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Marc

IRC definition of 'Accessible'

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P2903.9.1 Service valve. Each dwelling unit shall be provided with an accessible main shutoff valve near the entrance of the water service. The valve shall be of a full-open type having nominal restriction to flow, with provision for drainage such as a bleed orifice or installation of a separate drain valve. Additionally, the water service shall be valved at the curb or property line in accordance with local requirements.

Many of the houses I inspect have only the municipal service valve on the main water service to the house. Since this valve can be accessed by use of a 'key', does it qualify as 'accessible' as defined by the 06' IRC?

ACCESSIBLE. Signifies access that requires the removal of an access panel or similar removable obstruction.

Marc

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There's no shut off inside the home Marc? Is there a water meter in the home or is it in a curb box?

Every home here has a shutoff inside the home and 99% have a shutoff after the water meter too (which is also inside the home).

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Houses here never have the main water shut off inside the house. I've never seen one with my own eyes.

The vast majority (90%) have only the municipal shut off which means if a water line breaks in the house, people scramble around the neighborhood trying to find someone with the tool or know how to open the cover on the water meter so they can shut off the water. The muni valve itself is meant to be operated with a tool, a different one.

I've opened that cover before with a bent 16d CCS nail and a pair of pliers, though the muni guys don't like it if they see me doing it.

Marc

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The IRC requires an accessible main shutoff valve "near the entrance of the water service" in addition to the water service valve at the curb or property line.

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It never fails to amaze me on how things are so different in a stones toss.

I agree. I can't recall the last house that didn't have a main shutoff in the house somewhere.

Would someone care to explain the logic behind not having a main shut off?

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Around Kentucky most of the homes have a curb stop AND a shut off "in" in the house.

Of course, a lot of the crawl space houses will have the shut off in one front corner of the crawl space and the entrance is, of course, in the rear opposite corner of the home.

I can just see some housewife crawling in there to shut off the water.

-

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Around here there is a shut of at the meter and on newer homes there is one just outside the house you can turn off by hand if you keep the dirt out of it.

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Most homes built in the last 15 years in my area either have a shutoff in the front foyer closet or kitchen pantry. One national builder put them in the garage near the water heater.

Prior to that the shutoff is usually in the crawlspace. The shutoff in the crawlspace is frequently in the far corner away from the entrance into the crawl. The crawlspace entrances are usually along the rear foundation wall or rear corners and the water enters the crawlspace along the front foundation wall. Usually a hose bib type handle on a gate valve.

1950-60's ranch homes often have a hole in the floor of the master closet. A square metal rod was supplied that went through the closet floor and fit into a valve in the crawlspace. The shutoff was in the crawlspace but was operated from inside the house. The metal rod fits into a receiving notch and can be removed if you would prefer to store items on the floor of the closet. Threading the rod back through the hole and into the valve is a tricky.

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Those of you in areas that don't have a second shutoff at the water service entrance:

Has your area adopted the IRC?

Is there an amendment eliminating the requirement?

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Sounds like folks are just happy to have running water in some places. [:)]

One day, my single lady client wasn't too happy to hear about the shutoff in the crawlspace. I told her it was a concrete floor and somebody had left a skateboard down there for her, but it didn't cheer her up. [:)]

Anyway, there was an easy solution. The copper supply pipe ran from the shutoff about 15 feet to the bathroom to supply the cold taps, then went on to the back of the house. A plumber could easily rig up a loop with a shutoff under the bathroom sink. Maybe 50 years ago, people weren't as spoiled as they are these days.

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Those of you in areas that don't have a second shutoff at the water service entrance:

Has your area adopted the IRC?

Is there an amendment eliminating the requirement?

1994 edition of the Standard Plumbing Code, SBCCI, with revisions by the state.

Just found out that it's a free download so I'm checking it out for main water shut off requirements.

Marc

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Louisiana State Plumbing Code:

610.l Valves Required

An accessible shutoff valve shall be provided on the consumer's premises ahead of the first outlet or branch connection to the service or distribution pipe of each dwelling, dwelling unit and buildings other than dwellings and dwelling units. When such shut off valve is located in the service pipe outside the building, it shall be located and accessible in a manufactured, approved, valve box with a readily removable access cover which extends to grade level...

I know that some inspectors don't write up pervasive conditions, but I think I'll begin writing this one up. Homeowner should have a way to shut off the water in case of a pipe break in the house.

Marc

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