Stopcock broken...

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Bootlace, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Bootlace

    Bootlace New Member

    Plumbing help!
    I need to turn off the stopcock outside my house so I can replace a leaking stopcock where the mains enters the house. Problem is that at sometime in the past, the handle has sheared/broken off the stopcock outside, and I have no way of turning it off. I turned to the water board for them to replace the damaged stopcock, only to find that being an ex-council house, it wasn't their responsibility (The one that the Water board own controls the whole row of houses, so by turning that off, about 6 houses would be without water).
    Does anyone out there know of a way to fix a new "handle" to the spindle in situ (bearing in mind its about 14" down a 4" tube), or is my only option to replace it? I'd rather not have to turn off the whole row of houses while I repair it, so to bodge it somehow would be the better option!
  2. supersparky

    supersparky New Member

    the stopcock in the road IS their responsibility not yours, and you will be breaking the lay by replacing it. i think that they have miss understood you and think you mean your internal stopcock...
    if you realy have to replace the street stopcock, do it about 3am or mid working day
    like i said its not your responsibility and i beleve the only way to repair it it to dig arround it...

    either that or you could phone em to say that there is a leak outside your house and then go out and give the stopcock a few whacks.....thattal get em' out!

  3. Bootlace

    Bootlace New Member

    Unfortunately the water board have been around and confirmed it is not their responsibility. The only stopcock I have is in my back garden, and the only one in the street serves the whole row of houses. Bummer, eh!
  4. supersparky

    supersparky New Member

    so you dont have one on the public footpath?
    i suppose you will have to get someone in to freze the pipe just before the tap outside, then replace it with a new one, if its in your back garden it wont be so much of a problem digging arround it so uncover it and get someone could always do it with one of the wickes kits that freeze the pipe.....but i would be worrid about the whole not being able to keep it frozen like you would with a can rent the machines though i think......

  5. capnpugwash

    capnpugwash New Member

    Must be someones responsibility! If its off your property it's not yours and, as SS states, you are not allowed to touch it. Is / was the road private? My house was originally ex RAF and the road covering about 50 houses is under some sort of joint responsibility. SO any probs all 50 houses could "theoretically" get a bill. Try your local council. It should also have been mentyyioned in the deeds when you bought the house. (Tho' mine wasn't!!)
  6. Dewy

    Dewy New Member

    This sounds like the 'not our responsibility' problem some of my neighbours had 20 months after moving into new houses. There is a brook forming our bottom boundary and the land between was raised by the builders. That was their way of getting rid of all the clay bulldozed when building the roads.
    In July 1968 there was a 100 year storm with 5½" of rain in 24 hours half of wich fell in one hour. The brook rose 15' & overflowed. The garden being 18" higher than the houses caused a waterfall effect outside the back doors, many houses were flooded & a number had the tarmac drives lifted. They claimed off the insurers who said the drives were the councils responsibility. The council said it was the homeowners. Nothing was done until the road was being handed over to the council who then insisted the builder repaired the drives before they would take responsibility. The insurers found that the council had responsibility for the drives as they insisted on tarmac because it formed part of the pavement & the dustmen wouldn't collect the bins because they would not be covered for injury if the drives were private.
    This seems to have been forgotten as many have now paved the drives & the dustmen only collect from the curbside. It was part of a covenent that lasted 10 years after the houses were built.
  7. CH4

    CH4 New Member

  8. Bootlace

    Bootlace New Member

    Thanks for your replies. The diagram posted above by CH4 is a pretty good example of my situation. sounds like I've no option but to freeze it and replace it - oh well.
  9. Tangoman

    Tangoman Active Member

    Naw - what you do is wait until about 3 am, having got everything you can done with the water on.
    Then nip out and switch off the water supply to the street.
    Fix your stop tap.
    Then first thing next morning, ring the water company and tell them you seem to have no water this morning and wondered why! IF someone else hasn't already done that!
  10. Abe

    Abe New Member

    I have just taken advantage of a free water meter install offer. If your local water company is also making the same offer, then you might want to take advantage of this, as the new meter comes with a new plastic stopcock.

    Of course, you may not want to change to metered supply depending on your circumstances, but with the offer in my area, I can revert to non-metered supply within the first 12 months.
  11. Dr Who

    Dr Who New Member

    Talking of responsibility, whilst the supplier is responsible for the meter outside your property are you allowed to turn off the water to your house from the valve at the meter?

    Dr Who
  12. everhopeful

    everhopeful New Member

    Don't give up.

    Ask your water suppliers for a list of households supplied by that tap. You are entitled to know. Ask for more details, anything you can think of, ask for plans of supplies, make a niusance of yourself. Keep at them. These organisations make huge profits and don't like doing too much work. Chances are you'll exhaust them and they'll do the job to keep you quiet.

    I believe also (this is only allegedly - without prejudice) it is not unknown for large organisations such as water companies to lie about such matters in order to save money.( After all, the directors are obliged by law to maximise the return to the shareholders)
  13. Tangoman

    Tangoman Active Member

    Hi bootlace,

    just another thought. Are you sure that the handle has broken off. Maybe it never had one. The old style stopcocks just exposed a square nut at the top. You need a stopcock key to turn them off.
  14. Bootlace

    Bootlace New Member

    Thanks for the thought, but it's definately sheared off and not a square head. I'll be digging it up and replacing it one night soon....
  15. New Member

    Why don't you freeze the pipe just below the valve that is leaking and replace the valve, as long as you have an isolating valve at the entry to your property why worry about the external valve, it would be an easier job than digging up
  16. Tangoman

    Tangoman Active Member

    I agree - or if it's poly pipe, get hold of some poly crimps to cut off the flow.
  17. mart

    mart New Member

    Try a ajustable basin wrench. you can reach down the hole and grip the spigot with it and should be able to turn the tap off.
  18. ormus1

    ormus1 New Member

    freeze the supply pipe at the most convenient spot where it enters your property, and install a new stopcock/valve there.
    much easier.

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