Express Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Before water can enter your house, it goes through valves. Then comes the main shut-off valve in your home. When this valve is open, water can flow into your house. When the valve is off, no water can enter your house. This is the valve that you need to be able to locate in an emergency. It is best to locate this before an emergency occurs so when you’re in a pinch you know exactly where it’s located.

So you will be able to find the main water shutoff valve to your home by finding your water meter. Your water meter could be located in a few different places, but in most homes, the main water valve is located where your front yard meets the street. Look for a plate at ground level that usually says “water”, or a box at ground level. These boxes are typically 2 feet by 2 feet. Lift the lid off the box and find the water meter. Next to the meter, you will find the valve. If there are two valves, turning off either valve should work.

There are two different types of valves:

  • Gate Valve: These valves are typically long-lasting. They are sometimes tricky to twist. Before you are in an emergency, you should test out this valve yourself. Make sure you can budge it. It could take several turns to close this valve.
  • Ball Valve: This valve is used for pipes that are plastic of copper. If water is flowing into your house, the valve handle will be parallel to the pipe. To turn the valve, you will need to twist the handle so that it’s at a right angle to the waterline.

So if you have a leak at your toilet, sink, or washer there are some shut-off valves closer that will stop water flowing to just that section of your house.

  • Toilet: Look under the toilet, against the wall. You will see flexible metal tubing. Turn the handle clockwise until the hand stops. Do not force it or it may break.
  • Sink: Look under the sink cabinet. You will see two sets of flexible metal tubing. Turn them clockwise to shut off.
  • Washer: Some houses have the valves clearly exposed above and behind the washer. Turn both valves clockwise. If you do not see these valves, slide the washer outward and you will likely see them.

If an emergency happens, Express Plumbing Heating & Air offers 24/7 emergency services 365 days a year. Give us a call today with any plumbing problems that may arise.

Express Plumbing Heating & Air

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