Hurricane season has the potential to spell disaster, as we’ve already seen this year with Irma. In the event of an emergency, it can be crucial to know where your water shut off valve is. This year has had one of the most active hurricane seasons to date. In case of an emergency, it's important to know where the water shut off valve is located in your home. Even outside of hurricane season, you will find the ability to close the water valve useful for sudden pipe leaks, minor repairs, and even bathroom fixture inconveniences.
There are several ways to shut off the water flow to your home. Knowing when to use each can prevent messes and save you both time and money. Take a look around your home to make sure you know where to go when a sudden, soggy disaster strikes!
The Main Home Water Valve
In cases of unfortunate storm damage, leaks in a main branch of the plumbing line, or when you need to do repairs on a fixture without its own shut-off, the main shut-off valve for the home is the place to turn. This valve controls the flow of water to your entire house and all the pipes in it.
You may locate this valve outside the home; first check under the hose spigot on the same side of the house as the water meter. If it’s not there, check under all the other spigots. It may be under the dirt or mulch accumulated over the years, so you may have to dig a little to find it. It will probably be a ¾” to 1” size pipe with a round handle valve or lever. As it doesn't see much use, it may be difficult to operate, so you may need to exert a bit of strength to use it.
If you can’t find the valve on the outside of the house, you can always turn off the water at your water meter. Be sure to have a meter key handy in order to turn it. If you're turning off the flow to the house to make repairs, consider opening the lowest faucet in your home first. This can help drain the pipes and prevent spillage.
The Water Valve for Appliances or Fixtures
Appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers often have a water shut-off valve nearby. Fixtures such as sinks and toilets do as well. These valves will cut off the water supply to only that fixture.
While these valves will be near the hookup location for each fixture, they may all differ in appearance. Valves for faucets may be beneath the sink that faucet belongs to. Dishwasher cutoff valves may also be beneath the sink nearest it. Toilet cutoffs are generally low to the ground, near the toilet's tank. Showers and tubs may have a water valve through an access panel, behind a wall, or in an access panel in the basement.
Water Heater Water Shut-Off Valves
Water heaters take in water from the general main and turn it into hot water and, thus, also have their own shut-off valve to worry about. It is usually on the pipe leading into the water heater. The outgoing pipe typically does not have a shut off valve on it. Should you need to replace your water heater or turn it off due to leaking, this valve is the one you will need to close.
If you're concerned about storm damage to your home's plumbing, or you have discovered a leak in the system, the experts at Bill Fenwick Plumbing can help. Count on us to offer you knowledgeable assistance and excellent customer service!