We are considering replacing the water main/gooseneck that supplies our 1920 Washington Dc duplex home. We think it is probably original galvanized pipe. While it is not leaking and we have reasonable water pressure we are going to be tearing up our yard and the laying a rat slab under our porch where we assume the water main runs, so now would be the best time to do it.

right over our property line between the sidewalk and street (about 40 feet from our house) is what I believe is the access point to our water meter and shutoff.

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About 30 feet from there and 10 feet from our house is this cap/valve. What is it for?

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1 Answer 1


I'm not sure what the first one is, but you're probably right about it being a meter. Around there they're all inside.

The second one is the city's shutoff for the branch to your home. You can see that it has a pentagonal nut, similar to what's on a fire hydrant. If you move out or quit paying your bill they use that to discontinue service. They're usually near the property line, though, so it's odd that yours is so close to the building.

  • Talked to a knowledgeable plumber and apparently DC WASA often has the shutoff close to the home and the meter close to the street. Unlike other places they are apparently responsible for maintenance up to the shutoff valve and not just to the meter or property line.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 21:01

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