leaking internal stopcock

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leaking internal stopcock

Post by kjwx109 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:20 pm

I have a plumber booked for Sunday morning to look at a leaking internal stopcock. There is no stopcock outside my property, and I am assuming there is one at the other end of my terrace. I am wanting to be prewarned about the issue this may cause the plumber if the internal stopcock needs to be disassembled. Should I try and find out if there is an external stopcock somewhere on the terrace before he comes?
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by someone-else » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:32 pm

Put yourself in his shoes. Would you want to turn up to a job where you have never been to before and have to spend time trying to find out where to turn the water off?
Fret not, a forum is a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link to find out more.

Working on anything electrical? have you got a multi meter? why not? Would you hit a nail with a shoe?

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by arco_iris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:37 pm

How do you pay for your water?

If metered, there will be a valve at the meter, where is that?

Unusual these days to be on RV water rates, unless the whole terrace has the same landlord and you rent?
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by wine~o » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:10 pm

Depends on where the stopcock is leaking. If from the spindle then it just needs re-packing. No need to switch the water off at all.

If from the bottom compression nut then water will need to be off.

If the top compression nut and the stop-cock is working then also fairly easily do-able.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by wine~o » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:13 pm

someone-else wrote:Put yourself in his shoes. Would you want to turn up to a job where you have never been to before and have to spend time trying to find out where to turn the water off?

I've done exactly that more times than I've eaten salad for dinner. (I'm 57 and don't eat salad that often...)
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by wine~o » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:17 pm

arco_iris wrote:?

Unusual these days to be on RV water rates,

Loads of houses round my way are on Rateable Value, most built 20/30 years ago when Verwood was the fastest growing village in Europe.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by kjwx109 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:48 pm

Thanks for the many and rapid responses. I pay a fixed amount for water per month. When I moved in, I enquired about getting a meter but was told this was not possible as it is a terraced row. The stopcock is a horizontal one that sticks out from a vertical pipe. It is operated by a removable key and the water is leaking from the bit that the key fits onto, rather than the vertical nuts above and below the stopcock. As you can see from the photo, I have a dishtowel wedged in there just now, which is draining into a bucket.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by wine~o » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:10 pm

That looks like a drain off cock, not a stopcock. also looks like "someone" has had a go at it before
Depending on where it is ,could be a gravity fed CH system, could be a drain off for a hot water cylinder will depend on what your plumber needs to do.

I'm sure you will let us know what, if anything he does on Sunday. (I hope he knows that B&Q, Wickes and Homebase will be closed Sunday.) Screwfix should be open though...
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by arco_iris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:23 pm

wine~o wrote:That looks like a drain off cock, not a stopcock. also looks like "someone" has had a go at it before
Depending on where it is ,could be a gravity fed CH system, could be a drain off for a hot water cylinder will depend on what your plumber needs to do.

I'm sure you will let us know what, if anything he does on Sunday. (I hope he knows that B&Q, Wickes and Homebase will be closed Sunday.) Screwfix should be open though...

If he finds anybody, tomorrow is Saturday though, all open as normal. Wine~o's in a timewarp, and not only that, how does he see what he sees? That picture isn't clear to me.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by someone-else » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:25 pm

arco_iris wrote: Wine~o's in a timewarp, and not only that, how does he see what he sees? That picture isn't clear to me.
I agree that the picture is of little use (Out of focus and blurred) but wine~O is NOT in a time warp, he does read posts though.
kjwx109 wrote:I have a plumber booked for Sunday morning
Fret not, a forum is a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link to find out more.

Working on anything electrical? have you got a multi meter? why not? Would you hit a nail with a shoe?

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by chrrris » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:46 pm

wine~o wrote: I've done exactly that more times than I've eaten salad for dinner. (I'm 57 and don't eat salad that often...)
Yep... I've been to about 2 or 3 this week like that (seized stopcocks, or houses where the owner doesn't have a clue where the stopcocks are). My "favourites" are flats (of which there are loads round here, near London) -- unless the customer can provide a water bill with a meter number on it, it's a case of lifting a load of covers in the street and switching them off randomly until you find the right one.

I've pretty-much perfected my technique for this now:-

1) Never knock on doors of other flats saying you're about to turn the water off.

2) *Always* don a hi-vis vest before lifting stopcock enclosure covers. People are impressed by hi-vis.

3) If anyone complains, apologise sincerely and tell them you're carrying out emergency work on their water supply in an official-sounding tone.

4) I always use, or at least carry out to the street stop cocks, one of these, because it looks more serious than getting down on your hands and knees and turning them off by hand or with a small wrench.

Worst thing to do (and this is from experience) is knock on people's doors and say you're working in the flat upstairs, and politely ask if it's okay to turn the water off for a bit, because you'll get half a dozen people saying stuff like "Oh, my daughter just has to get a shower before she goes to work -- she'll only be half-an-hour or so..." or "you can't turn the water off, we have young children", etc. etc. :-)
Haste is the enemy of quality.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by chrrris » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:43 am

kjwx109 wrote:When I moved in, I enquired about getting a meter but was told this was not possible as it is a terraced row.
I'd be quite surprised if that's still the case. We pay water rates in our house, but the mains water comes through a party wall from next door. When they wanted to be on a meter next door, the utility co. (Thames Water) had to install two meters in their house, one to meter the water entering their property, and a second one to meter the water leaving their property and coming into ours. They have to subtract one from the other when providing their water meter readings.

I guess some utility companies may be lazier than others but there's no real reason, even on a shared supply, that you can't be metered if you want to be.
Haste is the enemy of quality.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by kjwx109 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:51 pm

Update
So the plumber came out...apparently the fix is reasonably straightforward but he was unable to proceed as we don't know how to turn the water off from the outside. United Utilities (water company) came out and they were stumped as well, regarding where the water comes in. Putting 2+2 together, the guy has a good hunch and so has asked for a team to be sent out Monday or Tuesday to dig down, and if they find the pipe, fit some sort of tap that will allow the water to be turned off from the outside. I hope his hunch is right...
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by kjwx109 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:07 pm

This is now fixed. I had the water company in digging up the front and rear of the property. They dug down to concrete both times, without finding the water supply for the house. The concrete must have been carrying the sound of where they were tapping the pipe inside the house to where they were listening outside.

I phoned another plumber afterwards. He popped in on his way back from a job. He pulled a sleeve off the stopcock/draincock to reveal something that resembled stopcock mechanisms I had found online. He loosened something (gland nut?), wrapped PTFE thread around the thread and tightened it up again. Presto.
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Re: leaking internal stopcock

Post by arco_iris » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:45 pm

A very weird scenario, but thanks for letting us know that you're sorted.
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