Just curious [Question about turning your water back on after the meter has been removed]

I was wondering due to my cousins circumstance about her water. She has had her water cutoff for a while now but now she is having to take her grand baby in and she is on a fixed income. So there is no way she can pay her bill it is over $500.00. The water company removed the meter so just for argument sake she is screwed,right? I don’t think she can turn it on herself without a meter and she thinks she can. Which one of us is right?

Since this may involve legal issues let’s move it to IMHO. As a reminder, it is against the rules to provide advice on how to evade the law.

I have also edited the thread title to indicate the question. Please use descriptive thread titles.

General Questions Moderator

Unless someoe puts a pipe in to bridge the gap where the water meter was, i don’t see how she could.

I don’t think your sister’s argument holds water.

Assuming there’s a complete pipe path from street to house, yes, it would be physically possible to turn the water on. But doing so without a meter (and with permission from the service provider) constitutes theft of services and she could be faced with jail or fines.

previous thread on shutting off water supplies. See post #19 there for links to articles about people arrested for stealing water.

Can she not get some help through DHS since she taking a grand-child in? Surely there is some dept. there for utility issues.

If she can’t afford to pay her water bill (the lowest of all my bills) can she afford to take in an extra person?


What kind of a mother would allow her baby to be ‘taken in’ to a house that has no running water?

If all they did was take the meter it’s definitely possible to get water to the house with very little effort for those even slightly mechanically inclined. That said getting caught doing so will hinder future attempts to get the water turned back on legally and might get her in even more er… hot water…

If the meter is pulled out … then you are right, she’s screwed … except if she has plumbing skills, and is willing to steal, then she might be right … I’d have to look to see how such thievery could be done, if at all …

Is water expensive where she lives? … $500 seems really high even if that billing includes sewer and storm drains … I’m paying $60/mo and half that is sewer alone …

Holy cow…

Tell her to shut up about bypassing the meter. Just have her call the utility company and explain her situation. If it is legit (which I doubt), they will tell her the options she has to get water reconnected.

I am continually perplexed/baffled by people who try to find ways to game “the system.” It’s not like the utility company doesn’t have to deal with this on a daily basis. Cutting off gas to the disadvantaged? Disconnecting power to the recently unemployed? Whatever…

They’ve been there, done that, got the tee…

Where I live, water includes sewer and trash pick up for whatever reason. So my “water” bill is usually around $90 per month.

You pay the back due money and get the house reconnected to services.

Then count yourself lucky that you’re not in a municipality with real home inspection laws, because that house could be condemned for lack of services, then NO ONE gets to live there until the issue is resolved.

I didn’t really say this in my previous post since it didn’t seem relevant, but since the thread has moved on, where I live, (not sure about the legal factuality, just the practice) it is pretty much in the category of “Just Not Done” to turn of any utilities to a household with dependents/children during the winter. The gas/electric/water guys calling you threatening to turn off your utility? You have to prove it of course, but you tell them about your dependents/children and they give you from November until April or May to get caught up or started on getting caught up. Trash, not so much, since it isn’t generally life threatening if your trash isn’t picked up.

I don’t know where the OP lives, but water bills run about $200 a month in Hawaii. Water is almost always included in the rent, which is one reason rents are so high, but I’ve heard this from homeowners. That’s one way to tell if you’re getting a bad landlord, if they make you pay the water separately yourself.

In my village (suburban Chicago), our “water bill” includes those things, as well, and the quarterly bill is about $250. So, if you skipped a quarter’s payment, and were on the hook for the next quarter’s payment when they shut you off, that unpaid bill would be around $500 (not counting anything extra they’d probably tack on for having to come out to hook you back up).

Interesting … I yarded up my last water bill (which is billed every other month):
$22.77 for Base Charge
$13.44 for Storm Drains
$60.00 for Sewer

$ 3.44 for the actual water …

I’m guessing they just pump it out of the river by the way it leaves my hair all shiny and silky with so much volumising body I can do just about anything with it … and the reason the water tastes like fresh pure mountain spring water is because it is … I’ve heard it take two or three years for the snow melt to percolate through the filtering volcanic soils we have around here before it erupts out into full raging rivers …

Add 7 dollars for storage fee too. Apparently the farmer with the lake on his land thinks he should drain it if we don’t pay his storage fee.

Find a social services ombudsman to sort out the situation. Many communities have laws that require the utilities to work in cold weather. If it was shut off in warm weather, the home is unfit to habitate, but the owner does not want to damage the property either, so a bill payment plan should be able to be set up.

I typically pay $60 for my water bill and other services that go with it.

It shot up to over $90 a couple months ago. Traced the problem to a bad valve in the toilet. Plumber replaced it. Hoping my bill returns to normal.