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Subject: Main water valve replacement
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Author Messages
JacobC1
(Maryland)

Posts:6


04/10/2018 10:12 AM  
I need to have the main water valve inside my home replaced along with a water pressure gauge that is attached to it. In order for this to happen the water needs to be shut off from outside of the home first. I have contacted my HOA and they are clueless on this process. My local county public works has come out through a shut off request that I initiated as directed by my HOA. The public works stated they can only shut the water off to the entire community, nothing accessible outside of the individual homes or even per street. The public works was unable to shut the water off due to lack of sufficient notice provided by my HOA for all of my neighbors. At this point I know that the only solution is to have the whole communities water turned off for this work but the HOA is not willing to approve this. Fortunately, this is preventative maintenance I am trying to do before my main valve fails altogether but I can only imagine how destroyed my home would be if that main valve were to burst and nobody knows how to or is able to turn off the water from the outside. What actions can I take to resolve my issue? Ideally I would like to have additional water shut off valves added throughout the community if not outside of each house individually at least at the end of each court.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/10/2018 10:57 AM  
So there is no water meter outside your house near the street? Unusual but not unbelievable. How is your water billed? By a flat rate or by usage.

Water valves don't really blow up, but they could lose the ability to effectively turn off.
JacobC1
(Maryland)

Posts:6


04/10/2018 11:04 AM  
The water bill is included as part of the monthly HOA fees which is a flat rate. I do not have a water meter on my property or anywhere in the community that I am aware of or was able to locate with my plumber or the person from my HOA that I have been in contact with. The main valve isn't leaking but doesn't completely work as I'm still able to get a little water out of my faucets when I turn it off.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/10/2018 11:13 AM  
So, the flat rate bill confirms that you aren't metered, it's always nice to doubly make sure that what the HOA and PUD tells you is correct.

Now, what side of the valve is the PRV, I assume it's on the downstream or faucet side of the shut off.

A plumber should be able to add another valve on the house side of your shutoff even with a little dripping. There are other methods too, like freezing.

You could take this up with the HOA, but you could be looking at at least a grand per house to add a valve. You could also inform the HOA that lacking exterior shutoffs to houses, they are not conforming with standard practices, and they could be increasing the liability exposure.
JacobC1
(Maryland)

Posts:6


04/10/2018 11:38 AM  
Everything you mentioned is exactly in line with what my plumber said. He stated he would still be able to replace the PRV with a little water coming through but I'd prefer to have all the work done at once in that location. I've been in touch again with my HOA and plan to bring up the lack of an external shut-off valves at the next board meeting but am not confident of any action being taken on their part but we shall see. At least the leaks in my house are fixed and I'm a lot more educated on the issue. I still find it comical that the public works folks said they turned the water off to the community and 4 hours later my water was still running at full pressure and I could confirm my neighbors still had water too by testing their outside spigots. Fingers crossed nobodies main shut-off valve or line in front of that valve has any issues in their home until we get to the bottom of this.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7767


04/10/2018 3:24 PM  
Your HOA isn't one that has one water meter? It should be mentioned in your CC&R's if it is. That means that the HOA controls the water supply to your home. We had that situation where we had 1 meter for all. However, if you did not pay your bill we had the ability to shut your water off till you paid your dues owed.

I would double check that your HOA isn't one with a shared meter. If it is, then you can get in some trouble for hiring a plumber to "correct" the issue. You could be on the hook for fixing that issue. ALWAYS ask permission NOT forgiveness in a HOA before proceeding with any work.

Former HOA President
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16050


04/10/2018 3:34 PM  
Request a meeting with the Board.

Explain that this work is needed to correct a potential situation with the regulator valve in your home and the work should take no longer then 2 hours (likely less then one). Explain that since the valve feeds the entire community, the Association is responsible for notice (offer to pay for the notice). Then see what happens.


If needed, an only if turned down - as it sets a tone, explain that since the work can not proceed without Association approval, if the valve fails the Association could be liable for any damage caused due to their refusal to allow the work to be completed.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5957


04/10/2018 4:50 PM  
You've received good replies, Jacob.

B/c our HOA is a high rise condo building, in it's not unusual for water to be shut off for the entire building for certain HOA common area projects--rooftop cooling towers, for example. Sometimes, though rarely, it's shut off for many hours. Here's a notice form 4/9, which will be posted in our elevators on probably 4/13, for upcoming work from our PM:

"Building Water Shut Off on Tuesday, 4/17 from 8 AM – 8 PM:
Includes Towers & Town Homes. Please do not use any equipment which requires or uses water, including heating and air conditioning. The booster pump will be replaced. Please plan accordingly."

With enough notice, residents can set aside extra pots of water, etc. No big deal.
TimM11


Posts:218


04/12/2018 10:29 AM  
I would also contact your Public Works department again and explain the difficulty you're running into with your HOA; perhaps your city government can put some pressure on them. The HOA is going to have to accept that the water will need to be shut off for a bit to have the work done, otherwise, in addition to not being able to replace the valve, you may not be able to do future plumbing work (replacing a water heater, etc). Moreover, you're not going to be the last homeowner there that needs to deal with this -- I've had to have mine replaced too; they don't last forever -- so they need to come up with a system to manage the process.

