Do You Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valve Is?

We receive call’s constantly from customer’s who are in a flood situation.  The first question we ask is; Can you or have you, shut off your water supply?  If you do not know where your shut off valve is, find it and show it to everyone in the house.  It could save you a lot of heartbreak and money!

Almost all water meters have one main shutoff valve directly before the meter and another directly after the meter.  The two shutoff valves may be attached to an exterior wall or nestled in an underground box with a removable lid.

Between the water main in the street and the meter, there’s also usually a buried curb stop valve (accessible only by city workers wielding special long-handled wrenches) and a corporation stop, where your house water line hooks up to the water main. Your city absolutely doesn’t want you messing around with these last two valves; they prefer you turn your water off or on using the main valve on the house side of the meter. This valve will normally be a gate-type valve with a round knurled handle and requires several full clockwise rotations to turn off. In newer homes, it could be a ball valve.

In addition, most houses built today have small, localized shutoff valves called fixture supply stops installed on the supply lines leading to toilets, faucets, dishwashers, washing machines, water softeners and water heaters. These supply stops usually have a small round or oval handle which you turn clockwise two-to- four full turns to shut off the flow of water. Many older homes have them only at toilets, if at all. This can lead to great family discord, since working on a single drippy faucet can require shutting off water to the entire house at the main valve, leaving everyone shower-less, flush-less and waterless. With supply valves, you can turn off the water to a single fixture while fixing or replacing that faucet.

If your plumbing system lacks supply stops, have them installed when you shut off the main valve to repair a sink, toilet or appliance. Eventually, you’ll have supply stops at every fixture and your family won’t yell at you every time they see you with a wrench in your hand. Remember, fixture supply stops must be easily accessible; you can’t drywall or plaster over them without installing an access panel to reach them.

If you have any questions, please call us.  We are always happy to answer them.

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