. Is this common in old (1893) properties?
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Given the buggeration factor involved in replacement, I'd have a good go at fixing the existing leak. Do you have a stopcock in the street or elsewhere outside the property?
Tim
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Tim wrote:

The plumber has reduced it considerably.

Only one that serves a number of houses. I will consider getting one fitted just outside my property, if the one under the sink can't be replaced or fixed.
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2011 14:51:59 +0000, Frederick Williams wrote:

I had pretty well exactly the same problem, a few years ago (1903 property). My water company (Mid-Kent water as was) had a fixed price deal for a new lever operated full-flow stopcock. 79 quid at the time.
The guy who came was a real craftsman too. Had to re-route some copper pipes nearby, then had a hell of a job getting the old one off the iron pipe. And it was *right* in a corner between an external and internal wall. Took him three and a half hours...
Might be worth talking to your water company (or looking for some other fixed price deal).
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Bob Eager wrote:

I'll do that.
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On 20/11/2011 15:19, Bob Eager wrote:

According to Thames Water (a couple of years back) the consumer is entitled to a stopcock and they've installed 3 that I know of for free.
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stuart noble wrote:

I'm with Veolia and I can find no evidence on their website that the same applies.
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Veolia provided me with a stopcock at the boundary of my property, beside the water meter. After that, it's all my problem.
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On 21/11/2011 14:02, charles wrote:

A water meter is one way of getting a new stopcock :-)
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On 21/11/2011 13:50, Frederick Williams wrote:

I don't think it's something they publicise but, if you (or even your plumber) can't disconnect to fit a new stopcock, what are you supposed to do? They'll do it eventually
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stuart noble wrote:

There is a stopcock that controls the water to a number of houses (I don't know how many) but I want one (close to my gate, say) that controls the water to just mine.
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On 21/11/2011 18:18, Frederick Williams wrote:

As you can already disconnect the supply, I guess they'll say that's down to you
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Little nut. Be gentle.
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On 20/11/2011 14:51, Frederick Williams wrote:

The fact that it's an iron pipe shouldn't be a problem as long as the pipe is reasonably sound. Given the age and proximity to the wall, you're unlikely to be able to unscrew the old stopcock from the pipe. But what you *can* do is cut through the pipe just below the stopcock (having turned the water off outside first!) and then use copper pipe joined to the iron pipe with something like http://www.philmac.co.uk/products/universal-transition-couplings/ You made need to chip a bit of brickwork away to provide clearance for the new fitting - but you shouldn't have to actually remove and replace any bricks. Is the pipework above the stopcock also iron? If so, you can use two of these couplings - with a short section of copper/new stopcock/copper in between.
My father had a similar problem in a 1930's house about 25 years ago. In his case, the iron pipe had corroded just below the stopcock, and was weeping. He got a local plumber in who cut off the corroded bit and fitted a universal coupling, similar to the one cited above, to the remaining sound pipe and it was fine.
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Where does the pipe enter the house?
It might be better to joint iron to Hep2o outside, then bring that in. You get a new pipe which is very difficult to freeze and not subject to future failure and leaks.
If necessary you can bring water pipe in above floor using a special box outside which is stuffed with closed-cell extruded insulation, BES sell them, about 80 and likewise there is low depth insulation available too for about 19 per 1m length.
Removing a brick or two is trivial if you have a mains drill and a 20-38mm sintered diamond core drill. You just stitch drill through the brick, push in a wide slotted screwdriver and twist the brick into pieces. Very little vibration re vulnerable pipework compared to an SDS (depends on the skill of the user and hardness of the bricks). Of course you need a new brick to go back, frankly I would use celotex or extruded polystyrene behind the pipe where possible - rising CW main against cold solid walls are not a great idea. Never expanded polystyrene because it is porous to water (increasing risk of freezing).
Remember any pipe will freeze where the average temperature is below zero even if insulated and no water is moving, simply because insulation merely slows the rate of heat loss - it does not prevent it completely. The proper pipe insulation is the closed cell foamed rubber stuff, but should be protected against UV.
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"js.b1" wrote:

I think that would be a mess.

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wrote:

There is a slight risk the old iron pipe may be thinned by corrosion but unless this is severe there is every chance the tap can be removed by turning off the water in the street, cutting the iron pipe below the tap after removing a few bricks for clearance then with a ratchet threading tool cut a new thread on the end and screw a new stop tap onto the end. Any half decent professional plumber should have the necessary tools (or can hire from a tool hire establishment). If your guy says he can't cut threads on an iron pipe he doesn't fit the description half decent.
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2011 12:58:50 -0800, cynic wrote:

Any half decent plumber will also have to take out a chunk of brickwork from the wall to get the die onto the pipe end since it's hard up against the wall, according to the OP.
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YAPH wrote:

I shall see my plumber shortly, and ask him just what the problem is.
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Did you read the line which said "after removing a few bricks for clearance" John?
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