How To Locate your Main Water Shut Off Valve
Are You Prepared for Water Damage?
Oh no! There's a leak somewhere in your house! You see the water pouring out; maybe it's the water faucet leaking, or maybe it's the washing machine...Or maybe you don't know yet what's wrong, but you see the water on the floor and you need to stop this right away! Quickly, run to your water shut-off valve and turn it off to stop the leak! What? You don't know where it is? But the water is building up...You have to stop it NOW or could have thousands of dollars worth of damage!
Knowing Your House
Here at AdvantaClean we work with thousands of homeowners every year, and we've seen lots of instances of water damage; ruined drywall, mold growth, warped carpet and loss of family treasures. Sadly, in many of these cases the damage could have been much smaller, but no one in the family knew where the water shut off was. Precious time is wasted looking for the shut off, and in case of a water leak, time is definitely money - money you'll have to spend on repairs.
To avoid this situation, it's vital that you and your family prepare ahead of time and know where all of the water valves are in the house. Yes, that means that even your kids should know this information, to stop a bad situation in its tracks.
Main Water Valves
To understand the best way to solve a water leak during an emergency, it's important to know that there are two types of water valves; main valves (which regulate water to your entire house), and fixture valves (which regulate water to a specific fixture, like a sink).
Typically, when you look at the water meter, you will notice that there is a main valve on either side. One shuts off water to the meter, and the other shuts off the water from the meter to the house. If you are experiencing a water leak and need to turn off the water to the entire house quickly, it's always a good idea to shut off the valve on the house side of the meter first. This will usually stop the water flow.
However, if there is something wrong and it does not work, you can shut off the valve that leads up to the meter. Usually, this valve is reserved only for the utility company's use, but if the house-side valve does not work in an emergency (perhaps it rusted out), you might not have any other choice.
Fixture Water Valves
If you experience a water flooding emergency and know exactly which fixture is causing the problem, you may want to shut off that specific valve; thus leaving water for the rest of the house. Keep in mind, however, that fixture valves do tend to drip when shut off, so you'll want to have a bucket ready.
Prepare Ahead of Time
There is nothing worse than dealing with a homeflood emergency and not knowing where the shut off valve is. By looking for the valves ahead of time and ensuring that all of the family members in your home know how to operate the valves, you can save yourself a lot of money and panic in case of an emergency. So, moving forward, add locating your home's water valves to your family's contingency plan and don't forget to review it in detail at least once a year!
Did you know? June is National Home Safety month. Check out our blog post, What the National Safety Council has to say about Home Safety Month, tips to ensure a safe and fun summer for you and your family!