leaking mains pipe between road and private stop-cock

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BB - Any idea what happened to Thames W's oft reported policy of filling in the chambers housing the stop valve , on the pavements, so that the valve could not be considered accessible?
At the time (7? years ago) they were adamant that they had no duty to provide a shut-off for an individual consumer.
 
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ChrisR said:
BB - Any idea what happened to Thames W's oft reported policy of filling in the chambers housing the stop valve , on the pavements, so that the valve could not be considered accessible?
At the time (7? years ago) they were adamant that they had no duty to provide a shut-off for an individual consumer.

Not sure about that one (Thames isn't my forte). They don't have to provide a valve, they don't have to go out and shut it off (you would be amazed at how many "plumbers" used to call us out as they had no stop-tap key).

I'm pretty sure that in such a situation, a letter to the regulator (Ofwat or CCW) may carry some considerable weight. Particularly if Thames had filled the chamber in after a request from a customer to check/make accessible. After all the valve is there - and it is only inaccessible by Thames making.

The decision by a lot of companies to start charging for shut-offs and not locating missing valves was driven by Ofwat challenging such practices as "financial inefficiency" as it is not one of the key activities budgeted for in price reviews etc. This took a lot of us by surprise as customer service can never really be deemed inefficient.
 
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BoxBasher said:
Softus, I have edited my post prior to your reply...
OK.

now includes:
There is no regulation that I am aware of that requires them to provide one, however we are not arguing the provison of a stop valve (as there is one their, albeit inoperable) merely the maintenance of an existing one.
It's my belief that there is no regulation that requires either (b) provision, or (b) maintenance, of a service valve. It's there only for the convenience of the water supplier.

Softus said:
BoxBasher said:
...the things Water Co's can and can't charge for are goverened by the regulator.
Is that information published anywhere?
I am not sure if the information is published, but I am sure if a question was asked, an answer could be provided.
Please see later comment on insider knowledge.

I'm not talking about visits to turn off a valve, but those visits to either (a) locate a lost valve, or (b) uncover a buried valve, or (c) repair/replace a broken/faulty valve.
(a)+(b) I can see why - as I stated in my previous post (edited) there is no requirement to provide it.
(c) I think that a consumer could argue or dispute that charge (and be successful in doing so)
But why? Anyone can argue something, but unless there's an established reference that makes them likely to be right, on what grounds do you think that someone claiming for free work would be successful? And it's not enough to say that it's tradition, or convention, because my point is that the water company is entitled to charge, and should be expected to charge, not that they have to, or always do.

The company I work for does not carry out (a) or (b) at all as it is deemed that complaints would be generated in situations where the valve cannot be located (as we would have looked for it and therefore still require payment) or if the costs of locating the valve became excessive for the consumer. I believe we thought about it but thought better.
Well that pretty much proves my point - your employer could charge if they wished, but has weighed up the benefit against the cost of handling complaints.

In summary of the points on which we disagree, I think you're missing the nub of what I'm saying. There are laws, and regulations, that permit, require, or prohibit. Then there are codes of practise, which are voluntary. Then there are policies, which are profit-oriented.

When I pointed out to the OP that water companies charge for some work, it was intended to open his eyes to the possibility of it happening, not to insist that they all do it all of the time, and certainly not to make any moral judgement about it.

You seem to want to contradict my information, based on knowledge obtained as an employee of a water company, and all I'm asking is for you to clarify whether or not the things you say are true because of a law or regulation. Because if they're not, then as true as they might be in your experience, and as likely, or unlikely, as they are to apply in other regions, they are unenforceable, and, I'm sorry to have to say, irrelevant.

I'm sure that Ofwat, or whoever, has both legal powers and political ones. I think you're personal position is significantly influenced by the political ones, but I'm not interested in those.

If this sounded personal, please accept my assurance that it isn't meant that way. I'm merely trying to get back to the point, which is not what water suppliers don't charge for, but what they're entitled to charge for. We're in an age where all companies are better at apportioning costs to activities, in the general pursuit of better accountability, more efficiency, and, ultimately, more profit. Water companies who take too long to learn this are prone to being bought out by more efficient ones, with management not necessarily even being in the same country. And the more senior jobs that are taken offshore, the deeper in the mire this country becomes.

Do you see where I'm coming from?
 
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Softus said:
It's my belief that there is no regulation that requires either (b) provision, or (b) maintenance, of a service valve. It's there only for the convenience of the water supplier.
On this we are agreed...

