Closing the emergency water shut-off valve can make a huge difference in a plumbing emergency and save your property from water damage because it cuts off the water supply to your home. So, you want to make sure that you and other members of your household know where the shut-off valve is located and how to turn it off in case of an emergency, such as leaking or burst pipes.
Some plumbing emergencies are especially dangerous if leaking water comes into contact with electrical wires. You don’t need to be a plumbing expert or electrician to know when and how to turn off your home’s water in case your plumbing system breaks down or if you plan to be away from your home for a long time.
Furthermore, cutting off the water supply to your home can prevent a plumbing emergency from getting worse and causing severe water damage. Likewise, electricians in Arlington, TX, recommend knowing how to cut off the power supply to your home in case of an emergency that poses an electrical hazard.
A leaking or burst pipe can spray water onto your floors and walls and cause damage that can be extremely costly to fix. Furthermore, electricians warn that these leaks may come into contact with electrical wires. For that reason, you need a way to cut off the water supply immediately. To do that, you must know the location of the emergency water shut-off valve and how to use it properly.
Where Is the Emergency Water Shut-off Valve Located?
The location of the emergency water shut-off valve varies from one house to another. It’s usually discrete. If you don’t remember where your shut-off is located, electricians recommend checking the following places.
Check Your Home Exterior
Start by looking in the area around the water meter, which is usually located in a covered box outside by the side of your property close to the street or in front of your house near the sidewalk. In some homes, the water shut-off valve is located where the main water line enters the property.
If you can’t see the water shut-off valve by the side of your house, look for a small plate on the ground in front of your property on the side facing the street. The municipal water supply line enters your property at this point.
Check the Basement
If your home has a basement, professional electricians suggest checking for the shut-off valve near the front of your foundation wall. The main water may flow through the wall or concrete floor, and the valve is likely within a few feet from where the main water enters the area. Some possible locations through which water may flow in the basement include a mechanical room, the furnace or the floor around the water heater.
If you have a crawl space, you might find the shut-off valve beneath the kitchen sink or near the water heater. Additionally, If the crawlspace is located directly below your house, electricians recommend installing a secondary valve underneath a sink or near the water heater for easy access.
Other Common Locations
The shut-off valve may be located under the kitchen sink or beneath the water heater if your house is constructed on a slab. Some Arlington, TX, home builders install the shut-off valve in the laundry room or garage, so you might want to check those locations too if you can’t find the valve in the locations listed above.
Turning Off the Water Shut-off Valve Properly
Once you find the water shut-off valve, the next step is to identify what type it is. The gate valve and ball valve are the most common valves used to make emergency water shut-offs. Typically used in older houses, the gate valve features a round handle that requires several twists to open or close. It’s designed to be completely shut or open. So, leaving a gate valve partially open or closed might cause failure or premature wear and tear.
Electricians recommend opening and closing your gate valve from time to time so that it doesn’t become hard to turn. If you haven’t turned your gate valve in years, it will probably be difficult to turn at a crucial moment during a plumbing emergency. You want to find out before the emergency how easily you can turn the water shut-off valve with your bare hands.
The ball valve is more common in recently constructed homes. Houses with copper or plastic water pipes leading into the property typically feature a full-flow ball valve. You have to turn the lever 90 degrees to open or close it. A ball valve is open when the handle is parallel to the pipe and is closed when the handle is perpendicular.
You close a ball valve by turning it counter-clockwise a quarter turn, making it perpendicular to the pipe. To shut it, do the opposite: turn it clockwise a quarter turn, making it parallel to the pipe. The main advantage that the ball valve has over the gate valve is that it’s easier and quicker to use.
Both the gate valve and ball valve can potentially break if you apply too much force. Whichever type of shut-off you use, call a plumbing service in case it’s jammed or frozen.
Cutting Off Water Supply From the Waterline
Your waterline is usually located in a covered box at the end of your property inside an underground meter pit. The hole may have a cover made of concrete or steel. You need two specific tools — a curb stop key and a water meter key — to access and cut off the water supply from the waterline.
Both these tools are available online or at local hardware stores. The water meter key opens the cover of the meter pit, whereas the curb stop lets you manipulate the valve inside. Open the cover by inserting the water meter key into the lid, turning it counterclockwise, and tilting it toward the edge. Then, raise the lid and set it aside to access the valve.
Plumbing Services That You Can Rely on During an Emergency
You can quickly prevent a plumbing emergency from getting worse by closing the emergency water shut-off valve to cut off the water supply to your property. This takes care of the immediate problem, allowing you to then call a reliable plumber or electrician service. Homeowners in Arlington, TX, trust Tioga Contractors because we have a team of certified electricians equipped to handle all types of plumbing problems. If you have a plumbing emergency, call us now and we’ll quickly send over a plumber or electrician to take care of it.
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