header1_bgIn an emergency situation where water from a broken or rapidly leaking pipe is threatening your home, it is important to be able to rapidly respond by shutting off the home’s water supply. Learning before you have an emergency is an excellent strategy; in fact, everyone should know where the water shutoff is located in their home or apartment.

Here are some tips for finding and operating your own shutoff valve:

First, Locate The Valve

Every dwelling has a water shutoff valve which is typically located on the home’s exterior.  It may be located along any one of your outside walls and chances are good that it will feature a hose bib or outside faucet with a pipe coming up from the ground.  The house valve should be located on the pipe, between the ground and the hose bib.  You’ll see that it is either a wheel type handle or a straight handle, and it may even be marked.

Second, Operate the Valve

Once you located the valve, you will be able to operate it very easily in most cases.  There are two types of house valves: The first is a gate valve, which is operated by turning the wheel clockwise until the water turns off.  The second is a Ball Valve, which is operated by turning the handle a quarter turn to clockwise until the water turns off.

Third, Check to See Whether the Water is Off

If your home is not flooding and you’re simply testing to see whether the water shutoff valve is doing its job properly, it is very easy to check to see whether the water is off.  Just turn the hose bib on before you test the house valve.  When you turn off the house valve, water should stop flowing from the hose bib.   Turn the water back on by reversing the action you took to activate the water shutoff valve, and your test will be complete.

Everyone living in your home or caring for your home when you’re not there should know how to turn off water to the home in the event of an emergency.  There are some times when you’ll want to turn the water off as a preventative measure; for example, if you experience an earthquake, or if you’re leaving a summer home and don’t want to risk pipes freezing during the winter, you should turn off the water supply to prevent damage.

If you have any plumbing issue that needs professional help, call Al’s today!

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