Outside Water Stop cock in the drive filling with water


Postby Lancastrian » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:31 pm

About twelve moths ago a contractor resurfaced the drive and renewed the outside water stop cock area - the on and off turn key is about 2 and a half feet down and there is the usual metal hinged lid covering it.
I noticed recently that water was seeping out of the lid and when I lifted the lid the narrow pit at the bottom of which is the water stop cock is full of water.
What is the remedy
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Postby rosebery » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:50 pm

How long the contractor guarantee his work for? If still under guarantee - his problem to find a remedy - if it his fault that is.

Is the stop cock your property or your water board? It's usually the water board's. If it is did the contractor have their permission to replace it? If its theirs then they will come and replace it after your phone call.

Cheers
Last edited by rosebery on Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rosebery
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Postby plumbbob » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:44 pm

Firstly, check other stoptaps to nearby properties to see if they are full of water too as this may be the case if ground water is causing the problem.

If they are dry then you have a leak in the supply pipe somewhere. Contact your local water company and they will identify if the leak is your responsibility or theirs.
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Postby Lancastrian » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:23 pm

Thank you rosebery & plumbob.
The situation is slightly complicated by the fact that we live down an unadopted drive which serves 3 houses including our own.
The drive belongs to one of the other houses subject to our rights of way etc so it wasn't our contractor who did the work on the shared drive.
I have been in touch with the neighbour who owns the drive and he will ask the contractor to inspect ASAP.
The stopcock is definitely our responsibility and not the Water Boards as the water board’s responsibility ends 70 yards away up the drive . From that point the 3 houses have separate supplies under the drive .
Next door's stop cock is dry but is many yards away from ours at a different level and there are some steps in between.
The stop cock for the third house which is not far from ours and on a similar level is jammed shut so I couldn't inspect as it doesn't belong to me.
The third house did have a lot of ground work done in the last twelve months and the configuration of the unadopted drive was altered considerably when it was resurfaced.
In fact our immediate neighbour complained that the work at the third house had altered the water table and caused excess water to accumulate in his garden
Hopefully the contractor will be able to identify the problem.
Many thanks for your help as your advice will help me to understand whatever the contractor says.
Lancastrian
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Postby Lancastrian » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:21 pm

Met neighbours contractor on site and he confirmed there is no leak and that it is not unusual for stop cock chambers to fill with water.
He says he encased the stop cock in a vertical 4 inch drain pipe and that the reason for it filling up with water is that it is non porous and the water can't get away - He was not particularly interested and offered no solution and was not helpful.
Before our neighbour employed him to reconfiure the shared drive our stop cock was close to the surface and not encased in a drain pipe and I could turn it off by handand so could my wife if need be.
After reconfiguration it finished up 2 and a half feet down and I had to buy a turnkey.
Problem is I can't see the tap for water so it is difficult engaging the tap with the key in case of emergency and would be impossible for my wife.
We asked him to preserve our stop cock before he reconfigured the drive.
The drive was surfaced with chippings and the neighbour had it dug out and tarmacced and the contracxtor in so doing raised the height of the lane where our stop cock was
Could he have arranged it so our stop cock was still near the surface or was this impossible because he raised the level of the ground above it - seems to me as a layman that our stop cock is now below the water level.
Is there any remedy or are we stuck with it.
Lancastrian
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Postby rosebery » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:05 am

"Met neighbours contractor on site and he confirmed there is no leak and that it is not unusual for stop cock chambers to fill with water."

Did you ask him why the others aren't? How did he confirm there is no leak? Did he actually chack or did he just say so without doing anything?

"He says he encased the stop cock in a vertical 4 inch drain pipe and that the reason for it filling up with water is that it is non porous and the water can't get away - He was not particularly interested and offered no solution and was not helpful." If only yours is filling up there is a leak or he has altered the surface water drainage The contractor can't have it every way.

"Problem is I can't see the tap for water so it is difficult engaging the tap with the key in case of emergency and would be impossible for my wife."

It is often the case that you have to ferret about with the key because you can't actually see the valve and do it by feel.


"We asked him to preserve our stop cock before he reconfigured the drive. The drive was surfaced with chippings and the neighbour had it dug out and tarmacced and the contracxtor in so doing raised the height of the lane where our stop cock was"

So previously surface water on the drive just soaked in. Now it has to run off. If Your stopcock is at a lowpoint the yes it will fill with water.

"Could he have arranged it so our stop cock was still near the surface or was this impossible because he raised the level of the ground above it - seems to me as a layman that our stop cock is now below the water level."

That would have meant rerouting the supply pipe. Your stopcock is in the same place it was before its the height of the roadway that has changed and I can't see how rasing the level of the drive affects the water table. What he seems t have done is changed the surface water drainage whih is inevitable changing from chippings to tarmac.

I think the problm in your other thread is connected.

