Being able to turn off your water supply in an emergency will minimize potential water damage in your home. A burst pipe or backup can cost you thousands of dollars in damage and water bills. Knowing how to prevent this is in your best interest.
Step 1: Locate The Water Valve
Depending on the age of your home, the knob will be a gate valve or a ball valve. BALL VALVES are found in newer homes and are the most effective when cutting off your water supply. They form a much tighter seal than a gate valve. Since ball valves are so effective, make sure you close the ball valve slowly to avoid water hammer.
HELPFUL ROOTER MAN TIP
Switch to a Ball Valve because it…
1. …provides a fast shut-off with only a quarter turn (90° turn) to close the valve.
2. …provides tight seal even if used after a long period of time.
3. …is durable and less prone to damage.
Where Is The Water Valve?
Your water valve will either be inside your house or outside. You should start by looking in the garage, laundry room, or basement if you have one. You should also check by your water heater. If you live in an area with a warmer climate, you can check the outside of your house near your outdoor faucet. If you have looked in all of these areas with no luck, it is time to check your street. You will find a water shutoff valve next to your water meter. It will be underneath an access panel that is buried in the ground. If you need a meter key to open the panel, you can purchase this from your local hardware store. If you find yourself frustrated because you cannot seem to find it anywhere, you can simply call a plumber or utility and have them locate it for you.
Step 2: Turn Off The Water Supply
If you have a gate valve, turn it clockwise until you can no longer turn it. If you have a ball valve, you need to turn the lever a full 90 degrees clockwise.
Step 3: Check The Taps
Go around your house and open all of the hot and cold water taps. Make sure they stay open until the water completely drains. If your home has multiple floors, you can drain the taps on the lowest floor. This will pull all of the water left in the pipes from the upper floors.
Step 4: Turning Your Water Valve Back On
Once the problem is fixed and repairs are completed, you can turn your water back on. After you have done this, test the faucets in your home. You may need to wait a few minutes before water starts flowing. Make sure the water is flowing at the same pressure it was before. If it isn’t, you may not have turned the valve back all the way.
It is a good idea to make sure everyone in your household knows how to shut off the water supply in an emergency situation. Having everyone aware of where the valve is and how it works can save your home from serious water damage.
And remember Rooter Man is always ready to help!