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Question DetailsAsked on 1/9/2015

What type of contract levels water meter casing that have sunk into the ground

The concrete water meter casing (box) has sunk into the ground about 3-4 inches. I would like for a contractor to dig out the casing and place it back level to the ground.

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1 Answer


Varies by area of course, but in many areas the meter belongs to and is the responsibility of the water company - call them first and see if they will fix it free. Make clear that you consider this a safety item because it is below ground surface - because just the fact it has settled is not going to worry them if there is no safety issue.

Contractor, if needed - a Plumber would be the obvious one, for probably $100-150 range except in select very high cost cities. A Handyman coupd probably handle it fine too, but you just don't know - he gets a bit rough and you could end up with a broken meter box or broken meter or pipe.

DIY solution - if you dig down in there (be careful about spiders, and if in that kind of locale scorpions and snakes) and dig around to determine if it has a bottom or not. If not, then you can just (after cleaning out the debris and dirt inside it down to the bottom lip of the box) pour a few inches of pea gravel into the bottom then grab the top edges of the box and carefully wiggle it up and down a bit along all edges alternately, bringing it up to the ground surface again - but be sure to keep the bottom edge below pipe level regardless so soil does not come in and bury the meter. Pack gravel under the edges of the box to keep it from settling down again, and in the bottom of the box to within a couple of inches of the bottom of the pipe and meter to act as a drain. To get the box to come up you might have to dig down a bit to provide a space all around it to give it some movement room, especially in "tight" or clayey soils or dense sod - just be careful not to go deep enough to hit the pipes. Do NOT get into it seriously with a prybar - prying in the box with a small nailpuller bar under the bottom edge of the box is probably OK if you are gentle but be careful about prying on pipe or meter, and be sure the box is not loading the pipe - some have notch in the bottomof each end so it can slip down over the pipe, but some have holes in the ends that the pipe goes through, so if you pry it up too far you will be prying the pipe up with it - which might break it off. Using a large prybar from the outside is usually trouble - the boxes are not strong, so much prying is likely to break it.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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