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How many really do this?? I mean, you go in on a service call, you try to turn off the water to a fixture and BAM! The stupid thing breaks and water spurts every where.

I try to locate the main (sometimes:whistling2:)

I know its common sense, but how many here has had a catastrophe because they did not know where the main was and had to spend time looking for it with water running everywhere?

The one I had was while doing some other work the HO asked me about a leak under her sink. I looked and figured "Hey, just tighten the nut at the cut off and be done". Wrong. Turned the stupid thing and it broke off. Water was running and the only thing I could do was to run out and turn the pump off. LOL, the stupid air tank held 5 gallons of water. Did a lot of moping up, but no real damage.
 

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ALWAYS Locate the Main

Proper protocol on any repair call, especially involving the water supply system, is to ask the customer to lead you to the main water valve. When asked why, mention that it's just a safety precaution in case of the situation you stated. If the customer doesn't know where it is, take them along to go find it. When you find it, instruct the customer how to use it in case of emergency, and put a company tag on it. This also gives you a good opportununity to identify, merely by glancing, any other potential plumbing problem you might suggest be diagnosed while you are there. You can't do that if you don't get into the basement. If it's a crawlspace, ask to take a peek in and shine your light around just to make sure what you can see is okay.
ALWAYS locate the main valve on each and every call! It not only gives good value to the customer, it also is a means of furthering the value of your call, if not just for the information you impart as to how to shut it off if needed. And, five times out of ten, you'll get a main water valve replacement off the call!
Make sense?
 

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I just tell the customer to turn the water off at the main for me, I never mess with the valves underneath if I can get away with it.


If you've ever had a callback for a leaking packing nut THAT YOU TIGHTENED, or the damn thing won't turn, you don't make money that way.

If the valves are newer, yes, I'll use them but the main valve is the sure fire bet that on a rebuild you don't create a whole different situation.

I like job security but there's other ways to obtain it.
 

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two things i seem to look for (without even thinking about it now) when i pull up at a house are the water meter and any clean outs. it really doesn't matter what i'm there for, i've just trained my brain to find them i guess. if it's in the country i'm looking for a pump house or storage tank.








paul
 

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I will typically look for the main SOV on the way to the door (mild climate here). I also make sure not to remove a line if the valve is not shutting off. As a last resort I know where the water meter is and I keep a main key on the back door of the truck.

That said I have had it happen to me a couple of times. The worse one I ever had was setting finish on one apartment unit in an 8-plex which was part of an 600-unit complex. When I went to install the lav faucet the existing HW stop (compression) came off in my hand. Once I realized I could not hold the hot water with the palm of my hand I took off for the water meter (boilers on roof and no key to the ladder) which was 200 yards away. On my way I stopped at the truck and grabbed a 36" aluminum to act as a valve wrench. I opened the meter box to find an 8" meter 6' down in the hole. I was able to shut the place down swap out the stop and turn the water back on in less than 1/2 hour. I mopped up the mess and went home early as I had quite the workout.

Mark
 

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Had a problem once, an angle stop shut off compressed on copper under a lav sink, slight drip on the compression nut, thought, ok tighten it up more and should fix it, guess what, applied very let pressure to tighten up and then shut off broke off in my hands, good thing HO was right there, I held my thumb as tight as I could on end of pipe until owner could shut water off, you just never know what can happen. Come to find out the plumber that installed it tightened it up so tight it was close to the shear point, if that's what you might call it.
 

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hey ron the exact same thing happend to me i used the palm of my hand ... And of course had to be the hot side... Thank god the homeowner knew where and how to shut off the water... Its amazing how many people have no clue where any of there valves and breakers etc. are...
 

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I always find and locate the main, sometimes I shut it, depending on what I am doing, I won't **** a main to pull a toilet or to change a tub spout :)
 

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I just shut the water off at meter box ( if there is one) . Why mess with old cut offs under sinks . ? I always apologize to the HO about the no water , but it will only be a little while and this way we save any chance of a "flood" ,,,,,, They NEVER argue .
It is a nice upsale when the main in the house doesn't work ,,, They get scared and need our help ,,,,,, Smells like $$ .

