Have you ever needed to locate your water shut off? Many people are intimidated by the idea of shutting off the water to their home. The task may seem scary, but it’s very simple to locate the areas around your home with water shut off valves and to learn how to use them. In fact, everyone in your home who is capable of shutting the water off should learn to do so. If there is an emergency situation where the water needs to be shut off urgently, the more learned people who know how to shut the water off quickly the better.
Understanding the Placement of Water Shut Off Valves
The water from your home is delivered in a very simplistic way. The mainline from the street that supplies water to everyone in your neighborhood has a smaller line off of it directed towards your house. Where the mainline and your house line meet, there is a meter with a shut off valve. This valve is what the city uses to perform maintenance and should be your last resort when shutting off water. The line from the meter into your house should travel directly into the garage or utility room where you will find the in-home shut off valve. This valve is typically found just before the pressure regulator.
Different Types of Water Shut Off Valves
Generally, there are two types of water shut offs. Most homes are outfitted with a handle-type lever that you can turn just a quarter turn to shut off the water. You can tell if this lever is set to allow water to flow if it’s turned in-line with the pipes. If the lever is jutting out perpendicularly, it is blocking the flow of water. The other common type of shut off valve is a knob style. The knob looks exactly like a circular outdoor faucet knob. The rule of thumb with these valves is lefty loosey, righty tighty. As old school as it is, it works. Turn the knob to the right/clockwise to close the valve and stop the water. Turn the valve knob to the left/counterclockwise to open and allow the water to flow. It’s a great idea to have old-style valves replaced when possible. Lever valves are much more trustworthy in an emergency water situation.
When to Call an Expert
It is very important to keep in mind that the water valves to your home should only be used when absolutely necessary. If there is an emergency, everyone in your home should be trained to get to the water shut off in your home immediately to turn off the water. Additionally, everyone in your home should be trained on how to operate a meter key to access the water meter at the street outside of your home. A meter key costs about $20 and can be discretely stored near your water shut off in the garage or utility room. Here is a link to a very affordable meter key on Amazon. It’s great to have one on hand just in case. After getting the water shut off in an emergency situation, make sure to call us at (425) 553-4328to help get everything back to normal for your family.
When to Let Your Neighbors Know
Some meters contain water shut offs for more than one home. If you must turn the water off at the street meter and the shut offs aren’t labeled, it’s a good idea to talk to your neighbors about whose is whose. In an emergency, it’s best to know which valve belongs to which resident ahead of time. Being knowledgeable about the street meters could prevent further damage to your home or accidental damage to a neighbor’s home.
If you need help with water heater repair and replacement call Lifetime today at (425) 553-4328