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Water Meters Meter, meter wherefore art thou? Master Valves

Your water meter keeps track of how much water your household uses. Master Valves, Shutoff Valves - aka 'Angle Stops', Water Pressure, Frozen Pipes, Water Hammers

Subject: Plumbing - Sub Subject: Water Meters
Date: 6/22/2019 Status: ACTIVE
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❝Water Meters Meter, meter wherefore art thou? Master Valves❞ answers. technician asked first. Total 5 replies.

technician - 6/22/2019 9:59:00 PM

Water Meters

Meter, meter wherefore art thou?
Your water meter keeps track of how much water your household uses. The meter is usually located along the sidewalk, in front of your home, inside a concrete box with a concrete cover marked WATER METER.
In some homes the water meter is located in the basement. It may be a bit dark inside the meter box, so bring a flashlight along

Meters measure water either in cubic feet or gallons. One cubic foot equals 7.48 gallons. For example, if your meter says you used 41 cubic feet in a day, you would multiply 41 by 7.48 to find out that over 306 gallons were used that day. Utilities with meters bill by the unit, normally, such units are measured as 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) or alternatively, 1,000 gallons.
You can check for leaks on individually metered residences by using your meter. Make certain that no water is being used on the property. Then open the cap of your water meter. Note the location of the dial
test hand. Don't run water for 30 minutes. If the dial has moved, you've got a leak. Read on to determine the possible cause.

Master Valves

A master water supply valve controls the water supply coming into your home. Every home has a master valve that is most likely located near the water meter or where the water supply pipe enters your home.
Once you have found the master valve, paint or label it so it is easy to locate. Let everyone in the home know where to find the valve in case of an emergency. Make sure the master valve is accessible if a pipe is broken and water is gushing out, you don't want to be climbing over a pile of boxes to be able to shut off the valve
'To shut off the water supply to your home, slowly turn the handle counter-clockwise. To turn your water back on, just reverse the above steps. Be certain to cover the meter box when you are finished. It's a good idea to place a few drops of oil around the handle, once a year or so, to prevent the valve from sticking or corroding.
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technician - 6/22/2019 10:02:38 PM

Shutoff Valves - aka Angle Stops

Most modern homes also have shutoff valves for the lines to individual fixtures. Shutoffs are under sinks on both hot and cold supply lines just inside the house from an outdoor faucet beneath a toilet tank where hoses lead to a clothes washer at the pipe leading into a water heater or just upstream from bathtub faucets.
Check these valves annually to ensure they are not stuck in place or corroded. If other fixtures have water and dparticular one does not, it is most likely the shutoff valve just upstream, which may be wholly or partially turned off If no water is coming from a hotwater faucet and the angle stop is on, the inlet or outlet valve on the water heater is probably turned off.

Water Pressure

Even your pipes can get stressed
Water should enter the house at about 45 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi).You can check your water pressure with a water pressure gauge. The gauge screws to a hose bibb. Water pressure over 60 psi can cause a strain on your plumbing fixtures or pipes and even cause bursts in the water line.
Possible causes of low or no water pressure:
  • Bad diverter valve for a spray nozzle
  • Clogged water filter attached to a faucet
  • Clogged strainers just inside hose connections
  • Clogged showerhead
  • Frozen or freezing pipes

Faucet aerators often clog after work has been done on supply pipes because repair work often loosens rust inside the pipes. If you suspect a build up of sediment in a supply pipe, turn off the water supply, remove the angle stop and peer down the supply pipe. If the pipe is clogged, clear it with a snake. Reattach the angle stop. Turn on the 'water supply and, with a bucket to catch water, flush out the pipes before reattaching the valve to the supply tube.
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technician - 6/22/2019 10:06:06 PM

Frozen Pipes

Blocked or restricted water flow is the first indication of a problem. If you don't act quickly your pipes will burst as the water expands. At the first sign of a blockage, open the faucet. Finding the blockage is critical.
Trace the supply pipe to where it runs through exterior walls or other unheated parts of ybur house, such as the basement or crawl space. To melt the ice, use hot water, a heat gun, hair dryer or heating pad.
It is far better to adopt the slower and more conservative procedure 'of melting ice by the use of a blow dryer or heat gun. Shield flammable materials from the heat. While applying heat, leave the faucet open so water can drain. Once the ice melts and the pipes cool, prevent them from refreezing by jacketing them with foam insulation. Wrap all pipes that pass through unheated spaces.
Pipes buried outdoors should run about 12 inches below the frost line and should be wrapped with foam insulation extending below frost line. If you expect a freeze, leave exposed taps dripping to prevent frozen pipes.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Water pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures or drafts should be covered with insulation. When pipes are laid underground they should be below the frost line to prevent freezing. Small water pipes vtifl freeze quicker than waste or sewer pipes. If there is plumbing in the garage, do not leave the garage door open during severely cold weather. The cold and draft can freeze water lines in minutes. Pipes located in unheated basements or garages should be insulated with a commercial covering.
Before the cold freezing weather sets in, disconnect all garden hoses outside your home otherwise the hose and hose bib may freeze and be damaged. This is especially important with anti-freeze hydrants. If tbe hose is disconnected, the anti-freeze faucet can properly drain, and this will prevent freezing.
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technician - 6/22/2019 10:13:00 PM
If your home is going to be unattended for a long period of time during cold weather and the heating system is turned off, follow the following precations:
  • Shut off the water supply at the master valve.
  • BeginniDg with fixtures on thetop floor, open all faucets and leave them open. When water stops running from these faucets, open the cap on the main shutoff valve and drain the remaining water into a pail or tub.
  • Remember to close the cap after the faucets have rud dry. Otherwise the house water supply will flow from this valve and flood the basement.
  • Remove all water in the traps under sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and lavatories by opening the clean out plugs at the bottom of traps and draining them into a pail. If no plugs are provided, use a force pump or other method to siphon the water out.
  • Sponge all the water out of the toilet bowl.
  • Clean out all water in the flush tank.
  • Fill all traps with a non-freezing solution such as mineral oil, windshield washmg fluid or RV type anti-freeze.
  • Drain all hot water tanks. Most tanks are equipped with a vented tube at the top, which lets air in and allows the water to drain out the faucet at the bottom
  • Make sure all horizontal pipes drain properly. Air pressure will get rid of trapped water in these pipes, but occasionally the piping may have to be disconnected and drained. To be safe, have your plumber check your entire plumbing system.
  • If your house is heated by hot water or steam, drain the heating pipes and boiler before leaving.
    Burners and pilots should be completely out and the main water supply turned off.
  • Drain off the water from the boiler by opening the draw-off valve at the lowest point in the system. Open the water supply valve to the boiler so no water will be trapped above it
  • If you have a hot water system, begin with the highest radiators and open the air valve on each as fast as the water lowers. Every radiator valve must be opened on a 1 -inch pipe system to release candensation.
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technician - 6/22/2019 10:15:01 PM

Water Hammers


Ever hear a slamming or banging noise in your, water pipes when someone shuts off a faucet? That sound is called a water hammer. It is caused by the sudden change of water flow, with resulting pressure surges, which makes pipes vibrate.
Over time, recurring water hammers can loosen the mounting brackets that attach the pipes to the studs and joists in your home, leading to more movement and risk of leakage in joints and fittings. It can even cause a poorly soldered joint or fitting to completely break To minimize water hammers, secure pipes to prevent movement and reduce sudden pressure variations. Various devices are available that reduce the abrupt changes in water pressure.
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