Minor plumbing leaks can escalate into major disasters in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, while homeowners are searching for shutoff valves, gushing water is seeping into walls, carpets and floors. Pretend you’re on a scavenger hunt and map out their locations.
Main water shutoff valve. Open up your home’s water meter box and take a peek inside. Do you see the water line heading into your house? The water shutoff valve maybe inside or outside your home. If it is outside then look for the valve between the water line and the meter. If it is inside then just follow the water line from outside to where the water line comes into the home. This water shutoff valve is called the main shutoff valve or sometimes the emergency shutoff valve. If your home ever has a broken pipe or major plumbing emergency, this is the valve you’ll want to turn off.
Sinks and toilets. Probably the easiest shutoff valves to locate, they are located directly under the fixtures. Just a few quick turns is all it takes to shut off the water flow. Remember to turn the water back on, though, when you’ve finished the repairs.
Showers and tubs. Often hidden in walls or floors, shower and tub shutoffs can be a bit tricky to locate. Look for a panel on the wall opposite the tub or shower. Check in closets, too, for an access panel. Once you find it, use a flashlight to locate the shutoff valve. Again, don’t forget to turn the water back on when repairs are completed.
Don’t let minor plumbing repairs become disasters. Take the time to locate all the shutoff valves so you are prepared to keep a leak from becoming a disaster.