I installed a new mini bar sink and since the last guy had no clue what he was doing and messed it up royally, I had to do a lot. Long story short, I needed to shut off the main water supply to the house so I could hook up the hot and cold water to my new sink. The first problem was finding it.
I looked everywhere, in every room, in every closet, in every space, in the attic, in the garage, on the outside of the house, and finally I was just plain stumped. (I realize how looking for it in all those places makes me look stupid because as we all know it should only be in about 2-3 different places but when it wasn't in the obvious spots, I could only assume it was somewhere else).
I asked the neighbor if he knew and he explained that it is under the ground by the curb in front of my house. How convenient! This was new for me because where I grew up every single house has a main water shut off on the inside, you don't have to go outside or open up a cover to find it under ground, it's usually just in your basement or where your water heater is located.
You can call the water company anytime, as they told me when I called them, and they'll come out and take off the cover and turn the water off for you but let's face it, that isn't very practical. So get this special key so you can do it yourself anytime you want. Besides, it is your water, your house, you should be able to turn it off if you want without the water company's say so.
FINALLY, I can open up the cover and get into that pesky shut off valve. NOPE. My key wouldn't work and I had no idea why. It was the right shape and it fit in and even turned but it just plain wouldn't open this cover. Now I was mad. I called up the water company and demanded that they come out and open up this stupid cover immediately! (not how actual phone call went) They were really nice about it and sent a guy out and in 15 mins. he was here.
I hate to say it but I really wanted to be a smug jerk and have him NOT open this cover, the same way I wasn't able to, just to make myself feel better. I really prepared myself for when he couldn't open it to squat down to his level, point right in his face and scream out, "HA!!!" Well the water company man bent down on one knee, entered his key, (looked identical to mine) and I squinted my eyes and smirked, he turned his key, (just as mine turned in the hole) he lifted and, THE COVER CAME OFF. My jaw dropped to the ground and I wanted to smack him. I didn't understand what I did wrong. He turned off the water and said to call him back when I wanted it turned on again.
I couldn't let him get away and I asked if he would try MY key because I couldn't open it. He said sure and I got my key and gave it to him. Sure enough try as he might, he couldn't open it either! I felt so much better. He looked at it and scratched his head and tried it again and took out his key and looked at it and scratched his head and finally he found the problem...
Now the key fit and turned perfectly but the cover remained locked. I had to pull the key to the side and THEN it worked. Just play around with your key and you'll get it too, use it like a joystick. Once off it becomes much simpler! UNLESS...that is of course, you don't have the next important tool. I am rolling my eyes people.
I then turned the water back on and closed up the cover WITH MY OWN KEY. I called the water company and told them I wouldn't be needing them to come back to turn on my water. Yes, partly to be courteous but mostly to be a smug jerk that didn't need their help. (Although I had already gone crawling to them for help earlier in the day).
I hope this helped someone because the last I checked there is nothing else on the internet like this. So if you're having the same issues, perhaps this helped you.