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Cost of moving water meter, is it reasonable?


friend of stouby

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We are situated on a gentle slope with the rear of our longere facing up hill.

This summer's job has been to dig out the soil along the rear of the house to reduce the dampness in every room.

The exterior soil has been taken down to interior floor level and then will slope up over 5m to the existing soil level.

The depth of soil removed was on average 60cm.

It occurred that the incoming mains water would no longer have the minimum covering of 80cm recommended for this area once the soil was removed, so called SIVOM for advice. They turned up the same day! in fact 3 1/2 hours after the phone call with lunch in between!

A very pleasant and helpful engineer measured the depth of the water main at the entry point into our kitchen at the new soil level, it is 43cm. He advised that as the current manhole with the mains cut off valve was only 3m behind the house that we moved the meter (currently the other side of the wall in the kitchen) to a new manhole further away from the house and then we lay a new entry main into the house deeper than currently.

So we agreed on 8m from the back of the house for a new manhole with new meter and a valve for us to be able to turn off the water supply to the house.

He gave a verbal estimate (his words on the high side) of 480 - 500 euros TTC estimating up to 1/2 of a day's work. Access is very good and loads of space to work in so no restrictions there.

He also said at that point it was up to us to arrange for the supply from the manhole to be buried deeper or to re-cover the pipe area with stone or soil to give the 80cm depth.

The devis has arrived at 666.75 euros TTC.

It has occurred that as we are trying to improve the interior dampness that they may be responsible to lower the incoming pipe (providing the meter stayed in the kitchen) but not sure on that.

Does the amount of the devis received appear reasonable to most of you or has He thought that we would agree to any price and added a bit?

Thanks
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My experience of utilities is that their charges are not open to debate or negotiation, the cost of moving my electricity meter (a shorter distance and all above ground) was nearly 3 times this, and to move my water meter just the other side of a wall similarly expensive. It would have given the utilities easier access to read meters but since I've left them as they were they don't have this benefit.
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[quote user="friend of stouby"]

It has occurred that as we are trying to improve the interior dampness that they may be responsible to lower the incoming pipe (providing the meter stayed in the kitchen) but not sure on that. [/quote]I can fully appreciate what you have done and why but I can't imagine why you might think that the water company are in any way responsible for rectifying the situation with the depth of the water pipe when it has come about entirely by your doing, it's not as though their pipe was the source of your damp problem.

You can always ask but I think that will be a complete non starter !

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I think it is because the engineer repeated time and again that our responsibility started as soon as the pipe left the tap after the meter and we had to take that responsibility seriously. It's more in hope than expectation that they take their responsibility as serious as apparently as we have to,  whatever we do to improve the conditions inside the house.

We didn't ask for the meter to be moved it was at the suggestion of SIVOM, although to be fair it was our choice to lower the ground level.

 

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Val, we didn't do any of the work ourselves as it's a second home, but it involved several metres of new pipe being laid from the old external turn-off point to the new meter and the old internal meter being removed. I didn't think the cost was too bad.
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I would be tempted to 'repair' a leak that may have resulted from the revised ground level. Although I suspect the authority would not want you touching anything 'their' side as you could just as easily trepan a new unmetered connection into the line.  What you could do is run a new pipe in  a trench up to their suggested meter location and have them connect it.
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Moving/altering/replacing the pipework on the incoming side of the meter seems like a lot of fun. Since you have no way of stopping the flow, you could very quickly find yourself in a great deal of hot (that is cold in your case) water.

Or are you one of those rare and fortunate souls with a stop-coque* in the road?

(* If I spell it properly, it will be replaced by nanny with a line of ****'s)

p

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BM

They haven't quoted to run pipe from the new meter to inside of the house.

The words were " you will have a continuous supply except for the moment we are conecting the new tap and external meter. To lay a new deeper pipe from the new meter to inside the house you will have to hire you own plumber " . So digging a trench wont lower the cost of installing a new meter and manhole, they will only be breaking into the existing water main not replacing it.

GP

Not sure if we have an external stop coque (great phrase). 3 m upstream of the meter/house is a circular manhole with a concrete lid. In the centre of the lid is a mini cast iron manhole lid which lifts out. The diameter of this (about 80mm?) is the same as a tube which appears to run down to the water main, but it is so narrow that it's difficult to tell if a tap is there or not. For some strange reason my torches wont give a good light right on the base so will rig up something powerful to light the tube to the bottom (is that allowed?).

So at the moment we may or may not be fortunate?

Thanks everybody for your input.
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