old main shutoff valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by tjetson, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. tjetson

    tjetson New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    winnipeg
    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!

    Attached Files:

  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,142
    Location:
    South*East
    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. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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.
  5. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    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. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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: Nov 28, 2012
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