Water still flowing even after main shutoff

24 Replies

We had a pipe bust and we turned off the water at the main so that we could prevent further water damage and to repair the broken pipe. Well, the water never stopped flowing. It is impossible for us to glue on the new pipe with the water spraying out. Is this a problem with our main that should be addressed with the water company? Or is this something else that we just don't know about. We are first time landlord/homeowners and have a duplex. Please help because we have been without water for a while and we know how to fix the pipes we just can't fix our water flow problem.

Sounds like cpvc pipe , or pvc , grab a ball valve , leave it open , glue it on the pressure side , let glue ry for 5 minutes , then close the valve . now you can fix the rest of the pipe with no water flow

Did you turn off the valves on both sides of the meter, or the valve out near the street. If just the water meter valves, call the water company and have them shut off the street valve. In the north this valve is usually underground and requires a handle to reach it. If turning off the street valve shuts the water off, replace both valves on the water met

When you say the "main" I assume you mean a valve at the structure, not the valve in the city meter box? If so, there must be more than one valve for the structure, shut it off at the meter.

With a duplex the water might be feeding from the other side as well. Make sure both units are off. You probably need to make sure they are off outside at the curb stop or meter. The City or water company typically does that. Shark bite

Most old homes just have 1 shutoff where the water line enters the house and none around the water meter. If this is the case, you need to call the water department, have them shut the water off at the street for 10 minutes while you replace the old valve with a new ball valve.

If it's separately metered, maybe you're on the wrong side(?) We have shut offs at the meter and inside the house. You could try both if you have them. If it's still running in, could it be coming from something such as the water heater upstairs?

@Bill S. mentioned sharkbite or gatorbite connectors could be a quick fix. Those type connectors don't require glue - they just slip on.

We shut off the water at the meter by the road. It is not separately metered, and is technically one house. We have so much water pressure comng from it when the water is on that it literally two- three gallons a minute at least. And have no water pressure anywhere else. Took a shower and it was very low pressure and nothing but hot water. Im assuming that the pipe was cracked due to the immense pressure of water coming through.

Originally posted by @Heather Alte :
We shut off the water at the meter by the road. It is not separately metered, and is technically one house. We have so much water pressure comng from it when the water is on that it literally two- three gallons a minute at least. And have no water pressure anywhere else. Took a shower and it was very low pressure and nothing but hot water. Im assuming that the pipe was cracked due to the immense pressure of water coming through.

It sounds like the curb stop is damaged and needs to be replaced by the city. I would be on the phone with them and talk to a supervisor and get it fixed today. While it is off, I would replace both valves at the water meter with new ball valves.

I had this problem at a house where my gate valve on the street side of the meter wouldn't shut off all the way and neither would the curb stop. The city acted like they would get to it when they could and I had to make several phone calls to get it done sooner.

You have a serious plumbing problem here that needs to be addressed.

Originally posted by @Heather Alte :
We shut off the water at the meter by the road. It is not separately metered, and is technically one house. We have so much water pressure comng from it when the water is on that it literally two- three gallons a minute at least. And have no water pressure anywhere else. Took a shower and it was very low pressure and nothing but hot water. Im assuming that the pipe was cracked due to the immense pressure of water coming through.

I'm sorry but I would not assume the pipe broke due to water pressure. I am assuming the house is in Indiana and as such the temperatures dropped substantially below freezing. Saturday and Sunday we have gotten a thaw in Illinois and I assume Indiana. What happen is the pipe probably froze, cracked but did not leak because it was frozen. Then everything thawed and lo and behold you got water running everywhere.

Either way, contact your insurance company and see if the damage might be covered.

Get the water to stop flowing and causing damage. Either by you stopping it or water company replacing their valve. Whichever is quicker.

Use a shark bite valve or cap for pex, copper pvc, or a threaded cap or plug for galvanized.

Get the water company to replace their valve.

Then get two ball valves and put one on either side of the meter.

Where I'm at, there will be a shut-off valve next to the water meter as well as a curb stop shut off that can only be accessed with a special tool. If your meter shut-off is not stopping the water flow, then you will have to get things shut off at the curb; the water company or a licensed plumber can do that. If that stops the flow, then you replace your meter shut off and maybe consider installing a pressure reducer if you say your pressure is too high. If your water flow did not stop when shut off at the curb, then a shark bite valve can be installed to allow for you to shut off the flow; the curb stop valve will then have to be replaced at some future point.

Now, one other thing to consider is that you should hire a pro to do this. You say you know how to fix the pipes, but the pro will have more knowledge and experience in dealing with water still flowing after shut off valve has been turned off.

Originally posted by @Heather Alte :
We shut off the water at the meter by the road. It is not separately metered, and is technically one house. We have so much water pressure comng from it when the water is on that it literally two- three gallons a minute at least. And have no water pressure anywhere else. Took a shower and it was very low pressure and nothing but hot water. Im assuming that the pipe was cracked due to the immense pressure of water coming through.

Pressure an flow ( gallons per minute ) are 2 separate things , 2 to 3 gallons per minute is weak , ( I install irrigation ) 10 to 12 gpm is about average . If you think you have high pressure , you can buy a pressure gauge for about 5 dollars at the hardware store , screws on to hose spicot or launry tub . 40 psi is low , 60 to 80 psi is in the good range . Anything much over that an I would install a pressure regulator right past the main shut off .