Cal
 

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I sent one of my Plumbers to a home 2 weeks ago for a bathroom demo. He used a sawzall to cut into the drop in tub deck and yup, he hit the water line..... Started yelling at the very green apprentice to shut off the H2O. Of course the app had no idea where it was so the HO had to run into the basement to shut 'er down.

New company policy.... We always shut off the main when working near water lines with sharp stuff.
 

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Well I had a good one happen to me a few years back while I was working for a service and repair company that did a lot of insurance work. Okay, so I pull up to a small multi unit building in a unincorporated neighborhood in L.A. county. The call was for a leaky anglestop/supply line. I get there and there is a small drip comping out of it with a bowl underneath to catch the drip. I look all over the property for a main shut-off and it didn't have one, so I call my boss and tell him I can't find anything to shut the water off and he tells me to have the tenant contact the owner and send out the water company to shut it down, and in the mean time pull off the house bib at the front of her unit and I might be able to do the repair while the water company is in route. So I do that and and after calling 2 different water companies (damn unincorporated cities) the guy from the water company shows up, and he is smiling ear to ear, He tells me to take a walk with him and we end up in a field behind the complex thats fenced off and had grass and weeds growing about 2 feet high. He tells me I knew someday this would happen to a plumber and then paces out 25 steps and there under the grass and weeds was the meter. :laughing:
 

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Been there done that got the T-Shirt....
Had a W/C Str stop out of the floor of a customers home, she says, it has been a little wet around the W/C, can you take a look, after shutting off the stop, I notice a nice little fan pattern of water behind the compression nut, off I go down the driveway with my meter key....Noting bad on that one other thank a little extra clean up and a new Str stop.
 

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Happened to me the other day. Angle stop was leaking... Hose was leaking at the 3/8" compression side. I thought "tighten her up a bit and see what happens."

Well, the damn stop broke off and water was flowing :) The HO was right there when it happened so I put him to work on locating the shut off fast.

I used my palm to minimize the damage. Turns out a few towels soaked it all up...

Normally I don't even touch old stops cause they will leak and I'll then have to replace it. I just shut the house down and divert what won't shut off. This time it was a new stop so I was not too worried. Now I know better... :)
 

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How about a drain valve on the bottom of a heater!

I was in a Mil+ home of a promenant bass player for a band. He had a 80 Gal water heater, i procceded to connect pump to it to drain it, when CRACK....sob snapped off!
My initial response was to plug it with my hand, (FINISHED BASEMENT)
Damn, that was hot!!
After a couple sec, I yelled for the home owner to come down stairs, maybe to hand me my towel or something, so I wouldn't burn the crap out of my hand. He came down stairs and frantically told me his recording studio was in the next room:cry::cry::cry:
Then I got smart, I remembered I had a roll of shower pan liner on my truck, I was only about 10 ft from the door, He rolled it out and propped the sides up like a water slide and we drained the heater that way!
I had a 1" circle burn mark on my hand for 2 Weeks:censored:
I gave him a nice price break for his help, He told me his equip. in studio was worth 1/2 Mil $. Why he put his studio next to mech room?:blink:
 

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Ouch

There oughtta be a hug your plumber day by god!!! How many times have we come out to save the day and only get grief from the HO after it's all said and done...It wasn't unreasonable to ask for X1/2 at one AM !!
 

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There oughtta be a hug your plumber day by god!!! How many times have we come out to save the day and only get grief from the HO after it's all said and done...It wasn't unreasonable to ask for X1/2 at one AM !!

HAAHA , I like that , Hug your plumber day :)

Hehe - Let me go see if that will work on my wife , :yes:
 

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i have the cell phone number of the guy who reads meters here in town where i work. there are a few "hidden" meters and alot of old meters around here, he has saved my backside many times.
 
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