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Thread: old main shutoff valve

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member tjetson's Avatar
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    Default old main shutoff valve

    Hi,

    Wondering if anyone can tell me anything about this valve and how it works

    The city cannot find the outdoor main shut off valve to the house so I dont want to possibly break this valve or disturb it and run into a situation where I cannot shut the water down without freezing the pipe.

    the knob at the top is very stiff and cannot be turned without great force. is it just an old gate valve?

    thanks!
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  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    That is a gate valve. Even if you did get it to close, there is a good chance that when you try to reopen it the stem can separate from the gate not allow it to.

    John

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Yes, a gate valve with 90% of the handle missing. If you close it, there is also a 90% chance the stem will break, in which case you will never be able to OPEN the valve again. Are you seeing a new valve in your future?????!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The gate could also break off when you try to close it. One thing that IS certain is that with a buried galvanized supply line running through a concrete footing, the city WILL have to find that outside shutoff "someday" and maybe soon.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Probably on borrowed time ... If you are responsible for that line, see if your area has anyone supplying a waterline warrany. Then, just pray for it to break and they'll find the shutoff (or install a new one).

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Surely there is a shut off valve as part of the water meter! The comment about the city having to find a way to shut the water off sooner or later is very true. You have galvanized steel pipes, and this type of pipe has a limited lifespan. At the very least, you should replace the valve with a 1/4 turn ball valve. That won't extend the life of the galvanized pipe, but it will give you the means to turn the water off when necessary.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The picture may show the water meter just above the valve outside the picture. If so, then it would depend on the utility's protocol whether everything ahead of the meter was their responsibility, or everything on the customer's propery, past the propery line, belongs to the homeowner. The city's shut off would be outside the property line. With a metal water line, its path would be easy to trace and then the city valve should be easy to pinpoint once you know where the pipe is and also the property line.
    Last edited by hj; 11-28-2012 at 06:33 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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