Letters and Miscellanies

By Staff
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The tool on page 3 in Gas Engine Magazine, May 2005, is
used to lift the lid on city water meters. The pointed straight end
is used to clean debris, etc. from around the nut. The curved end
pries the lid up. The socket end is 1 inch from point to flat for
unlocking the lid.

Jack Guerrie
2630 Mountain View Ave.
Longmont, CO 80503
(303) 772-0873

I believe I know what the mystery tool is that was shown in the
May issue.

When I was a young boy some 60 years ago, I used to watch the
water meter man come around and read meters. He used a very similar
tool to open the cast iron cover. There was a five-sided bolt that
locked the cover in place. The five-sided socket fit this bolt.
(I’ve always assumed that it was five sided rather than four or six
so it was difficult for anyone else to open the cover.) The sharp
ends were used to pry the cover up to get his hand under to lift it

Burch Roark
Spokane, Wash.

The tool shown in the May issue is a water department tool used
to remove the weather cap on residential water shutoff valve
systems. The small pick is to remove ice and dirt, etc. from the
indented surface of the pipe cap protecting the shutoff roof from

The five-sided socket is said to be unique to the water district
tools. A long rod would then be put down the pipe to the
quarter-turn shutoff valve, located about 4 feet down, below frost
level. The curved hook was handy to hook over your tool belt. I
used one of these 20 years ago, after retiring from a full-time

Robert T. Stevens
25 Canton Point Road
Canton, ME 04221

The mystery tool on page 3 of the May 2005 issue is a tool used
to remove the top of a water box shutoff. I have one and have used
it many times in my line of work. The top is set inside a collar
and has a five-sided stud holding it in. The pointed part is used
like a pick to dig out dirt or ice around the stud. The five-sided
socket is to remove the stud. The curved hook is to hook the lid
and lift it out.

Edward E. Wolfe
8 Spring Lake Drive
Newark, DE 19711

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