Why should you look for the water shutoff valve in the first place? Who cares for it? These are the questions of homeowners who don’t have a problem in home plumbing as of now. But when an emergency occurs, they won’t know what to do. You should know where this valve is located before an emergency happens. Otherwise, you might experience flooding inside your home when a pipe suddenly bursts.
Tips on finding the shutoff valve:
- Usually, you can find it in the basement, garage, or on an outside wall in your utility area.
- A valve can be found mostly beside the water meter depending on the kind of climate in your area.
- In cold climates, the water meter and main valve can be both located inside your house. They may be in your basement or other secure areas to prevent them from freezing.
- In mild climates, the shutoff valve may be installed to an exterior wall or in an underground box.
- You can also locate the water valve between the water main pipe in the street and your water meter.
- If your water line is hooked up to the water main instead of a residential neighborhood water line, the main valve is hidden somewhere, and accessible only by authorized city workers. This is because the local authority doesn’t want you to be messing around with the main valve.
What you should know about the water shutoff valve
This main valve provides full flow of water in your pipe when it’s turned on in a counterclockwise direction. When you turn it off in clockwise direction, the water supply in your entire home will be cut off. The main valve stops plumbing catastrophes like a burst pipe or a leaking faucet.
Therefore, everyone in your household should know its location, and know how to turn it on and off. To close the valve fully, you have to turn it several times. If you have a gate valve type, it can be very reliable and, could last for long. However, you might experience difficulty in turning it after many years that you didn’t do so.
If you haven’t touched the main shutoff valve since you occupied your home, you should do it now before a flood comes around. In case of an emergency you should always call a professional to assist you!