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Broken water shutoff head

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JRT, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. JRT

    JRT Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Hey guys. got a question.. anyone ever break off an exposed watermain shutoff. one of my customers has their exterior water shutoff on the driveway as many people here have but with the driveway setteling the main head becomes exposed, about 2 inches. while backdragging the driveway my plow would ususally drag over it but not this time ripped it out the driveway.. i got out and just put it back in to its home but not sure what to do about it? it looks the same as it did before it broke off.... any one experience this situation? thanks
  2. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    Tell the customer to call the water company and get it fixed. here they will not put the shut offs in a driveway, I would say this is a liability for the water company or city. i hope you are talking the cover or the casement that covers the valve, usually the valve is below the frost line and to shut it off they run a long handle wrench down in the casement to reach the valve.
  3. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Don't know how it's done there, but you likely just pulled the top of the casting off that protects the shutoff, which is probably ~4' underground. If the casting fits back into place, great, leave it. If not, you might have to dig around it to get it back down. I'd talk to the homeowner about lowering it... if you post a pic, it would be easier to tell what's up.
  4. JRT

    JRT Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    yes its the cover. the bolt in the middle is removed to insert the 4 foot key to shut it off. is this somethn i may be on the hook for? i hear some people here smack them with a sledge hammer to sink them back down not the smartest of ideas....im meeting with the customer today to discuss.. we will see what happens:
  5. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    No I don't think so, shouldn't be in the middle of the driveway thats just dumb and if it was heaved up then city/water company should have fixed it. jmo
  6. CHPL

    CHPL Member
    Messages: 82

    Last winter we were back dragging a driveway and caught a water main that apparently was higher then the concrete. It ripped the shut off valve off. Just as water came flowing out the customer says " I forgot to tell you about that" She runs in the house and comes out yelling that she has no water inside. I'm like no Sh%%. With in minutes the curb line was flooded down the street with no way for us to turn it off. We had to call the water company on Super Bowl Sunday. I'm sure the guys on call were not happy.
  7. sk187

    sk187 Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    In my area the head that has the bolt in the center is threaded onto the main tube that goes ~4 down to the actual shut off valve.

    Did you just rip it off the threads?
  8. toyotaplow

    toyotaplow Member
    Messages: 84

    Around here the services are usually at the lot line before the house is built and if it ends up in the driveway it is because of the architect. I landscaped a lot 2 years ago that had a fire hydrant right in the middle of the 2-car wide driveway. The top cover on the stand pipe threads on to the end of the pipe, so if it pulled off there is a good chance it is broke. If it is broke, you may be lucky, sometimes they put a 1 foot extension on them to bring it up to grade and that may be all that needs to be replaced. If there is no extension it may need to be replaced right down to the shut off valve. Just putting the cover back on will make it look the same as before, but if the stand pipe is bent at all then the water key will not fit down. There is really nothing you can do about it now as the ground is froze solid, but it would be a good idea to look at it as soon as things thaw. As far as who will get the repair bill, that is between you and the homeowner. If it is in your contract that you cover all property damage then you will get stuck with the bill.
  9. JRT

    JRT Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    the head is threaded but not broke as far as i see... spoke to a plumber and i should be able thread it back on and use a block of wood to smack it back down.. apparentley they have a 10inch of travel down once put at final grade.. the house is new and will try that in the spring. the tube does not appear to be bent as the ground is solid and i think the cap was not screwed on all the way.. gonna have a better look tomorrow during the day time.. at worst ill have my plumber fix it.. i now understand the importance of plowing insurance!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  10. toyotaplow

    toyotaplow Member
    Messages: 84

    That's good if you can get away with just screwing the cap back on. Just make sure that the stand pipe is covered well until spring so no dirt or anything falls down to the valve. Usually they have an extension at the top with a set screw in it. That is probably what he means about the 10" of travel. If i ever have to put a driveway in with a shut off in it I always set the top about 1" below grade and put a small piece of 4" PVC pipe around it to help protect it. Just a tip for when you repair it in spring, will save it happening again next winter.
  11. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    I'm an excavator who does water service connections.Seems like you only hurt the head which is steel with a threaded brass bushing that is pressed in.If you buggered up the threads,just go to a supply store and buy a new one.Shouldn't be more than $10,probably less.The extendible sleeve that protects and surrounds the valve shaft should be able to be knocked down with care.You might have some frozen dirt buggers to deal with.The top of the head should be absolutely flush with grade.By me,the water dep't. will sometimes come back for a re inspection after backfill and final grade to check that it is.Like someone else said,it's a liability issue--person tripping,plow hitting it,etc.Put the new head on real tight.Sometimes kids will take them off and throw debris down the shaft.
  12. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    I broke one, it cost around $30.00, but had to spend a day finding it. I did it in grass. Just dug down a couple feet maybe...it wasn't very deep. It was sleeved over the actual shut off pipe. Pulled it off, put the new one on and backfilled. I thought for sure it would be a big job until I dug it. Water Department told me their responsibility ends at the curb, then it's my problem.
  13. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    It happens to us every year. Mostly come spring time when the drives settle after ground frost melts. We have added this in all our contracts. (It is the responsibility of the Client to make sure that if any water valve caps are protruding, to contact the City of St-Bruno at 000-000-0000 and have a technician come by and lower the pipe.)