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We have 2 outdoor faucets that are not connected to our main shut off. I have to call the city to come and turn it off the water in order to do some work on those specific faucets every single time.

I asked one of the employees that works at the city if that was common, he claimed he'd never heard of that before.

Is there some other main shut off valve i'm missing? What could be the deal here? Why are there 2 (if I remember correctly it being '2') outdoor pipes not connected to the main shut off?

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  • Is your main shutoff at the meter or at the house? Often times houses have both. I could see there being a split before the main house shutoff, I've seen for example sprinkler systems being tee'd off before the main house line.
    – redlude97
    Nov 2 '21 at 18:10
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    What country/city are you in? Do you have a water meter? Does it spin when you turn these two taps on? Do you have a well, pond or lake in addition to city water that might be supplying these two faucets? Are they attached to your main house or are they remote?
    – jay613
    Nov 2 '21 at 18:10
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    I'm curious... you can't turn off the meter on your own? You have to call someone to do that? What's your location?
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 2 '21 at 18:18
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    @OutdatedComputerTech you are not being asked for street name and number, but just enough to be able to help you.
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 2 '21 at 20:10
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    The long tool to shut off the water at the meter is called a "curb key". You can pick one up at your local big-box DIY store for under $20. I've got one hanging in my garage, just in case. Also, unless you live in a town of 2 houses, giving the town name won't reveal anything. I mean, I can tell you I live in Indianapolis, IN - are you going to knock on my door tomorrow?
    – FreeMan
    Nov 3 '21 at 11:44
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Is it possible outside hose bibs are not controlled by the main house shut off? Yes and not totally uncommon I have worked on a few homes that the house main shut off turned off the inside water off, in some cases the house was plumbed that way in others a change once city water replaced well systems. I have a “pickle fork” on a 3’ shaft to close the valves most that are deep are a simple X not hard to make and then you can shut off your own water. The other way is to freeze the pipe, I use dry Ice packed around the pipe when the shutoff valve fails a lot less headache than calling the city at least in my experience.

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  • assuming the incoming water is via copper, how do you keep the pipe from freeze splitting if you use dry ice to freeze a section of water pipe?
    – Milwrdfan
    Nov 3 '21 at 21:47
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    @Milwrdfan the dry ice freezes a local section of pipe - the frozen part might be only a few inches long. I think splitting happens only when a larger length of pipe freezes and there's no place for the ice to expand into.
    – Greg Hill
    Nov 3 '21 at 21:58
  • Greg is correct there are commercial Refridgeration units that freeze a section of pipe, in my area many grocery stores have dry ice so 5-10$ each time and that left enough for other “fun” that the kids loved is much cheaper than a single use expensive tool.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 4 '21 at 1:29

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