Softus said:
Please see later comment on insider knowledge... ...If this sounded personal, please accept my assurance that it isn't meant that way.

Not taken personally at all (previous "discussions" you have had with other forums members have usually descended into them taking things to a personal level. I am actually enjoying our little debate, particularly as it is usually me who is talking my way out of doing something...)


Softus said:
Well that pretty much proves my point - your employer could charge if they wished, but has weighed up the benefit against the cost of handling complaints.
I think you misunderstood - they were thinking of charging for visits and any subsequent work required to locate or expose, missing or buried stopvalves. There was never any question of charging for repair of existing faulty taps.
It was deemed that it is a service that they struggled to provide when it was free (which generated complaints). To carry it out as a chargeable service would generate even more - so the service was withdrawn.

In summary of the points on which we disagree, I think you're missing the nub of what I'm saying. There are laws, and regulations, that permit, require, or prohibit.
Absolutely
Then there are codes of practise, which are voluntary.
Some more voluntary than others...
Then there are policies, which are profit-oriented.
Yes, but which are based upon the laws and regulations.

When I pointed out to the OP that water companies charge for some work, it was intended to open his eyes to the possibility of it happening, not to insist that they all do it all of the time, and certainly not to make any moral judgement about it.
It is certainly a possibility, but it is also a possibility that in the event of a complaint about such charges a company would back down...

You seem to want to contradict my information, based on knowledge obtained as an employee of a water company, and all I'm asking is for you to clarify whether or not the things you say are true because of a law or regulation.
They probably or possibly are, but I cannot find or provide reference to back this up
Because if they're not, then as true as they might be in your experience, and as likely, or unlikely, as they are to apply in other regions, they are unenforceable, and, I'm sorry to have to say, irrelevant.
Individual policies will vary from region to region (examples being free lead replacement connections, free leak repair schemes etc). What does not change is the basic responsibilities and ownership of certain assets and apparatus.
I'm sure that Ofwat, or whoever, has both legal powers and political ones. I think you're personal position is significantly influenced by the political ones, but I'm not interested in those.
God, don't I know it :cry: ...

I'm merely trying to get back to the point, which is not what water suppliers don't charge for, but what they're entitled to charge for. We're in an age where all companies are better at apportioning costs to activities, in the general pursuit of better accountability, more efficiency, and, ultimately, more profit.
We will have to differ on the "entitlement" to charge as without physical documentation to back up my case we are at a stalemate.


Do you see where I'm coming from?
Yes, but can you see where I'm coming from?
 
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I stand corrected.
CCW said:
The outside stoptap usually belongs to the water company, and as long as you are receiving a supply, the company does not have a duty to replace stop taps even if they are faulty.
It appears that we don't have a duty to maintain or replace them.

However Ofwat said:
We consider that a company should have a programme in place to carry out necessary work to address reports about a faulty or inaccessible stop tap within a reasonable time
So the political pressure comes to bear once more. Even though companies don't have a duty to repair/replace, Ofwat still expects them to do so (and it is Ofwat who hold the purse strings).

I still stand by my previous post that a consumer would be able to challenge a charge for repair.
 
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the waterboard was doing something on my neighbours house a few weeks back, they had to pull a slab up and repair a leek. Could they have done something to my supply?
 
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StrongBow103 said:
the waterboard was doing something on my neighbours house a few weeks back, they had to pull a slab up and repair a leek. Could they have done something to my supply?

Don't know, depends on what the problem is, what they were doing to your neighbours supply, whether the water went off.

Post some more details under a new subject/topic and we'll see what we can do to throw some light :D
 
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BoxBasher said:
StrongBow103 said:
the waterboard was doing something on my neighbours house a few weeks back, they had to pull a slab up and repair a leek. Could they have done something to my supply?

Don't know, depends on what the problem is, what they were doing to your neighbours supply, whether the water went off.

Post some more details under a new subject/topic and we'll see what we can do to throw some light :D

Hi B`basher,
I think I posted on wrong thread, it`s to do with air in system
 
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StrongBow103 said:
BoxBasher said:
StrongBow103 said:
the waterboard was doing something on my neighbours house a few weeks back, they had to pull a slab up and repair a leek. Could they have done something to my supply?

Don't know, depends on what the problem is, what they were doing to your neighbours supply, whether the water went off.

Post some more details under a new subject/topic and we'll see what we can do to throw some light :D

Hi B`basher,
I think I posted on wrong thread, it`s to do with air in system

Its ok, I've seen your other post now.
 

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