Water meter nightmare - a puzzle to solve...

Hi
I need all the help I can get as Thames Water are being more than unhelpful...

The background:
I moved into my house November 2018. Requested a water meter as financially it makes sense. Thames Water came out and said they couldn't fit it by the internal stoptap as the hatch isn't big enough (and not really possible to make it bigger without quite a bit of building work I don't really want to do...) BUT They said 'no problem - we can fit it by your outside stoptap'. And that is where the nightmare begins...

When they went to find my outside stoptap, they just found a mess of broken valves under a grass verge outside. They couldn't find which one was mine as half of them were broken anyway. In classic Thames Water style I then had a couple of months of various people being sent out to fix it without having been told what they are fixing - so the guy would turn up, take a look and go 'oh no I need a dig team for that, I'll book you in' and then repeat x3.

FINALLY the actual dig team were booked in. I was told I didn't need to be in as it was all outside work (now kicking myself for not being in...) but sure enough they did something. I got a phonecall afterwards confirming they had completed the job and fixed/fitted the external stoptap. All should now be fine and I can go ahead and book for the meter installation.

Fast forward to today, and the meter-installation man is here. I explain the above and tell him they have fixed the outside one - which he can see, as there are newly fitted coverings etc. He tells me to run the cold kitchen tap while he switches them off one by one to find which one is mine. He has now switched off every tap in the mews and still my kitchen tap is running at full pressure.

What I don't understand is how it is possible for a house not to have an obvious outside stoptap? Where is my water coming from (pipes I know - but where is the valve??). I am in the middle of a 1980s terrace, the house is exactly the same as all the neighbours so it is not as if it was built earlier/later. Surely this all would have been done at the same time - and how have people been living here since 1986 without noticing this problem??

The Thames Water guy is now going to book in for another dig team but I can just see this going on and on. Obviously I want my water meter (have been paying almost 2x what I would have on a meter for 6 months...not happy...) but also this worries me in case we have a leak between outside and the inside stoptap.

Does anyone have any thoughts/advice/experience with anything like this? Have you heard of this happening before - a house with no stoptap outside?

Any comments appreciated - more for my own sanity than anything. Obviously there isn't much I can do as this is a Thames Water issue but.... thoughts?

Comments

  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,505 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Had a very similar problem here in Wales - the man with the divining rods couldn't find the outside tap, blaming plastic pipework, so they guessed anyway and had a dig.........fast forward three months and there were 3 filled holes on the path outside - they finally found the pipework and decided that the Council had buried the stopcock when they replaced the street lighting. Had to dig a further hole and make a new stopcock further out in the path. They then fitted a meter!!
    What made it worse was that each hole required three different crews ; one to search and dig, a second crew to backfill and a third crew to tarmac the path:rotfl:
  • brewerdave wrote: »
    Had a very similar problem here in Wales - the man with the divining rods couldn't find the outside tap, blaming plastic pipework, so they guessed anyway and had a dig.........fast forward three months and there were 3 filled holes on the path outside - they finally found the pipework and decided that the Council had buried the stopcock when they replaced the street lighting. Had to dig a further hole and make a new stopcock further out in the path. They then fitted a meter!!
    What made it worse was that each hole required three different crews ; one to search and dig, a second crew to backfill and a third crew to tarmac the path:rotfl:

    This sounds like me. It's ridiculous! And makes even less sense where I live because it is a small gated mews, so the front of my house is just a little bit of path and a grassy verge thing. It's not like anyone else would have been doing any other work there! The most recent guy was the most helpful and he has made sure I will be changed on to the rate I would pay if I had a meter - but I can't help thinking they should have done this months ago. Anyhow, I'm going to contact Thames Water and request they pay me back for the last 4 months where I have been paying double what I would have.. what are the chances I get anywhere with them!
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    This sounds like me. It's ridiculous! And makes even less sense where I live because it is a small gated mews, so the front of my house is just a little bit of path and a grassy verge thing. It's not like anyone else would have been doing any other work there! The most recent guy was the most helpful and he has made sure I will be changed on to the rate I would pay if I had a meter - but I can't help thinking they should have done this months ago. Anyhow, I'm going to contact Thames Water and request they pay me back for the last 4 months where I have been paying double what I would have.. what are the chances I get anywhere with them!


    Chances are very good! If not go to the Consumer Council for Water
  • lizzie201296
    lizzie201296 Posts: 89 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Just to update - Thameswater finally gave up trying to install the meter, so there is currently no meter and no outside stoptap. However they have now put me on a tariff that reflects what I would have paid with a meter (so much less!) AND refunded me the last 4 months! What a surprise!
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Just to update - Thameswater finally gave up trying to install the meter, so there is currently no meter and no outside stoptap. However they have now put me on a tariff that reflects what I would have paid with a meter (so much less!) AND refunded me the last 4 months! What a surprise!


    Presumably you are on an assessed rate?
  • brewerdave
    brewerdave Posts: 8,505 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Just to update - Thameswater finally gave up trying to install the meter, so there is currently no meter and no outside stoptap. However they have now put me on a tariff that reflects what I would have paid with a meter (so much less!) AND refunded me the last 4 months! What a surprise!


    COULD be a huge problem not having located the external stop tap - if the internal stop tap seizes or fails then changing ball cocks and kitchen tap washers will be VERY messy!!:(
  • I would like some advice please . i am on a water meter and as a light user (we spend a lot of time away from our property)  our 6 monthly bills were averaging 75 to 100 pounds every 6 months . Suddenly last year our bills shot to 240 and 200 pounds . as the bills said the meter had been read did not really think to much into it and arranged to go on a payment plan .... now a new bill has just come in and it said the meter had not been read but estimated , i asked my friend to show us how to read the meter as i didnt want a high bill next time , i was shocked to see that the meter reading is actually lower than the one that was taken in august last year , i have contacted thames water and they are gonna send someone to read the meter in the next 28 days ... can anyone advise me what will happen next please , it seems i have been charged 53 units that i have not even used .. this is causing me so much worry and stress , they threatened me with bailiffs last year .
  • DawnCrush
    DawnCrush Posts: 220 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post
    berrychez said:
    I would like some advice please . i am on a water meter and as a light user (we spend a lot of time away from our property)  our 6 monthly bills were averaging 75 to 100 pounds every 6 months . Suddenly last year our bills shot to 240 and 200 pounds . as the bills said the meter had been read did not really think to much into it and arranged to go on a payment plan .... now a new bill has just come in and it said the meter had not been read but estimated , i asked my friend to show us how to read the meter as i didnt want a high bill next time , i was shocked to see that the meter reading is actually lower than the one that was taken in august last year , i have contacted thames water and they are gonna send someone to read the meter in the next 28 days ... can anyone advise me what will happen next please , it seems i have been charged 53 units that i have not even used .. this is causing me so much worry and stress , they threatened me with bailiffs last year .
    It would be better if you started a new thread with your request for advice rather than digging up an 8 moth thread.

    Contact the board guide and ask if they can split out your post and create a new thread for you, so that you may recieve better attention :)
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