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Water Stopcock On Pavement

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Bazile | 17:52 Wed 29th Aug 2018 | Home & Garden
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On the pavement outside our house is a cover with access to a stopcock , which you can turn on/off , the water supply into our house .

Am i legally allowed to access the stopcock and turn off the water supply , in an emergency ?

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I would imagine so in an emergency, but often in older properties a stop tap would isolate the supply to several other houses so turning yours off may also turn off your neighbours water.
if it only controls your supply then yes, not only are you allowed to turn it off in an emergency, you are encouraged to do so.
Yes....I do it whenever we have any plumbing work.
While there are plenty of web references (including Youtube videos about operating external stopcocks) which state that householders aren't officially allowed to turn the water supply to their property on or off externally, the water supply companies actually seem happy enough to allow people to do so.

For example, this page from Anglian Water tells readers how to operate the boundary stop tap and makes no reference to any permission from them being needed:
https://www.anglianwater.co.uk/household/water-supply/burst-pipes/stop-taps.aspx
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Jolly good , because the stopcock inside our kitchen is broken - that is the bit that you hold to turn it , has broken off .

Do you need a special tool to turn it off and if so where can such a tool be bought ?
I suggest finding the external stop tap to see which type it is, Bazile. (i.e. actually try turning it off). There are different types, with some just requiring a quarter turn to stop the flow of water and others needing several full turns (like a sink tap). Some are fairly easy to operate by hand but others require the same type of hydrant key which the fire service use. (There are other types too).

This video initially shows the operation of a 'hydrant-style' stop tap but then shows how much easier it is to get to the stop tap next to a water meter. (Even so, the stop tap shown there is different to the one next to my own water meter):

Not saying it will be the same as yours but here is an example:-

Our stopcock has the tool inside it.

If you have a water meter, Baz, it'll probably be a simple "quarter-turn" tap.

If it's the old type valve, you need this...

https://www.screwfix.com/p/monument-tools-stopcock-key-222mm/17971

Longer ones are available

https://www.diy.com/departments/b-q-steel-combination-stop-cock-key/190546_BQ.prd
....and if it hasn't been operated recently, it may not be an easy job to get it to turn!

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Water Stopcock On Pavement

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