Advice for dealing with house's water line problem?

water line valveShawn emails:

First Thanksgiving in the new house and the main water shutoff in the basement started to leak. It is a slow leak at the moment and a bucket has doing the job. Wondering if any readers have had experiences in Albany with having the water shutoff at the curb box to repair the main water shutoff? I called the City and was told that I would be responsible for any repairs of the curb box shutoff if there are any issues when the water is turned off.
Old house, snow on the ground, cold temperatures . . . the price tag I'm envisioning is increasing as I write this if we run into any problems. Any experiences, thoughts, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...

This kind of stuff can be complicated (see an earlier question about a sewer problem), expensive, and stressful.

Got advice for Shawn? Please share.


If the leak isn't that bad, wait until Spring, just in case. If the leak is severe, shutting the water off at the curb and replacing the valve (or the valve seat/washer, depending on what kind of valve you have) shouldn't be that expensive. It's an easy fix. Some houses have two shut off valves (before and after meter). Any plumber can do the job in half hour.

Theoretically this should be very simple. I've had it done and as Joe said, if the shut off works, it is a quick and easy job. Of course with plumbers that probably means $200 parts and labor.

Plumbers should have the shut off "key" required to shut off the valve at the curb. The complications and expense arrive if that shutoff doesn't work properly. Only one way to find out.

Adam Delaney is EXTREMELY reasonable. He is a licensed HVAC fella so he does both plumbing and electric. He did an emergency bath leak repair that essentially require gutting the bath room, and he did a great job for a very reasonable price.


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