At the moment, my mains water supply to connected to a very old supply that comes in under the back garden and in through the back of the house. I have not found an shut off value in the garden. I plan to replace it with the newer mains supply that comes up the street. But the will not be for the next few months.

I tried tuning the stopcock in the photo, but stopped before the water shot off -- I didn't want to break it.

In the meantime, I want to know: should I replace the stopcock or just leave it? If I replace it, is it possible for a plumber to replace without a way to shut the water off before it gets to the stopcock?

I am a bit worried. As you can see, it looks quite old and twisted.

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The "twisted" or bent aspect is the pipe it's connected to, not the valve.

If you are replacing with a new supply in a few months there's not a particularly strong incentive to replace it now, but it can be done.

There are various approaches to "no valve upstream" - one of the more common ones these days is to freeze a short section of the pipe temporarily. But there's probably a valve where it branches off the city/town supply.

Use a 1/4 turn ball valve for the new valve - they work better long-term in this service.

  • If a plumber were to freeze a short section of the pipe, he would have to do that before the valve. So, would that mean he would need to dig into the wall (i.e. under the garden) to get to a section of pipe that he could freeze. Is that correct? That sounds like a big job. Is it?
    – Craig
    Nov 30 '21 at 16:29
  • Depends on how deeply buried and how hard to find it is.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 30 '21 at 16:30
  • Another way may work for you - piggyback a new valve over the existing if the existing valve can restrict the water to a trickle.
    – r13
    Nov 30 '21 at 17:18
  • The most common failure of these is that you manage to close them, and then the actuator breaks off the gate, so you can't open them again, which would be a problem if adding a valve after it. There's also very limited space available to try that.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 1 '21 at 23:44

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