When you experience a major plumbing emergency, the first thing you should do is shut off the water in your home at the main line to prevent any further water from spilling into your system. Acting quickly can help you prevent or limit damage from a plumbing failure, such as a burst pipe or malfunctioning appliance. Do you know where your main water shut-off valve is? It’s surprising how many people do not know where they can find this important part of their home. If you’re unsure, check these common locations.
It’s worth checking inside your home first, as most modern homes are built with the valve inside in an easily accessible location. If your home has a basement or crawlspace, the valve is likely located on a wall near the front of your home, such as in a front closet. If your home is built on a slab, you can most likely find it on an exposed section of piping in your garage or located close to your water heater.
Couldn’t find it inside? Not a problem, it was probably inserted closer to the main water. You can find it buried underground near the street beneath a metal grate that is most likely labeled “water meter” to help you find it. Lift up this cover and you should find your main water valve.
Shutting Off the Water
Once you have found your main emergency valve, simply twist the knob in a clockwise direction by hand and your water will shut off. You shouldn’t need any tools for this. However, you may need tools to uncover your water valve if it’s located outside. If your valve is locked by a non-recessed security bolt, you should be able to turn it with a socket driver or a pair of pliers to open it. If your cover has a key hole, it can only be unlocked with a meter key. These are not common, however, and most covers simply lift or twist off with no tools required.
Other Emergency Valves
You can find a few other emergency valves located near faucets or water-based appliances (such as your washing machine, ice maker, or dishwasher). These do not shut off the water in your home, but can turn it off to allow you to service one of these devices.
- Behind the washing machine: your washing machine overflows or the hose starts leaking, you can pull the unit away from the wall and shut off the water by turning the valve clockwise.
- By the toilet: The water you use to flush away your waste has to come from somewhere, usually a water line dedicated to that particular toilet. You can find this line below the tank near the back of the toilet, with the valve usually within relatively easy reach. Turn it clockwise if your toilet begins to overflow or leak, or the pipe itself begins leaking.
- Under the sink: your sink also has an emergency shutoff valve should you ever need to service or replace your faucet, or if your sink is clogged and you want to prevent damage from getting worse. There will usually be two shut-offs on an average sink: one for cold water and one for hot. You can shut both of these off by turning the valve clockwise.
If you’re experiencing a plumbing issue, Trademark Home Services can provide you with exceptional customer service and high-quality workmanship to fix the problem right the first time. All our Sugar Land plumbers are highly-trained and certified to provide you with the best possible experience at a price that won’t break the bank. We back up all our workmanship with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, meaning if you’re not happy with the service you receive, we’ll make it right at no cost to you. We also offer emergency plumbing services, because we know problems don’t always occur during business hours.
Get a free plumbing estimate today! Call Trademark Home Services at (281) 819-5852.