Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Can't find main water shutoff at curb

ranzerox Member Posts: 37
I was trying to service my water valve in my house that's in the Village of Mineola and I can't find the main shutoff valve at the curb. I've looked everywhere and I can't find it, I don't believe it exists. I checked my neighbors and don't believe they have one either, there's was one on my block that did have a water access round lid by the curb though but that was it. Anyone have experience with this issue. I tore apart the grassy area where it most likely would be located but nothing was found please note. Thanks!


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,126
    Call the city or town. I think there has to be one just for liability reasons
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,766
    There really does have to be one... somewhere. Your water department should have a metal detector which should be able to find it. It may not be where you (or they) expect it at all -- and if it has any age on it it may be well and truly buried. I've seen them under sidewalks, trees, lawns -- and even the street, it it's been widened or realigned.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,263
    Here, by tradition the "curb stop" is located (theoretically) on the property lot line.
    Often 1' towards your house from the sidewalk if there is one.

    Perhaps there so the water dept. could shut off your water without going onto your property.

    But, as Jamie said, anywhere. I know of some buried 2' deep. At the far corner of the lot. Or across the street under the neighbor's drive way.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,890
    The water dept fill find it. In fact 99% of the times they are the only ones who can turn this on/ off.
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 147
    Been there.  We had new water mains installed for most of the city and the crew buried or eliminated my shut-off.  I notified the water department and they dug by hand for a day.   When that didn't work they brought in a backhoe.and I got a new shut-off.  They said the water feed to my house was really deep.  
  • ranzerox
    ranzerox Member Posts: 37
    The water department found it, gosh never thought it would be in the middle of the property line, especially by the tree. They marked it and it tested good.

  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 523
    Good! But that's actually a pretty reasonable place...
    Smack dap in the middle of the tree lawn right on the property line. Imagine that. Lol
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,263
    Thus the term "curb stop".

    So is the sidewalk then on your private property?

    When these are found I record the measurements on the inside door of the electrical panel....assuming it will not be changed out in the near future.

    Measurements are from the house itself, again assuming permanence.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,367
    edited January 14
    Now I'm curious: Which property line do you mean?

    It looks like it aligns with your stairs so it can't be the property line as I would define it. (When I think of property line, I think primarily of the ones at the sides of the house and then the one at the back of the property.)

    There is typically an easement heading toward the front of the house for some distance from the center of the street, so I don't think of the term "property line" in that direction (there is one of course, but it's made more complicated by the easement). But maybe my mental picture of all this is off.

    PS: that location is where I would have looked first, but that's easy to say in hindsight :)
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • ranzerox
    ranzerox Member Posts: 37
    I believe the sidewalk is my property, not 100%. All I know is, if someone slips because of ice I didn't clear, I'm responsible, so based on that, yes.

    Like your idea of using the panel, my memory sucks. Going to try that, thanks!
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 523
    ranzerox said:
    I believe the sidewalk is my property, not 100%. All I know is, if someone slips because of ice I didn't clear, I'm responsible, so based on that, yes. 
    Actually the liability of clearing the snow and ice from a sidewalk isn't as clear and dry as many think it is. In Ohio, at least, we have the legal concept of "no duty". Basically it means the homeowner has no duty to clear natural accumulations of snow and ice, it is a part of out natural climate. If you are in this state during winter you assume the risks of do so. It could very well be different in other states but it does question ones liability.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,561
    No sidewalk on this property so no shoveling of snow and no liability!
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,263
    If we have sidewalks they are usually on public right of way.
    The adjacent property owner is responsible for clearing snow within a certain time frame. (Enforced in larger cities only).

    So I have no public sidewalks and no requirements, even if they were enforced.

    On locating curb stops, our village has a notebook of locations compiled over more than 50 years. This is hand written. And the measure used was often "paces".
    One had to recognize the cursive handwriting because.....
    AJ was 5'6" and Ed was 6'1" so you had to adjust your own "paces" accordingly.

    Today they have a 100' tape measure.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,096
    This varies state to state and maybe town to town.

    In my area the sidewalk is a public sidewalk but I'm responsible for clearing it and maintaining it.

    It's pretty clear if you read the rules in your town.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 523
    edited January 14
    This is all a little off topic but the op mentioned clearing snow and I just wanted to point out that it might not be as clear as everyone assumes.

    Now that said I made it clear that this might be just in Ohio, but I would imagine there would be similar case law in any state in some way shape or form where freezing temperatures are a common thing. I also gave a link to an article written by a lawyer who talks about this and cities case law in Ohio. This same lawyer is now a politician and is currently the county executive for Cuyahoga county(County in which Cleveland resides) So not exactly a nobody. 

    In my city the sidewalk is public right away, and public property just like most others, my city also has ordnances on the books about keeping them safe, and specifically mentions snow and ice removal. I know because I have read that ordnance. However previous case law and state statute preempts local laws, and that is true everywhere. The lawyer who wrote that article also addressed that. By not clearing the snow per city ordnance you are at risk if being fined and ticketed for sure. But altering the state of the sidewalk as it naturally exists potentially opens you up to more liability and litigation than leaving it be. 

    Again maybe this is just an Ohio thing, but it begs the question why would Ohio be the only state where this issue has came up more than once, made it all the way to the state supreme court and was decided in such a way? I would imagine lawyers in other states defending property owners would have used the same argument and prevailed somewhere. Or at least enough to not make this a cut and dry issue! Here is more reading for your enjoyment.