Q&A: What are the costs involved in replacing a corroded water valve and are there any risks if I wait to have it fixed?

16 January 2024

Flooded Home

Question:

I have recently had some water blasting work completed at my property. To ensure my tenant was not charged for the water use, I requested a water meter reading before the job was carried out. The maintenance worker found a completely corroded water valve on my property’s meter. What are the costs involved in replacing this and are there any risks if I wait to have it fixed?

Answer:

Watercare owns and maintains all water meters, back-flow prevention devices, pipes, and other water network assets before a property’s point of supply - this includes the pipe that connects the meter box to the water network and the meter box itself. On the other side of the meter box at the point of supply, a landlord’s responsibilities and ownership for maintaining pipes, fittings and devices begin. This includes the pipe that connects the meter box to the property. The point of supply is defined by Watercare as the outlet of the meter fitting closest to your private pipe. In this instance, as the water valve is part of the meter box and it has been subjected to corrosion over time, it is Watercare’s responsibility to fix the meter and front all costs associated with doing so.

If you have a property management company tending to your property, your property manager should have full access to your Watercare account and can organise the repair for you.

For self-managed properties, you will have to contact Watercare yourself and request a replacement via watercare.co.nz. Be sure to include a photograph in the request for reference and proof of the corrosion. We would recommend you replace the water valve as soon as possible.

While Watercare retains responsibility for your water meter and leaks outside the boundary of your property, if you were to have a water leak on your property, maintenance workers would be unable to shut the main water off. Broken water valves are at risk of flooding and water damage. If a small leak were to occur undetected, over time this can lead to water damage to your property, cause rotting, and result in flooding. All private leaks that occur on your property are your responsibility to fix, with Watercare liable for leaks on the public network.

 

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