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I have two of these valves, one before and the other after my water meter in my home. This is a building with multiple apartments in New York City (not sure if it helps).

I would like to replace my water heater but need to shut off the water supply to do so, not sure if these valves are safe to use or old and due for replacement.

Can someone tell me what kind of valves these are and a rough guess as to when they may have been installed?

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I believe it would be called a "block and bleed" cock in industry. "Cock" because it is a 90 degree turn off/on. And the B & B because the small ( 1/2 " ?) knob on the lower part will open to bleed a line when the cock is closed. That of course , assumes that the supply is coming from the top pipe in the view.

  • Water is coming up from bottom (where you can sort of see the meter) then through this valve and then further up to the ceiling. From there it goes to the back of the basement where the hot water heater tank is located. How old do you think this valve is? The meter looks fairly new, sticker says 2009. But not sure about the valve. – heapoverflow Oct 22 at 0:04
  • I see. So when the valve is closed , the bleed will release pressure in the meter and it can be removed/replaced. – blacksmith37 Oct 24 at 22:08
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At least on every NYC water heater I've ever seen, there's a shutoff for the cold water near the water heater. With luck, you'll even have a shutoff for the hot water nearby as well.

Shutting just the water heater down is far less disruptive to the other tenants, and also means you won't have to bleed every fixture.

My advice is to look harder.

  • If he shuts off the water to or from his water meter, that won't disrupt other tenants (or do NYC tenants sometimes share a common water meter?) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 21 at 7:35
  • Most buildings have one service line and one water meter -- apartments don't use much water, water is still pretty cheap, and water meters are relatively expensive to install and maintain. – gbronner Oct 21 at 15:36
  • I see. My Swiss apartment has an individual water meter. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 21 at 16:18
  • New York is blessed with a vast reservoir system drawing from a geography that is almost as large as Switzerland, and where the water flows downhill due to gravity and for the most part does not need filtration or much treatment. Current pricing is something like 700 liters / $1USD, but minimum pricing is $1.27/day. So adding more water meters would cost a lot more here -- water and heat are generally included in the price of rent. – gbronner Oct 21 at 18:27
  • @gbronner Yes, but the valve on the water heater is too close to the water heater and I want to redo it and place it about a foot further away. No idea why a plumber would install it literally a few inches above the tank itself. Could have installed it a foot away and wouldn't have been more work for them. – heapoverflow Oct 22 at 0:05

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