Where is My Curb Valve Box?

July 18, 2015

Most people don’t think twice about a curb stop valve box until an emergency situation, or receiving a violation for not having one. There is also a common misconception as to when a building is required to have a curb valve, and when a curb valve is most often used.

What is a curb box?

A curb valve box, also known as the water line valve box or the water main valve box, is the valve box for the water main on your property. It is a cast iron pipe extending from the curb valve itself up to the sidewalk, and a sleeve that houses the curb valve—or your property’s waterline shut-off valve— from above ground level. The device used to close the curb valve from above ground level is a “curb key”.

Where is your curb valve box located?

In NYC a new curb box installation is always required within two feet of the city curb line. The only exception for a variance to this rule is if there is an obstruction within the two feet. In this case the DEP will grant special permission based on the details of each scenario. On older water lines you may find a curb valve located within two feet of the building which falls within the old plumbing code.

Is your curb valve missing?

Many property owners inquire about the location of their curb valve box. They often recall utilizing the valve several years prior but are no longer able to identify the exact location. In many scenarios a curb valve is covered either with grass, debris, or most often with concrete. Many people have their sidewalk restored by a mason who will cement over the curb valve to make their life easier. In all actuality, it would have taken an additional two minutes to cement around the curb box and set it properly.

When is a curb valve required?

A curb valve is required on any size water line that is feeding a buildings fire sprinkler system. These types of water mains are known as “sprinkler mains” or “combined water services”. A combined water service is when a single pipe is feeding both the buildings fire sprinkler system as well as the domestic water line. A curb valve is also required on any domestic water service that is three inches or larger in size.

New curb valve installation
New curb valve installation

When would you use a curb valve?

These days a curb valve is most often used when a building is required to install a backflow device or new water meter. In many cases the internal valve is no longer functional and requires the water to be turned off at the curb valve. A curb valve is also used if the water line is broken in-between the valve and the property. Once the curb valve is closed, the leak can now be repaired without having to open the roadway to turn the water off.

Leak at curb valve
Leak at curb valve

What is a curb box?

A curb valve box is a cast iron pipe extending from the curb valve itself, up to the sidewalk. The curb box is used as a sleeve to utilize the curb valve from above ground level. The devise used to close the curb valve from above ground level is a “curb key”.

Curb valve box
Curb valve box

Curb box key
Curb box key

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