JacobC1
(Maryland)

Posts:6


04/12/2018 10:40 AM  
The situation definitely did not go as planned. The management company for the HOA is brand new for us since it just changed at the beginning of this year. So they are fairly clueless when it comes to the specifics of our neighborhood at this time. I did manage to find out what needs to happen but actually getting it taken care of will be a whole different matter. The HOA has a single water meter and supply for the whole community, this needs to be shut-off in order to replace my main shut-off valve inside of my home. This request should be made by my HOA to the public works for my county and scheduled in advance with adequate notice provided to all those impacted by the shut-off and I would need to coordinate the plumbing work to be completed within my home during that time frame. I plan to raise this issue formally at the next board meeting to at least make those in charge aware of the process and hopefully identify a more timely resolution should something like this arise in the community. Thank you all for your input and feedback
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 10:43 AM  
Your situation is very unusual. Most commonly, the utility ends at the meter, and everything downstream is the property of the the owner(s).
JacobC1
(Maryland)

Posts:6


04/12/2018 10:48 AM  
I definitely agree that it is unusual. Despite my community being a collection of townhouses the water system is laid out like it is one big condo building. That has benefited me and saved me money when it comes to my water bill which I don't actually have since it is included in the HOA fees. However, it has made the process of trying to replace the main shut off valve inside my home seem nearly impossible so far. A plan of action has been identified so I at least have that, making it happen may be a different story.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 10:51 AM  
Who owns your "lot"?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7871


04/12/2018 12:30 PM  
Mark

If memory serves me correctly you say your whole house shut off valve is not completely stopping water flow to the house. If this is the case, could not a new main shutoff be installed between the house and the old valve? Just leave the old valve open and control flow to the house with the new valve.

Like

House.................present shutoff.
House...new shutoff...present shutoff.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 12:33 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/12/2018 12:30 PM
Mark

If memory serves me correctly you say your whole house shut off valve is not completely stopping water flow to the house. If this is the case, could not a new main shutoff be installed between the house and the old valve? Just leave the old valve open and control flow to the house with the new valve.

Like

House.................present shutoff.
House...new shutoff...present shutoff.



That would be an easy way to do it
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/12/2018 12:43 PM  
The proper procedure is to give owners 24 hour notice and it should be posted where all should see, the mail boxes. If you have a property manager, there need to be informed also.

This is not an uncommon situation, especially in a condo or townhome where water is included with your HOA dues.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/12/2018 12:45 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/10/2018 3:24 PM
Your HOA isn't one that has one water meter? It should be mentioned in your CC&R's if it is. That means that the HOA controls the water supply to your home. We had that situation where we had 1 meter for all. However, if you did not pay your bill we had the ability to shut your water off till you paid your dues owed.

I would double check that your HOA isn't one with a shared meter. If it is, then you can get in some trouble for hiring a plumber to "correct" the issue. You could be on the hook for fixing that issue. ALWAYS ask permission NOT forgiveness in a HOA before proceeding with any work.



If you had one meter for all, how did you shut off to one individual?
JacobC1
(Maryland)

Posts:6


04/12/2018 12:54 PM  
Installing an additional main shut-off valve inside my home directly behind the existing shut-off valve that doesn't close all the way is probably going to be the easiest way for me to address this situation on my own in a timely manor. That was another suggestion from my plumber that we were trying to avoid but I have to work with what I have available.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 1:00 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 12:45 PM



If you had one meter for all, how did you shut off to one individual?




You don't
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/12/2018 1:16 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 1:00 PM
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 12:45 PM



If you had one meter for all, how did you shut off to one individual?




You don't



But Melissa could. I want to know her secret.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 1:23 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 1:16 PM
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 1:00 PM
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 12:45 PM



If you had one meter for all, how did you shut off to one individual?




You don't



But Melissa could. I want to know her secret.




That's actually not what she said

"Your HOA isn't one that has one water meter? It should be mentioned in your CC&R's if it is. That means that the HOA controls the water supply to your home. We had that situation where we had 1 meter for all. However, if you did not pay your bill we had the ability to shut your water off till you paid your dues owed."

Which could mean that the development has one meter, but every house has a vault and valve.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/12/2018 1:57 PM  
Actually Mark, it would be called SUB-METERING, where you may have one master meter, but each owner has a separate meter that the HOA would bill individually.

But, it ain't what she said. She she she had ONE meter and they shut off if DUES weren't paid. There is a problem with that!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7767


04/12/2018 3:23 PM  
The HOA had the one meter. Each house had a shut off valve. So if an owner did not pay their dues, the shut off to their home was turned off and locked. The water still flowed to the other homes.

When I moved in, this had been changed. They had already paid to have separate meters to each house. There was a special assessment of $300 for everyone to have their own meter. The water company then came in and put meters on each home. We also had to turn over our streets to be public for maintenance purposes for the water utility.

