Among the many things, it feels like you are “just supposed to know” is how to turn off the water to your house. But, if you’re like most of us, you may have no idea, especially if you’ve always lived in apartments or it has been someone else’s domain. In any case, we’ve got the information you need to be one of those “in the know” homeowners.
Here’s your step by step:
- Find your “Main Service” This is where the water from the “Main” is brought into your home. In warmer climates, this is outside, near a water faucet, and often near the water meter. In colder climates, it is inside and at close to eye level.
- You will probably see a round handle, called a gate valve and a ball valve (lever) like Pete shows in the video, but older homes may only have a gate valve.
- Turn the valve to the off position. For a round gate valve, you will just turn it clockwise until it tightens and for a ball valve, the handle turns from perpendicular (on position) to a horizontal position (off).
What Are Some Reasons You Might Need To Turn Off The Water?
- A significant leak, like a burst pipe.
- You want to determine if a leak is under the slab or somewhere under the yard
- If you can’t turn the water off at the problem site, like the toilet or sink, and you need to stop the water at that location.
- For repairs inside the home.
- If you need to work on the pressure regulator
- When going on vacation. In this case, be sure to follow Pete’s advice in the video so you can leave the water running to your landscaping if you have an automated landscaping system.
Remember, the location is usually dependent on your climate. In cold locations where the pipes can freeze, you will find the valve inside, on the side of the house where the main comes in. In warmer climates, like ours in Arizona, it is outside where we described, but you can have one brought inside in many cases. Reach out to us if that is something you would like to have.
What If I Can’t Find My Main Water Shut-Off Valve?
Your first job is just to walk around the outside of the house on the side where your outside faucet is. This is typically where landscaping plumbing is located and it will be on the street side since the lines come straight from the municipal supply main (under the street) to each house.
If you still can’t find it, don’t worry, there is also a “curb valve” close to the street at the boundary of your property which is used by the municipal water supplier. It is in an inground box. Though you are not allowed to shut it off from this site without permission, you can call their emergency number and they will either send an emergency team member out or possibly give you permission to shut it off yourself.
We hope you are reading this because you are learning about your home in order to be prepared for anything, but if you are looking to solve a plumbing problem or if we can help in any way, please reach out to us at 480-388-6093