Finding Your Water Shut-Off Valve Before An Emergency Occurs
This is not a rhetorical question? When the water is pouring into your home from a broken pipe or valve, this is not the time to be asking yourself this question. Taking the time now to locate your main shut-off valve can save you from significant water damage in case of an emergency.
Many types of plumbing emergencies call for turning off the main water supply to your home. So knowing where this valve is located and being able to get to it quickly is very important.
Where To Look
If your home has a basement or crawlspace, the shut off valve is probably located on a wall near the front of your house. If your home is built on a slab, check in the garage or near the water heater for the shut off valve. If you are on a well, the shut-off valve is often near the pressurized water tank.
If the water main shut off valve is located outside, it will be buried underground near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush with the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled “water meter” to help you identify it. Under this cover is the water shut off valve. Removing these metal covers often requires special tools. You’ll need to obtain these tools in order to get to your shut-off valve quickly.
Exercise These Valves
It is not a good time to find out that you can’t turn off your main water valve because it is corroded and won’t turn. Shut-off valves can come in a couple of different configurations. One looks like a handle you pull down on, the other is a knob you turn. Take the time now to go operate the valve so you know it is in good working order.
How to Shut Off Other Water Valves
When minor plumbing problems strike, you don’t need to shut off the water to the whole house –simply turn the valve behind the appliance or fixture that needs repair. These are located ….
Behind the washing machine: If the washer hose starts leaking or the appliance overflows, limit water damage by pulling the unit away from the wall and turning the shut off valve behind it clockwise.
- By the toilet: Whether your toilet is overflowing or you need to replace a leaky flapper, stop the flow of water by turning the shut off valve (located on the wall behind the toilet) clockwise.
- Under the sink: Before you repair or replace a faucet, turn off the water supply found underneath the sink, both hot and cold water lines.
Don’t Be the Only One Who Knows
Now that you have located your shut-off valves, make sure others in your household know as well where to find them. Not knowing when a plumbing emergency may occur, you’ll want other family members to be able to react quickly to prevent significant water damage to your home.