Now one of my first tasks was to gather signatures to change our documentation to reflect this change. We had to change it to reflect the HOA no longer paid for water nor do they turn off water access if not paid. The dues did get reduced about 25% when that change was made.

So yes the HOA had a meter and then shut off valves for each home with the ability to lock. The homes did not have an actual meter.

Former HOA President
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 9:08 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 1:57 PM
Actually Mark, it would be called SUB-METERING, where you may have one master meter, but each owner has a separate meter that the HOA would bill individually.

But, it ain't what she said. She she she had ONE meter and they shut off if DUES weren't paid. There is a problem with that!




Actually you're wrong. There is no need for a detached residence with a valve outside near the street, on a development metered by a single meter to be sub-metered.

I know of HOA's (and smaller water districts and public improvement districts) that the individual homes were not metered, but they recieved bi-monthly water bills (via the HOA in one instance), and could have their service ended for non payment.

It worked like this: say the HOA has 101 effective connection (100 homes and one connection to the association for watering, the pool and what ever else). The total bill is variable because of seasonal demand, and the association pays the entire bill. They then act as a retailer and divide the gross bill by 100 and bill the members. The HOA community use is absorbed into those 100 bills.

The associations chose to go this route because if the water bill was part of their monthly dues, rate increases would play havoc with the board needing to vote on each raise solely because of rising water rate/useage.

There ya go ion a nutshell
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/12/2018 9:21 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 9:08 PM
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 1:57 PM
Actually Mark, it would be called SUB-METERING, where you may have one master meter, but each owner has a separate meter that the HOA would bill individually.

But, it ain't what she said. She she she had ONE meter and they shut off if DUES weren't paid. There is a problem with that!




Actually you're wrong. There is no need for a detached residence with a valve outside near the street, on a development metered by a single meter to be sub-metered.

I know of HOA's (and smaller water districts and public improvement districts) that the individual homes were not metered, but they recieved bi-monthly water bills (via the HOA in one instance), and could have their service ended for non payment.

It worked like this: say the HOA has 101 effective connection (100 homes and one connection to the association for watering, the pool and what ever else). The total bill is variable because of seasonal demand, and the association pays the entire bill. They then act as a retailer and divide the gross bill by 100 and bill the members. The HOA community use is absorbed into those 100 bills.

The associations chose to go this route because if the water bill was part of their monthly dues, rate increases would play havoc with the board needing to vote on each raise solely because of rising water rate/useage.

There ya go ion a nutshell



How would you turn off the water to one delinquent homeowner as was stated.

I know the different ways to bill for utilities, as I also own a water/utility billing company.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 9:38 PM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 04/12/2018 9:21 PM




How would you turn off the water to one delinquent homeowner as was stated.

I know the different ways to bill for utilities, as I also own a water/utility billing company.




Turn the valve and throw a lock on it.

What's so incredibly hard to get?
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:394


04/12/2018 9:41 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/12/2018 3:23 PM
The HOA had the one meter. Each house had a shut off valve. So if an owner did not pay their dues, the shut off to their home was turned off and locked. The water still flowed to the other homes.


So yes the HOA had a meter and then shut off valves for each home with the ability to lock. The homes did not have an actual meter.




Richard, I don't get why you can't understand this.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/12/2018 10:01 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 04/12/2018 9:41 PM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/12/2018 3:23 PM
The HOA had the one meter. Each house had a shut off valve. So if an owner did not pay their dues, the shut off to their home was turned off and locked. The water still flowed to the other homes.


So yes the HOA had a meter and then shut off valves for each home with the ability to lock. The homes did not have an actual meter.




Richard, I don't get why you can't understand this.



Have you ever done it?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7767


04/13/2018 12:27 AM  
Think Richard just wants to argue with everything I state. So doesn't matter. The fact is that there was shut off valves for everyone's home. The board voted to turn off water to those who did not pay. One member would go to the shut off valve in front of the home with a pipe wrench and a lock. There was NO meter! Just a shut off.

When we switched to individual meters, that is when everyone got an actual water meter. It was part of the expense.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7871


04/13/2018 4:16 AM  
I for one would not trespass on ones property to lock a valve closed that is unless I want a butt full of buckshot.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7767


04/13/2018 4:34 AM  
The shut off was located in front yard about a foot from the road. They would wait till someone went to work. Plus our HOA is set up that the land around your home is Common Area owned by the HOA. You only owned the house and the lot it sat on. So there was no trespassing situation in our set up. Plus that shutoff valve was owned by the HOA.

I moved in shortly after they changed this situation. So I did not do it. However, my other board members had.

Former HOA President
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/13/2018 7:20 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/13/2018 4:16 AM
I for one would not trespass on ones property to lock a valve closed that is unless I want a butt full of buckshot.



Amen brother
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3139


04/13/2018 7:20 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 04/13/2018 4:16 AM
I for one would not trespass on ones property to lock a valve closed that is unless I want a butt full of buckshot.



Amen brother
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