Help mains stop tap leaking from bottom compression joint

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by sweetlypea, 19 Apr 2013.

  1. sweetlypea

    sweetlypea

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    Please help me as I am now really stuck. To cut a long story short, we bought and old house to do up and the old mains stop tap had been leaking for some time creating a soaking wet wall and floor.

    This then came to a head when we had some work done on the house and it started leaking a lot worse. As the workmen found out there was no stopcock in the road to turn off the water to the house.

    Well in the end the workmen had to dig a hole in the concrete floor and freeze the blue plastic mains pipe below floor level and fit a new section of copper pipe and new mains stopcock. As it turned out the leak was not caused by them, they charged me only a small amount to have done this work and which I thought was fair.

    The problem is that later that evening as the frozen pipe returned to normal the bottom compression joint on the new stop tap started leaking. Still not leaking massively but sufficient to leave a small pool of water overnight. We called them back out the next morning and they tightened the compression joint some more and it seemed to stop leaking. Well within an hour the pipe was wet again, indicating a much smaller leak (wrapping kitchen roll round the tap has soaked it all up and prevented it from reaching the floor) but it's still leaking.

    The fix I thought I was going to have won't happen. We have called the water company out and they were going to fit a stop tap in the road today but it turns out they have been unable to locate the pipe to fit a tap to.

    So now I need some help and advice, I am a fairly capable DIY plumber but not being able to turn off the water makes me nervous. Also we have had an asphalt scree done, so I do not want to have to dig the floor up again.

    Firstly - Am I able to use a pipe freeze kit to replace the main stop tap or will it not work due to the water pressure? (I'd be fitting the new stop tap to brand new 15mm pipe, so it should be quite quick)

    Secondly - Should I use my small pipe cutter or a hacksaw to cut the pipe more quickly?

    Any advice would be gratefully received.
     
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  3. petertheplumber12

    petertheplumber12

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    I have never known the water board fail to find or fit an OSV(outside stop valve) They are obliged to fit or find one because they will only take responsibility for water services up to the OSV. If they cant find it then you can tell that since there is not one outside then the are responsible for the Internal SV. Put the ball in there court first, you may have problems freezing a pipe full of water when there is a leak, moving water is like a stream or river, difficult to freeze. You can squash the plastic pipe with a clamp and a couple of steel rods about 20mm dia clamping the pipe between them, but try water board again first, ASK them to fix it since it must be theirs.
     
  4. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Hire a plumber with a freeze master machine to replace your stopcock.

    Some jobs are not for a DIYer.

    Andy
     
  5. Charnwood

    Charnwood

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    I thought that had been done, but for some reason failed.

    Although the workmen only charged you a small amount you still paid for the job. It's not right, so they ought to be putting it right.
    Have you informed them that it is leaking?
     
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  6. sweetlypea

    sweetlypea

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    Hi "petertheplumber12",
    Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately the blue plastic pipe is under the floor so I cannot do that without digging up the floor.
    The water board have insisted that you only get two tries at them finding the pipe to fit a stop valve on the street. I think this is a bit unfair in some respects but as they say they did not build the houses and do not have a map of the pipework which makes it difficult. This is probably something that should be required when building houses, otherwise what chance do they stand. Anyway our numbers up and we have no outside stop valve. They have also said that beyond the property boundary is where there responsibility ends and not the stop valve.
    If I stop the leak temporarily like it did the last time the plumber returned, could I then theoretically freeze the copper pipe?
     
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  8. sweetlypea

    sweetlypea

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    Hi Andy, thanks for your reply. Unfortunately this is very difficult as I have not found one plumber that I can trust since I moved here. I have used 3 from recommendations and for all of them I have had to repair their handiwork and the stop tap was not a plumber known to me nor do I have his contact details and he would be the fourth plumber used who has not completed the job. To be fair he did at least manage to stop water pouring in to the kitchen at mains pressure when he too could not turn off the mains from the street, so things could be worse.
     
  9. sweetlypea

    sweetlypea

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    Hi Charnwood, thanks for your reply. Yes I did let them know it was still leaking and one of the workmen came back out and tightened it up further and this stopped the leak for about 15mins and has meant that the leak has slowed down but is still there. I have not let them know that it is still leaking though but not sure if even they can fix it without digging up the floor again. I know they used a pipe freeze can as they left it behind but I think they had to dig up the floor and clamp the blue pipe to do this.
     
  10. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Phone around, if you were local to me I would give you a FIXED price of supplying and fitting a new stopcock which would include freezing the pipe work.

    Andy
     
  11. dann09

    dann09

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    If what you say is correct, then the water co are talking nonsense. As above mentioned, they are responsible up to and for the external isolator.

    Utd. Utilities - which i presume you are - require the householder to run the trenched MDPE to the property boundary.
    Someone laid that blue plastic to the boundary for a past connection - hence, a stop-tap is out there.

    In recent years, the isolator has been located in a pavement stop-box.

    Go and locate your neighbour's stop-box isolator (s ), your's will be in the same location. Occasionally, pavement/road surfacing will cover the stop-box lid.

    Often, MDPE fittings leak because the liner/insert was omitted from making up the joint. Or, instead of going hand tight and then lightly nipping up, the nut is over tightened.
     
  12. bolshy

    bolshy

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    Can you still access the blue mdpe pipe? If so use a squeeze off tool to clamp the mdpe pipe, and change your stop cock.
     
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