Can't turn off stopcock, how can I isolate/replace kitchen taps?

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I'm in the process of redoing our kitchen, nothing drastic, just replacing units like for like so the only major thing I need to do is replace the kitchen taps.
Currently removing the old kitchen and have hit a snag with the taps as I can't turn off the stopcock to the mains. For a start it's really close to the floor so very difficult to get a good grip of it and I know there has been a leak in the past so it doesn't look in the best condition.
I feel a bit of movement but it's actually the handle twisting on the main shaft.

I've had a look out the front of the house (we're on a terrace) and no sign of any mains stopcock while other houses (including direct neighbours) have little manholes labelled "WATER". Our house is on rates and not a meter so may explain why we don't seem to have anything out the front?

Since the taps are the only thing holding us up, how can we isolate them?
I was expecting to see some sort of inline valve under the kitchen sink to isolate each supply (e.g like this) but this is what it looks like:

pipes.jpg


What are the red parts? There is a large flat head screw. I did try it but it wouldn't move easily and didn't wanna put too much pressure on it since it might not be what I think it is!
If that does isolate the supply at that point I assume I can just whack my new taps on at the blue points and get on with the rest of the kitchen?

Failing that, what are my options? I guess I'll have to call out a plumber right which is gonna delay things somewhat.

Cheers
 
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not a great photo but the red seems to show a valve.
Just turn it 90 degrees

sometimes turning a stopcock the "wrong" way, so it INCREASES slightly, allows it to unstick, and be shut off
A recommendation is that you don't ever turn the water on FULL for that reason - being able to turn it each way really helps

There should be a means of shutting off from the street, regardless of meters - unless maybe the house is very old?
 
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you should sort out your stopcock, you may need to close it in an emergency sometime. do you have a combi boiler or is hot water from a storage tank? if from a tank, you may have an isolation valve there to turn hot water off.
 
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Thanks for the replies so far.

not a great photo but the red seems to show a valve.
Just turn it 90 degrees

sometimes turning a stopcock the "wrong" way, so it INCREASES slightly, allows it to unstick, and be shut off
A recommendation is that you don't ever turn the water on FULL for that reason - being able to turn it each way really helps

There should be a means of shutting off from the street, regardless of meters - unless maybe the house is very old?
It's very old, 1880.
Just looked under the neighbours manhole (little metal square) and theres nothing in there - looks ancient.
Next neighbour along has just a stopcock, next one along has a newish looking meter under a round plastic cover but no stopcock.
Mate of mine works at the local water company and he just looked it up on their mapping system - the only location for anything on our street is said neighbour with newish meter so no luck there. As I mentioned, the street and houses are very old.

Better pic...
pipes2.jpg


you should sort out your stopcock, you may need to close it in an emergency sometime. do you have a combi boiler or is hot water from a storage tank? if from a tank, you may have an isolation valve there to turn hot water off.

We have a combi-boiler.
Yeah we'll definitely get it sorted, I think we will press ahead with the rest of the kitchen. Luckily the sink is the end unit and then the pipes go behind a freestanding fridge so we can carry on with everything up to the sink then get a plumber out.
 
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You might have a shared supply and the one that looks to have nothing in it could have a stoptap buried under a few years of silt.

The new meter may have an odd looking stoptap, a white disc looking thing, or a blue rod.
 
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The screw heads in the red circles are isolation valves. In my experience they aren't particularly good ones and tend to leak when looked at, never mind when turned.

A said previously, you need to get the stop cock sorted out so that you have an overall means of isolating the supply.

That pipework is a bit of a mess. Flexi joined to flexi is a real bodge.

I'd recommend:

1. Sort out stop cock or freeze both pipes. Note that unless you have a combi boiler, turning off the stop cock will not stop the hot water flow. That should have a separate gate valve on the cold inlet into the base of the hot water cylinder.
2. Remove both isolation valves. Replace with new full bore, good quality, 15mm isolation valves.
3. Run copper pipe from isolation valves to appropriate place under tap tails.
4. Connect new tap tails to copper pipes. If they come with flexi's with 15mm compression fittings, no problem. If 1/2" (or 3/8") BSP female fittings, use 15mm compression / 1/2" (3/8") BSP male "irons" (they are brass) to connect to flexis.
 
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