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Missing Stopcock

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Dan_Iggulden
Dan_Iggulden Posts: 337 Forumite
edited 20 May 2015 at 7:10PM in Water bills
Firstly let me start by expressing my embarrassment at ignoring this problem!

As per my last post, my water bill has just sky rocketed with Anglian water to nearly £800 a year. Having spoken to them tonight, they agree something is not right as our consumption simply cannot be accurate. They have said we need to do 2 tests, one test on the meter which is fine, I can do that, and another test on the internal stopcock, which is where the problems start....

When we bought the house 5 years ago, the owner said she didn't know where the stopcock was located in the kitchen as they had an extension and new kitchen 3 years earlier. I didn't think :eek: this was much of a problem at the time. However, I still don't know where it is and have looked everywhere. In my neighbours house, which is identical, their stopcock is under the sink, but since the extension on my house, the sink has been moved about 8 foot from its original location, so I have no idea where it is.

So Anglian water are telling me it is my responsibility (quite right) to have an internal stopcock to be able to test where the problem is and won't do anything until I do.

So a couple of questions.

1. If I don't know where it is and I've looked everywhere I can think of, is it possible I just don't have one? Is there a way of locating it?

2. Any ideas on the work involved for a plumber to install an internal stop !!!! assuming there is no longer one in the property.

3. I would have thought it was a legal requirement for an internal stopcock and the building work shouldn't have been signed off without one? Any ideas on this.


To top it all off, our water 'usage' has gone off the scale since Anglian water installed a new meter last September, so it is more than likely that is where the problem is, but unless I can complete the tests they require (which means I need an internal stopcock), they won't take any action.

Any help?
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Comments

  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871 Forumite
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    2. Any ideas on the work involved for a plumber to install an internal stop !!!! assuming there is no longer one in the property.
    If there's an external stop tap (and you know where the supply pipe is) this is easy.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 53,098 Forumite
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    Am I alone is being slightly confused? Your other thread said you didn't know you were on metered billing (for five years) until the latest bill arrived. Now you are saying that consumption jumped when a new meter was installed-last September? Are you saying that they changed the meter without informing you?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Dan_Iggulden
    Dan_Iggulden Posts: 337 Forumite
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    macman wrote: »
    Am I alone is being slightly confused? Your other thread said you didn't know you were on metered billing (for five years) until the latest bill arrived. Now you are saying that consumption jumped when a new meter was installed-last September? Are you saying that they changed the meter without informing you?

    You are right to be confused. I didn't realise I was on a meter as have never been asked for a meter reading, but since I have looked at all my bills I have seen that Anglian Water have provided a meter reading on each bill. Wrongly, I have never paid much attention to my water bill, as the cost always seemed ok..... I know, I know, all fool me eh.

    Further to all of this, I have now found the internal stopcock, fitted behind a fitted cupboard which cannot be reached. Nothing that a quick hole in the side of the cupboard won't fix though, so at least I can do the test that Anglian have asked me to.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,650 Forumite
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    So if you had a new meter last year, did you get and keep a reading from the old one and did the new one run from zero.

    You should be checking your bills very carefully to make sure that nothing went wrong in the transition between the new meters.

    It's easy to get misreads or miscalculations when meters get changed
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Dan_Iggulden
    Dan_Iggulden Posts: 337 Forumite
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    I've got a card that has the new meter number on it, the final meter reading and the date it was installed. The new meter started from 0.

    Interestingly, having worked out all my bills for the last 4 years, my consumption averaged 9 cubic metres a month prior to the new meter being installed, and 21 cubic meters a month since it went it. Fairly obvious where the problem lies but will do the tests required and let Anglian Water sort it out.

    Quite ashamed really, I'm on the ball with all other utilities and insurances, always making sure things are accurate and I have the best deal, I guess with water because there is no shopping around to be done I just let it run and never paid it any attention, all fool me.
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,547 Forumite
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    Presumably, the meter is fitted by the external stop !!!! ?If so,have you checked to make sure that there isn't a leak on the new meter fittings?

    I have had a meter for just over 3 years -the average monthly usage is ~ 9.2 cu m. We have a power shower,dishwasher and my wife waters the garden a lot in the Summer ! so 21 cu m per month must be some leak !!
  • Dan_Iggulden
    Dan_Iggulden Posts: 337 Forumite
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    A further update to this. Have now cut away the side of the cupboard to get to the internal stopcock and have tried to do the tests that Anglian Water have asked.

    Two observations.

    1. When I turn the internal stop !!!! off (quarter turn on a blue lever) there is still a small flow of water on the tap.

    2. I am unable to turn the external stop !!!! using the supplied plastic key, it just won't budge and if I apply any more pressure, the plastic key will snap.

    I would think with point 2 that I need to get Anglian Water out to sort it, but what does point 1 mean?
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,650 Forumite
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    Point 1 means that your internal stopcock isn't fully shutting off the supply which could make if difficult if you did have a leak somewhere or needed to replace a tap. Try working it back & forth to see if it will free itself, if not get it replaced (after AW have sorted out the one by your meter)

    It's always a good idea to check stopcocks occasionally to make sure that they can be located, operated and that they do actually shut off the supply. It's a bit late to find that they don't work or have seized when the bathroom is knee deep in water and you can't shut it off.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Dan_Iggulden
    Dan_Iggulden Posts: 337 Forumite
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    Couldn't agree more! Thanks for your help. AW sending someone out within the next 3 days to sort external stopcock out so will see what happens.

    I think my internal stopcock will actually turn further, do they generally only turn a quarter, or would it be half? It was at 6 o'clock when fully open and I can turn it to 9 o'clock and a little further.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,650 Forumite
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    If its got a lever then it sounds like a ball valve which is 90 degrees from fully open to close however if you can push it past 90 degrees it will start to open again so try easing it back a bit to see if it actually shuts right off.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
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