Cheers
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Postby Lancastrian » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:35 pm

Hi rosebery,
Thank for the valuable input into the problem :)
With regard to the previous here are my observations : -
1. Met neighbours contractor on site and he confirmed there is no leak and that it is not unusual for stop cock chambers to fill with water."
Did you ask him why the others aren't?
Yes and he said that the other two stop cocks were not as far down in the ground to which I responded that his comment rather proved my point that with the raising of the land above our stop cock it is now below the water level.
The other two stop cocks have not had the land above them raised - they are still at the same depth as they always were.
2. How did he confirm there is no leak? Did he actually check or did he just say so without doing anything?
I was with him all the time and he didn't check anything but said that if it had been a leak the water would have been bubbling up and overflowing onto the drive.( Seems logical to me but I am only a layman ) - I have checked each day and the water is usually just up to the underside of the lid and occasionally has dropped by an inch but no lower.
3. "He says he encased the stop cock in a vertical 4 inch drain pipe and that the reason for it filling up with water is that it is non porous and the water can't get away - He was not particularly interested and offered no solution and was not helpful."
If only yours is filling up there is a leak or he has altered the surface water drainage The contractor can't have it every way.
I think he has altered the surface water drainage because I raised another point with him which I raised with the neighbour who owns the drive last winter i.e that since the chippings were removed and replaced with tarmac we had great difficulty getting off our drive( which has tegula block paving ) onto the shared drive which has smooth tarmac and the incline has been increased by the raising of the lane and we can't get the same traction as we did on the chippings on a lesser incline.
The neighbour wouldn't do anything about it last winter and the Contractor just shrugs his shoulders.
The penny began to drop that he might have done something to affect the draining away of the water because when it freezes the ice on the section of tarmac from our gate and upwards to just beyond the stop cock lingers for hours longer than on the rest of the lane - I think that the water is not getting away from under that section of tarmac which is at the lowest point.
In fact the Contractor agreed that water would be taking longer to go from there and the ice would remain longer because it is the low point.
I said he should have anticipated this when he redesigned the drive and could he not have used a " rougher " sort of tarmac or some other surface which would have given more traction but he said no he couldn't.
Do you think someone in another section of the forum would be able to tell me whether any better surface could have been applied to the incline -the rest of the shared drive is flat - no problem when I get to there.
4. "Problem is I can't see the tap for water so it is difficult engaging the tap with the key in case of emergency and would be impossible for my wife."
It is often the case that you have to ferret about with the key because you can't actually see the valve and do it by feel.
Noted.
5. "We asked him to preserve our stop cock before he reconfigured the drive. The drive was surfaced with chippings and the neighbour had it dug out and tarmacced and the contractor in so doing raised the height of the lane where our stop cock was"
So previously surface water on the drive just soaked in. Now it has to run off. If Your stopcock is at a low point then yes it will fill with water.
Yes it used to soak in before - now it seems to lie just below the surface.
6. "Could he have arranged it so our stop cock was still near the surface or was this impossible because he raised the level of the ground above it - seems to me as a layman that our stop cock is now below the water level."
That would have meant rerouting the supply pipe. Your stopcock is in the same place it was before -its the height of the roadway that has changed and I can't see how raising the level of the drive affects the water table. What he seems to have done is changed the surface water drainage which is inevitable changing from chippings to tarmac.
Yes I understand now.
My concern is that if the stop cock tap is continually immersed in water then it will corrode or jam up.
In another house we once had a problem when our Builder turned an external stop cock off temporarily whilst doing some plumbing inside and when they went to turn it on again the tap broke off still in the off position and we were without water until they could excavate and install a new tap.
I am trying to get the neighbour/his contractor to put right the two problems which we didn't have before reconfiguration of the drive but to no avail - Before we had a dry accessible and easily maintainable stop cock and a surface outside our own drive which we could get off without problem - Now we don't have either of those two.
So far the Contractor has stonewalled me.
Once I have learned what ( as good practice ) should have been done re the stop cock and the tarmac at the time and what can now be done to rectify the 2 problems I will have another go at the Neighbour/ His Contractor.
Lancastrian
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Postby acsimpson » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:15 am

Have you thought about hiring a pneumatic dril and taking a chunk of the tarmac out to replace with some chippings? It wouldn't cost too much and would be a great way to vent frustration. of course it may also be illegal and would certainly hurt relations so is probably a very unwise idea.
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Postby Lancastrian » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:14 pm

Just need to learn as much as I can about what ( in accordance with good building practise ) should have been done at the time and what can now be done to rectify the 2 problems so I can put reasoned arguments to the neighbour / Contractor ti seek rectification and so that the Contractor doesn't give me any rubbish
Not into taking the law into my own hands - Need to convince the neighbour his contractor got it wrong which as a layman I think he has - His Contractor so far has just stonewalled me - So I am on a learning curve.
Lancastrian
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Postby acsimpson » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:47 am

My comments re the jackhammer were of course tongue in cheek. I know how frustrating it can be to deal with a stubborn contractor even if you employed them yourself so to be at loggerheads with someone elses contractor must double the frustration.

I'm sorry I can't offer any better advice at the moment.
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Postby james12345 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:49 am

Firstly, check other stoptaps to nearby properties to see if they are full of water too as this may be the case if ground water is causing the problem.
If they are dry then you have a leak in the supply pipe somewhere. Contact your local water company and they will identify if the leak is your responsibility or theirs.
james12345
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:44 am


Postby Lancastrian » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:29 am

Checked the other 2 and they are dry.
Called in water board and there is no leak.
They say water is seeping up from the bottom of the stop cock chamber.
I think the contractor who did the drive raised the level of the land above our stop cock which is now much further down than the other two that he has caused ours to be totally submerged and I am concerned about the corrosive effect of the tap continually sitting in water.
Lancastrian
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:16 pm


Postby Lancastrian » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:50 am

Checked the other 2 and they are dry.
Called in water board and there is no leak.
They say water is seeping up from the bottom of the stop cock chamber.
I think the contractor who did the drive raised the level of the land above our stop cock which is now much further down than the other two that he has caused ours to be totally submerged and I am concerned about the corrosive effect of the tap continually sitting in water.
Lancastrian
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:16 pm


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