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Discuss Outdoor stopcock leaking in the Water Regulations area at PlumbersForums.net

Hi all,
I have noticed there is a leak on my outdoor stopcock. This morning it was full to the lid so I syphoned the water out assuming it was due to the heavy rain the before but then 6 hours later noticed its full again. Is this a problem Thames Water has responsibility to fix or is it up to me?
 

Attachments

moonlight

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Advent Win
If the stop tap is on your property, rather that the pavement it is your responsibility. A plumber should be able to turn the one off in the road and wind out the head and replace.
 
Thank you. Does anyone know roughly the cost to get this sorted?
Post automatically merged:

I've just found this statement on the Thames Water "how to find and use your outside stop valve" :

"If your outside stop valve is faulty, please let us know. Our repairs are completed during quieter periods of the year therefore we can’t provide a timescale."

Doesn't this mean it is the responsibility of Thames Water to repair?
 
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IND_Nick

Gas Engineer
If it is your external stop tap from the mains in the road and there is no other, external tap, it should be their responsibility. I work mostly in the North West with United Utilities responsible for the water and they would sort that not the home owner. Not sure if it is different in other areas but usually the first stop tap off the mains externally belongs to and is maintained by the provider not customer. Essentially it is a fresh water leak and should be a priority given the fact they are already discussing hose pipe bans!
 

snowhead

Esteemed
Plumber
Sometimes boundaries get moved whilst houses are being built and the stop tap can end up within the house boundary.

One of my own previous houses had the stop tap in the middle of next doors front garden.
 

moonlight

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Advent Win
Just out of interest, let us all know if inside or outside their remit. When they come. To me looking at your photo it looks like it is on your drive?
 

SimonG

Plumber
Advent Win
Most stop taps round our way are within the property boundary but liability rests with the water provider.
 
Just out of interest, let us all know if inside or outside their remit. When they come. To me looking at your photo it looks like it is on your drive?
Yep so the stopcock is on my drive but when there was no hesitation from TW to send out an engineer, who will be resolving the issue within 48 hours. I did also notice that on my plumbing and drainage insurance, it does say they do not cover external stopcocks as this is th responsibility of the water company.
 

moonlight

Plumber
Gas Engineer
Advent Win
Yep so the stopcock is on my drive but when there was no hesitation from TW to send out an engineer, who will be resolving the issue within 48 hours. I did also notice that on my plumbing and drainage insurance, it does say they do not cover external stopcocks as this is th responsibility of the water company.
Must all be on drives round where you are then. :) No cost to you then. If its been leaking a while you could ask for a rebate.
 
I'm not on a meter (luckily) so will I get away with it?
Hmm, I think there is a chance that TW will just install a new stopcock and meter at the property boundary and then ride off into the sunset leaving you to fix the problem.

Let's hope I'm wrong...
 

Ric2013

Plumber
Hmm, I think there is a chance that TW will just install a new stopcock and meter at the property boundary and then ride off into the sunset leaving you to fix the problem.

Let's hope I'm wrong...
Don't worry, you are wrong as far as ownership is concerned, so the law is on the OP's side.

The first external stopcock and pipe leading to it are the property of the water company, if they are on private land. If the stopcock were on public land, the water board owns the stopcock and the pipe as far as the boundary.

If TW were to install an additional stopcock at the boundary, or in the public land outside, it would still own the pipework up to and including the existing stopcock. Since the OP does not own the existing stopcock, it is not his to maintain, and the ownership of the pipe would not suddenly change just because the water board has fitted an additional stopcock. In any case, cutting into an old pipe rather than replace an existing valve is hardly a shortcut, so I can't see TW even bothering to try this workaround.

What I'm not sure about is whether the water board is required to re-lay the block paving to the current standard, and I suspect the answer is no. If you're lucky, though, TW's plumber may be able to repair the existing without having to dig it out, as Moonlight has stated.
 
Don't worry, you are wrong as far as ownership is concerned, so the law is on the OP's side.

The first external stopcock and pipe leading to it are the property of the water company, if they are on private land. If the stopcock were on public land, the water board owns the stopcock and the pipe as far as the boundary.

If TW were to install an additional stopcock at the boundary, or in the public land outside, it would still own the pipework up to and including the existing stopcock. Since the OP does not own the existing stopcock, it is not his to maintain, and the ownership of the pipe would not suddenly change just because the water board has fitted an additional stopcock. In any case, cutting into an old pipe rather than replace an existing valve is hardly a shortcut, so I can't see TW even bothering to try this workaround.

What I'm not sure about is whether the water board is required to re-lay the block paving to the current standard, and I suspect the answer is no. If you're lucky, though, TW's plumber may be able to repair the existing without having to dig it out, as Moonlight has stated.
So I had the the TW engineer come out and do a few tests which confirmed there is a leak so told me this would need some digging up to get repaired and would take around 4-5 days. Luckily I'm not on a meter and there is no change in pressure at home so I hopefully shouldn't be impacted as much. I did ask the engineer I have concerns that a meter might get fitted and he assured me that would not be the case as its not compulsory for TW. He said it may water meters are only fitted as compulsory for new buildings.
 

Ric2013

Plumber
My water company once did a compulsary meter fit down my mother's entire road as an experiment. We weren't forced to pay metered charges, but obviously I could read the meter and work out what the metered charge would be.
After seeing how little water she actually used, my mother decided to change to a meter and watched her bills go from about £350 a year to around £150 a year. I'm not quite sure what people have to do for a meter to be an expensive option!
 
My water company once did a compulsary meter fit down my mother's entire road as an experiment. We weren't forced to pay metered charges, but obviously I could read the meter and work out what the metered charge would be.
After seeing how little water she actually used, my mother decided to change to a meter and watched her bills go from about £350 a year to around £150 a year. I'm not quite sure what people have to do for a meter to be an expensive option!
How many people in your mother's household? I've been told by couple TW engineers that on average if you have less than 4 people in your house then a meter should be cheaper overall but anymore is when you start seeing the high prices. For me, I'm looking to start a family up and so I'd rather pay the extra now and be off a meter down the line (if I still have the option to).
 

Ric2013

Plumber
In fairness, my mother's house was a three bedroom with only two of us living there at the time, so I suppose it depends on the circumstances. We were very lucky in that we had a meter we could read, so we knew exactly what our costs would be if we were to switch to metered.

By the way, Moonlight, what do you dislike about my post above?
 
Hi again all.

After the work was completed. I have noticed very small black deposits coming out from my bath taps and some seen in my toilet bowl. They seem quite dense so just lay sitting at the bottom and the only way to shift them is with a very hard current of water. Any idea what these may be? Attached are a couple of pictures
 

Attachments

Ric2013

Plumber
Sometimes the emptying and refilling of a pipe shifts existing debris, even if they haven't let any new debris in.
 

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