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Preparing for unexpected emergencies is one of the bigger responsibilities of homeownership, and a plumbing emergency is one of the most stressful ways things can go wrong.
The first thing to find out is where your main water valve is. In homes with a basement or crawl space, check the area where water enters from the meter. It’ll likely be on an interiorwall at the front. If you have a slab, check the garage near your water heater.
In cases where the valve is not indoors, it’s probably near your front curb or sidewalk. Look for a metal cover labeled “water.” It covers a cement box with a city shut-off valve on the left, a water meter in the center, and your home’s shut-off valve on the right.
You may be able to open the box using a long screwdriver, or you may have to visit your local hardware store to purchase a meter key.
To turn off the water to the house, turn the shutoff ball or gate valve clockwise until it stops.
It’s important to distinguish between an isolation valve and a shut-off valve. While your shut-off valve controls water for the whole home, an isolation valve allows you to turn off water to specific appliances like sinks, washing machines, water heaters, or toilets.
Check the plumbing near each fixture to find the small valve, and turn it clockwise to shut off water locally. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the isolation valves in your home so you can take quick action in the case of a toilet backup or other emergency.
At Andreas Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we know how stressful a plumbing emergency can be. If you have any emergency plumbing situation, the most important thing to do is shut off your water immediately — and then call Team Andreas.
We’re here 24/7 to repair your pipes and water lines as quickly as possible.