Would you know where to find the water shutoff valves in your home if you were suddenly faced with an emergency? A lot of people don’t have any idea. The last thing you want to do it wait until you’re facing a plumbing catastrophe to figure it out. There might come a time when you’ll need to turn off the main water supply valve to your home. Whether it’s a broken water pipe or a sink or toilet that sends water pouring out across the floors, getting to the water shutoff valves fast can help you avoid costly damages.
Important to Note
While toilets and sinks have shutoff valves, if they fail or get stuck you’ll need to turn the water off at the main water shutoff before major damage occurs.
What Are Water Shutoff Valves?
Water shutoff valves make it possible to turn off the water on one sink or toilet without having to cut off water to others. Most importantly, they provide a fast way to turn off the water in the event of a flood caused by a ruptured supply tube, a cracked fitting, etc.
Gas vs. Electric
If you’re faced with a emergency, the first thing to do is shut off the water, gas and electric lines that feed the appliance, fixtures, or other parts of the house that are creating the problem. Besides familiarizing yourself with the location of all the valves in your home before potential emergencies, clearly mark all of the circuit breakers located in your electrical panel.
Where Are They Typically Located
Homes that use natural gas typically have two main shutoff valves; one is street-side near the gas meter, and one is house side where the gas line enters the house. In areas with warmer climates, the valves and meters are usually either outside or below ground in a box. In colder regions, they’re typically inside the home to prevent freezing.
Main Valve – shut it off if you can’t find the right valve
If you can’t find the water shutoff valves, you’ll need to shut off the main. If your home has a crawl space or a basement, it’s likely located toward the front of your home, on an interior wall, close to where the water comes in via the water meter. If your home was constructed on a slab, the valve is probably in the garage or inside near the water heater.
When you’re having plumbing problems, first try to turn the water shutoff valves to reduce the damage, and then give us a call.