(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 35

Thread: Where do you get a curb key?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Suffolk, NY
    Posts
    187

    Default Where do you get a curb key?

    I need/want to change out the old gate valves around my meter. I could borrow a key from work but I'd like to have my own. Thing is the plumbing supplies don't sell them and no one even knows where the ones at work came from.

  2. #2
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Litchfield, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default

    I don't think they are suppose to be for sale...

  3. #3

    Default

    If you know what the key looks like, getting hold of one shouldn't be too difficult.

    http://www.waterkey.com/waterWorksTo...bStopKeys.aspx

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Suffolk, NY
    Posts
    187

    Default

    Thanks, that's what I'm looking for and at a pretty good price too.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Yakima WA
    Posts
    7,246

    Default

    I can't speak for every place, but in my city they do not want a homeowner to have one. I know this is true in other areas as well. Some do not even allow a plumber to have one. That said, if you ever have an emergency like a broken cut off valve in the basement and have water under 90 psi coming through a 1" pipe, you will wish to God you had one. This happened to me several years ago. I immediately went out and tried to buy a key, and that's when I learned they were not for sale. I went to a welder friend and had him make one for me. I have had 3 or 4 occasions to use it. I believe there are several kinds, so if you want to have one made, it will have to be made to fit your meter.

  6. #6
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Wow, that's weird. I needed one for closing the house on Fire Island, a year ago. Picked one up at the plumbing supply. The only question was whether I wanted the 3ft or the 5 ft.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    Anybody can buy anything they want.....it's just when you get caught is what matters.


    In my area they don't even want plumbers in the crocks turning the meters off and on. Given emergency situations they can't just have it that way every time.

    What you'll find out when buying meter keys on the net is that they come with all different slot dimensions and it may or may not be the right one for the meter.

    Curb keys are a whole different matter; if it is a low grade key and it snaps down inside the ground, guess who gets the bill for that......


    Dig job at their cost to you!! $$$
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Suffolk, NY
    Posts
    187

    Default

    In my town you own everything up to and including the corp on the main so you are allowed to use the curb stop. Their is only one town in my county I know of that doesn't allow you to touch the curbstop.

    I work for a fairly large plumbing company and have turned plenty of curbstops and done plenty of complete water services (as an apprentice, not a mechanic) so I'm not completely new at this. I just do not like borrowing tools. If I take it and someone goes out on an emergency call for a broken valve to find their curb key missing for example it wouldn't be a good thing. I'd also like to have it around so that should I have a leak before the meter in my basement I have the option of shutting down without having to drive to work at 4am to go pick one up. This is especially true with this being a galvanized service. I asked around at work and those keys have been their before even the bosses started working so no one can tell me where to get myself one.

    Being that this is a galvanized service I don't even know if the thing will even turn. I defiantly don't want to force it as I've seen what that can do before. in terms of both snapping the valve and the valve shutting and never opening again. I'm going to try a little hot water, see if it turns nicely and if it doesn't it's going to stay as is with the key reserved for an emergency situation.


    The broken off curb key situation is easially remedied with a strong magnet on a pole.
    Last edited by Marlin336; 11-21-2007 at 03:10 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,781

    Default

    Do any other plumbing yourself, but you really need a licensed plumber to do this.

    If you damage the curb stop you are in trouble. Even a licensed plumber would not touch one unless they are reasonably sure of its condition (mine insisted I call the water company out to replace it before he touched it).

    If it does not turn the water off completely, soldering new valves may be tricky (especially if you have cut the old ones off).

  10. #10
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Metro NYC
    Posts
    798

    Default

    I know a number of LP's who would prefer the water company shut off the curb stop, just so the possible problems don't occur on their dime.

  11. #11
    Rancher
    Guest

    Default

    So is a curb key different from a meter key?

    I think the meter valve key is 1/2" wide by about 1-1/2" long.

    What does the curb key look like?


  12. #12
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Metro NYC
    Posts
    798

    Default

    Pretty much alike, with a longer stem for deeper waterlines, and a larger 'business end' for larger valve sizes. There is also a system used by Mueller(sp?) that has a rod affixed to the curb stop, and a special key to fit the upper rod end. I own a Mueller key and a five-foot 'standard' key, and mostly they collect dust.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    Posts
    2,943

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlin336 View Post


    The broken off curb key situation is easially remedied with a strong magnet on a pole.


    How long have you been plumbing?


    I've encountered more misaligned, more mud/stone packed curb stops than I care to mention. Those rebar type keys usually do not work and you need those real narrowed type that only the water district have.

    I've snapped the cheap ones (rebar type) and that's why I mentioned extreme caution.

    Those tubes depending on how deep the valve is made in sections, sections that become misaligned over time.

    It's an open cavity and most times they fill with debri, tossing the idea of a easy magnet retrieval.

    Hopefully your area is much better earth than mine but I honestly call the water district for all my jobs involving complete shutoffs in campbell county. In the older, developed neighborhoods.......even the water district guys have trouble shutting them down.


    I like the meter key I have but it's really for the crock type only. I think curb stop valves should be banned......especially if I showed you how they are making the new ones.....sitting on the shelf at my local supply house.

    I'll take pictures of them and I guarantee it'll piss you off. It's guaranteed to fail when that valve gets hard to turn.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  14. #14

    Default

    Where I live, most of the trailers and bungaloes I work on don't have usable mains. Sometimes, I need to turn off the water at the curb box several times during a job. Even though the water dept. said they would give me a ticket if they caught me, I'll be damned if I'm going to call them out every time I need to turn off the water..

  15. #15
    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    277

    Default

    My local home desperate sells 3' and 5' keys... Of course I needed an 8' key. I used a length of rebar and a welder to lengthen mine...
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •