Meter Yoke Leaking on its valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by tk3000, May 6, 2014.

  1. May 6, 2014 #1

    tk3000

    tk3000

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    Recently, I bought a distressed property which then was vandalized (having much of its plumbing and electrical wiring stolen and/or damaged). As of now part of the plumbing is working (other parts ball valves were installed), and everything new is going to be pex with some copper.

    But I am having some issues with the yoke (support whereon the water meter is installed), according to the utility company it is a 5/8 inches yoke. Previously the house was vacant and the water was turned off. Once I requested to have water turned on again, the utility worker came over turn the water on at the street and then installed the meter on the yoke (the utility worker then indicated that everything was ok and there was no leakage). I returned to the house and found a small but steady stream leaking from the yoke valve. I was told by the utility comp that I would have to buy a new yoke, but I was wondering if just replacing the valve washers would not work (it is a typical sympton of bad washer: if I turn the valve on to a certain point it starts to leak much more, closing the valve to a certain extent will then dramatically reduce the leakage). Below is a pic of the yoke+meter (under the water damaged kitchen sink):

    [​IMG]
    (image is upside at a 90 angle)


    I never dealt with yokes before, and having to call the utility simply to have the water turned on and off at the street is huge hassle. Any insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. May 6, 2014 #2

    nealtw

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    You should be able to rebuild it but the question is ,is it worth it. It might be worth buying your own wrench for turning off the main if you can't rent one.
     
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  3. May 6, 2014 #3

    tk3000

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    Thanks for your response. Is the valve an integral part of the yoke and thus can not be replace on its own? But I would imagine that valve should to be a conventional one with a replaceable washer. There is only one place to buy this yoke, and it is a place owned by the water company. If it is necessary I definitely could buy one. By what you mentioned it is not worth repairing it, so maybe a new one is in order.

    So, I can buy a long specialty wrench to open and close the shutoff valve at the street at a home supply store (lowes, homedepot, etc) and use it myself (so I do not depend on water comp. everytime I need to run a test or something)?
     
  4. May 6, 2014 #4

    nealtw

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  5. May 11, 2014 #5

    tk3000

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    Thanks for the link. I ended up buying it a local Lowes which interestingly would online (lowes.com) be in stock and available to pick it up at the same day in the same store, but would not be available for purchase at the very same store otherwise (walking in).

    I am traveling and far away from the property, but once I arrive there tomorrow I am going to try to use the tool for the first time (I remember that the guy from the utility company had lots of difficult opening the valve with his tool). It also happened that even when the water was off at the street level a small amount of water would still leak from the yoke, which then makes me believe that the water was never 100% off (maybe the utility worker who initially closed the valve a year ago did not do a good job, or the valve at the street level is not working property [hopefully that is not the case])

    thanks
     
  6. May 11, 2014 #6

    nealtw

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    That might be do to the store following rules of the city.
    This link has information on turning off the water.
    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tII1gClSV4g[/ame]
     
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  7. May 12, 2014 #7

    tk3000

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    According to the water supply company the new Yoke that I bought directly from them should be a perfect fit for the assembly I have now, but that does not seem to the case. Firstly, they indicated that the valve of the new yoke should be upside down, while the the valve of the older one seems to be an older global valve. Secondly, it seems that there will be a need of some elbow in order to connect the new yoke to the water supply line. Since it is the main water supply I have to make sure everything is a perfect fit and works well together... Below is a photo depicting the two yokes:

    [​IMG]

    It seems that it uses mostly flared fittings, and even if I can the water off at the street there will water sitting on the pipes making it difficult to solder the copper (heater seems to suck the water out).
    Any input would be appreciated!
     
  8. May 12, 2014 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I have asked Speedbump to come over and help out.
     
  9. May 13, 2014 #9

    Speedbump

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    Neal,

    I'm sorry but this is out of my league. I am familiar with water wells and pumping equipment. City water is not in my field of expertise. Actually the city water folks are my competitors. And they seem to be winning.
     
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  10. May 13, 2014 #10

    nealtw

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    Thanks anyway Speedbump; Ours are out at the street and I can't say that I have ever really had a close look at one.
    TK3000; It looks to me like you will have to change the one fitting for an elbow. You will have to drain the house, or you will be dealing with alot of water when yoiu remove this thing.
    I think it should be all unions , no solding.
     
  11. May 13, 2014 #11

    Wuzzat?

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    For a trickle of water, IIRC stuffing bread in the pipe may hold it off long to do your work.
     
  12. May 13, 2014 #12

    tk3000

    tk3000

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    Thanks nealtw. So, even if I shut off the water at the streets and turn all house faucets on I am still going to have tons of water pressurized inside the pipes coming from the street. Actually the main water valve it is not really in a street location, more like a curb of a terrain which is now full of grass (So I will need a metal detector and a shovel to find it again). It is really crazy how such a simple thing can get so complicated because of poor design.
     
  13. May 13, 2014 #13

    nealtw

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    Some times you will find a marker at the curb that is in line with the shut off art the property line.

    IMGP6103.jpg
     
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  14. May 14, 2014 #14

    slownsteady

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    Looks like the globe valve has been updated for a ball valve - that's an improvement. And yes, those look like unions and not flare fittings. I guess you will need an elbow (as mentioned) to start things off, unless you can mount the yoke at the new angle.

    Before you start digging holes, take a walk around the grassy area. Often the valve will be under a miniature manhole cover which may be visible at ground level. Once you find the street valve (and before you disconnect anything in the house, exercise the valve a little. The slow leak may be caused by a dirty seal. The opening /closing may flush it enough for it to seal properly.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
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  15. May 15, 2014 #15

    tk3000

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    Well, today I decided to call the utility company in order to shut off the valve at the street level (curb side terrain) so I did not have to look for the right spot and buy a metal detector right away. With the piece of mind of knowing the right spot coupled with a shut off valve key odds are that I can shut it on and off whenever I need.

    The utility company worker came inside to take a look at my current (old) yoke, and upfront he said the meter was wrongly installed by the previous utility worker and that in my case I would not need a Yo ke at all, but I should use two spuds and a valve in order to install the meter; so I went ahead and bought the spuds and valves at a plumbing supply company (overall cost $120). Hopefully I will be able to return the yoke. Amazing how much misinformation and confusion gets along from people who should know better (utility company and workers)

    This guy was able shut off the water for good, because the last one who did shut off the water did not shut it off completely which then resulted in a permanent leakage at the yoke; such leak that went unnoticed for a long while (I assumed the water was properly shut off at the street) and thus there could be no leak at the yoke (too bad utility workers often can not even fully shut off the water properly). Moral of the story: never assume that the people who should know their stuff actually knows it, also question and double check everything.

    I will look into finally install that thing.
     
  16. May 15, 2014 #16

    nealtw

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    You need two more guys to come out and tell you different things, your head will explode. Hopefully this will work out, good luck.
     
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  17. May 15, 2014 #17

    slownsteady

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    Ask four people and you'll be sure to get five opinions. After all, isn't that what forums are all about???

    I guess the yoke's on you:rofl:
     
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  18. May 15, 2014 #18

    nealtw

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    I like the yoke to be soft myself:beer:
     
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  19. May 15, 2014 #19

    tk3000

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    Sure enough! I wish the knowledgeable utility worker who was here yesterday would be the one to show on at first (would have saved me lots of grief, aggravation and money). Amazingly enough he was able to shut off the water at the street level for good: not even a single droplet is coming from the bad yoke now.

    Not to mention that one of the first utility workers (two came over at once) even stole some new barb 1/2 ball valves that I had laying around in a bag. The Utility company really need to invest in proper training and profiling of his workers for criminal activity.
     
  20. May 15, 2014 #20

    slownsteady

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    I always follow around the workers who come to my house..an old habit learned from bad experience. One time a chimney sweep Co. sent six guys to do the job. I sent 4 of them home before I allowed anyone near my house.

    If the water company charged you for a call the first time, i would be all over them for a refund. Bad training, bad information, incompetent job etc.
     
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