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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation Curb stop stuck open

    My water main shut off (curb stop) is froze,stuck, open,however you want to say it,it wont shut off. I have tried tapping it with a hammer until it starts "weeping" and I have tried tapping on it while trying to turn it with the t handle. It wont budge. Is there a trick to breaking it loose without actually breaking it?

    I have a leak that needs to be fixed,and several old shut off valves that need to be replaced.All of them have leaks and wont close completely to shut off the water.Any ideas? The water company wont come out to shut the main water off at the meter.I have called them 10 times and each time they say they are busy and will get someone out to turn it off as soon as they can.That was several weeks ago so I need to get this shut off myself. any ideas, tips or tricks would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,441

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    Where do you live to have such a nasty water provider?
    Here in my city, the main shut off to the water meter is city property, and they come quickly to shut it off, repair it or replace it, if necessary.

    But with such an attitude from your water company, it looks like you're on your own. What kind of a shut off valve is it? is it so badly rusted and corroded that it won't turn? What kind of a handle does it have? It's hard to suggest without seeing it.

    The water company uses a super heavy duty T wrench, which is not sold at regular retail outlets. Plumbers do have it though. Contact a local plumber and see if he can help you.

    Be careful not to cause an unnecessary or accidental damage to the water line, or you'll have a flood on your hands.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,509

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    Home Burrito carries medium sized T wrenches. I have the black one with the spiffy red handle. Every home should have one. They are priceless when you have to shut the water off in a hurry.

    on the HD page search for

    5/8 In. x 36 In. Street And Curb Key
    Model # M25-536
    Store SKU # 367886

    $12.57

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    Curb stops are notoriously VERY stiff to turn. Trying to turn one with pliers or a crescent wrench is a recipe for bruised knuckles. Get a proper curb key and try it with that.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,441

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    A super heavy duty T wrench, like the one used by the water companies, is sold at wholesale plumbing supply places. Try your luck there.

    What you need, is the water company to come over and replace the main valve, since it's located just before the meter. It's their property. Water companies are replacing them all over the country with new, easy to shut/open valves. Keep calling them, you know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Keep calling them even after you finish your current project.

    If the only wrench you can get is a medium duty wrench, there is one more remedy you can try: use two longer pipes than the wrench handles, for leverage. Slip them over the wrench handles and try to shut the valve.

    Houston,
    The T wrench sold at HD here in CA will not open a shut off valve in the condition the poster described, since it's only a light/medium duty wrench (about $12). It bends, even twists under pressure.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    Are you turning it in the correct direction? Many will only turn in one direction, to turn them off. That direction is clockwise, some are 1/4 turn until they hit the stop at the off position. As others have said it is the water company's valve and they are responsible for it's operation. But if you break it or the water line it will be at your expense to have it repaired.

    John
    Last edited by johnjh2o; 07-10-2011 at 08:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    If you break a curb valve you are the responsible party for have the infrastructure repaired. contact a plumbing company and let them coordinte with the water dept, they have different contacts than you have access to and will get the issue resolved much quicker and cheaper than if you break the valve. letting a plumber do this for you is much cheaper than having an operator, a truck driver, two laborers a foreman, an inspector and traffic control plus any needed materials if you break the valve.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,335

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    Want it cut off fast? Just don't pay the water bill If you buy a curb stop wrench, get a good one with a milled slot in the head- the cheap ones made of bent metal aren't even worth the effort of throwing away.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,509

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    Good idea !!


    But instead of not paying the bill and waiting for them to come out (which can take months) Tell them you have moved and want the service terminated immediately as you are going through a super nasty divorce, you hope that the last check to them didn't bounce, the creditors are waiting at the curb with a truck, you just got off the phone with your probation officer to change your address, the dog is already at the SPCA and the foreclosure crew is already inventorying what's left of the stuff your spouse left behind.

    They water dept should have folks on their way before you hang up the phone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,441

    Default Re: Curb stop stuck open

    The last two suggestions will make the water company jump to shut your meter off, at once. They are very funny too.

    Only one problem: after you do your repairs, you won't have water service.

    Then what? call the water company again to renew service?

    This time around it won't be so quick AND they may ask for a large deposit...

    The best way to get them over is to explain to them that you need to make some remodeling, and that your plans are being delayed because you can't turn the meter shut off valve.

    BTW, I can't understand their lack of cooperation. What if you had an emergency? After all it's their valve ! Call and call and call, be a pest and they'll do it.

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