Originally posted by @Edward Burns :
Originally posted by @Heather Alte:
We shut off the water at the meter by the road. It is not separately metered, and is technically one house. We have so much water pressure comng from it when the water is on that it literally two- three gallons a minute at least. And have no water pressure anywhere else. Took a shower and it was very low pressure and nothing but hot water. Im assuming that the pipe was cracked due to the immense pressure of water coming through.

I'm sorry but I would not assume the pipe broke due to water pressure. I am assuming the house is in Indiana and as such the temperatures dropped substantially below freezing. Saturday and Sunday we have gotten a thaw in Illinois and I assume Indiana. What happen is the pipe probably froze, cracked but did not leak because it was frozen. Then everything thawed and lo and behold you got water running everywhere.

Either way, contact your insurance company and see if the damage might be covered.

Yes that is the correct assumption. However, it did fine over the freeze and was running just fine. On a warmer day a few days after the subzero temps, the shower cartridge/valve (temp control and turn on thingy) broke, (on our rental side) that is when we shut of the water at the main to fix it. Once we figured out there was a shut off for just that shower, we turned the main back on. Only no water came. The water company came out, did something and the water came back on, and then all of a sudden, the pipe was broken in our bathroom. Completely exasperating. And it seemed unrelated to the freeze.

Originally posted by @Rob K. :
Originally posted by @Heather Alte:
We shut off the water at the meter by the road. It is not separately metered, and is technically one house. We have so much water pressure comng from it when the water is on that it literally two- three gallons a minute at least. And have no water pressure anywhere else. Took a shower and it was very low pressure and nothing but hot water. Im assuming that the pipe was cracked due to the immense pressure of water coming through.

It sounds like the curb stop is damaged and needs to be replaced by the city. I would be on the phone with them and talk to a supervisor and get it fixed today. While it is off, I would replace both valves at the water meter with new ball valves.

I had this problem at a house where my gate valve on the street side of the meter wouldn't shut off all the way and neither would the curb stop. The city acted like they would get to it when they could and I had to make several phone calls to get it done sooner.

You have a serious plumbing problem here that needs to be addressed.

Yes I agree with you. I called them first thing this morning, and they came out and replaced the meter and curb stop thing. Water is COMPLETELY off, FINALLY. Im very relieved. And the pipe will be fixed in an hour or so.

Depends on the area. When water is shut off there is residual water in the lines to drain.

As mentioned the old turn shutoffs leak as people over tighten them and open to much. The open/close ones that are new are fool proof almost.

The main at the street or wherever it Is located will have the county/city side of the meter and then your side of the meter going to the property. The side of the water meter going to the main is generally the county/city responsibility. The other side is yours to fix.

It's funny one time at our house we live in the water company left the shut off tool there. It's like a large T-shape with hollowed out H that fits over to shut the main on and off. Some older houses just have main pipe coming in and do not have a main shut off inside the house.

Have you looked at the water meter to see if water is coming out from either side of the pipe? Do you have galvanized for a main or regular??

When I owned my apartments I paid a plumber that works for investors to show me everything and learned a ton watching him. You might want to do that for awhile.

No legal advice.

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :
Depends on the area. When water is shut off there is residual water in the lines to drain.

As mentioned the old turn shutoffs leak as people over tighten them and open to much. The open/close ones that are new are fool proof almost.

The main at the street or wherever it Is located will have the county/city side of the meter and then your side of the meter going to the property. The side of the water meter going to the main is generally the county/city responsibility. The other side is yours to fix.

It's funny one time at our house we live in the water company left the shut off tool there. It's like a large T-shape with hollowed out H that fits over to shut the main on and off. Some older houses just have main pipe coming in and do not have a main shut off inside the house.

Have you looked at the water meter to see if water is coming out from either side of the pipe? Do you have galvanized for a main or regular??

When I owned my apartments I paid a plumber that works for investors to show me everything and learned a ton watching him. You might want to do that for awhile.

No legal advice.

Thank you that is a great idea. The worker from the water company did show my husband how to shut off both water valves out there. We learn as we go. I hope to keep learning as the need arises. We are first time homeowners and first time landlords, so this will be interesting. Thankfully we don't have renters yet. I am grateful for everyone's input on here.

Make sure you turn off the valve at the actual water meter. A lot of old homes will have random valves all over the place (I do maintenance for a living on 1880-1930s era buildings). That being said you may just be experiencing the building water draining...the system does need to drain once shutoff. 

Also, there could be a return pump - I doubt your building would have one of these though unless it is a larger commercial building. Good luck! 

First off the curb stop is the property owner cost to replace.

Is this plumbing CPVC?

The NEXT time you need it off and the shut off doesn't shut off , it needs replaced also as has been stated.  In my case the curb stop would not turn.  I got some dry ice and froze exposed section in building and replaced 1 globe valve with two ball valves of 1/4 turn nature.  Freezing the line got it down to a trickle very quickly.

did you cut it off inside the house as well?
If so you may want to make sure that the vlave to cut off at the street is not faulty typically the cut off at the street I din't think could be accessed only by the water company

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