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How to shut off the water in your house – a step-by-step guide
Are you in a plumbing emergency and need to quickly shut off the water in your home? Don’t panic! Shutting off the water in your house is actually a fairly simple process if you know what you’re doing.
Emergencies can happen at any time, and if you ever need to shut off the water to your house in an emergency situation, it’s important to know how to do so quickly and safely. Knowing how to quickly shut off the water in your house can be a lifesaver, preventing costly water damage and preventing further damage to your home’s plumbing system.
In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you quickly and easily shut off the water in your home. We will discuss different types of water valves and how to find the shut off valve to your home, as well as provide detailed instructions on how to shut off the water.
Keep reading to learn more!
Types of Water Valves
There are two common types of valves found in residential plumbing systems – gate valves and ball valves.
Gate valves are the most common type of valve used in residential plumbing systems. They’re more common in older homes. They work by having a wedge-shaped brass disc that is opened or closed using a lever or wheel. When the lever or wheel is turned, the wedge-shaped disc moves up or down, thereby controlling the flow of water. Gate valves are relatively simple to operate and are relatively inexpensive.
This type of valve is more prone to wear over time and should be regularly maintained in order to ensure it is functioning properly. It is important to note that if a gate valve is turned off, it should be turned on and off slowly to prevent damage.
Ball valves are becoming more popular and contain a pivoting stainless steel ball with a hole drilled through the center. They work by using a ball-shaped disc that is opened or closed using a lever or wheel. When the lever or wheel is turned, the ball-shaped disc rotates, either blocking the flow of water or allowing it to pass through.
Ball valves are slightly more complicated to operate than gate valves and tend to be more expensive. These valves are less prone to wear, which makes them ideal for homes where the water pressure is frequently fluctuating. Unlike gate valves, ball valves can be turned off and on quickly without fear of damaging the valve.
How to Find the Water Shut Off Valve to Your Home
Inside the House
If you are looking for the water shut off valve inside your home, it is usually located near the main water supply line. This is typically in the garage, laundry room, and basement or near a utility room.
Most homes have this valve along exterior wall facing the street. If you’re looking at the basement, the valve might be at the eye-level but if you’re finding it on the ground floor, you might have to bend a bit to see it. The valve should be clearly marked and labeled as the main water shut off valve.
Outside the House near Boundary Wall or Buried near Street
The water shut off valve for your home may also be located outside, either near the exterior boundary wall of your property or buried near the street. To locate this valve, look for a water meter or access cover, which will be located either in the ground or at the base of a boundary wall. You can also watch for the outdoor faucet as it can be near that.
If you can’t find the valve near the exterior boundary wall; it might be somewhere near the water meter at the outside. You can see some access panel buried in the ground and you’d need a meter key to remove the cover and access the valves. If you find two valves in the access panel; it’s good to use the valve for user. But if there’s only one valve, you may need to talk to your water supply company as homeowners are not permitted to turn it on or off.
Turn the main water shut off valve clockwise
Once you’ve located the shut off valve, turning it off is a simple thing. You don’t need some tool or gadgets; these valves are made for simple manual hand turning. For a gate valve, you can turn it clockwise to the end. For the ball valve, you simply need to turn the level at 90 degrees to the supply pipe.
If the valve is bit stuck, you may need to use a pipe wrench or a lock wrench. But don’t try to squeeze the valve too tightly as it may get damaged. Simply grip the handle and apply pressure in correct direction by going slow. If you’re unable to apply pressure and if the valve seems seized, you might need to call a plumber for valve replacement.
Run the taps until they are empty
Once you’ve located and turned off the main water shut off valve to your house, it’s important to run the taps in your home until they are empty to relieve the water pressure.
To do this, open all of the taps in the house and let them run until the flow of water stops. Be sure to turn off the taps that you have opened once they have finished running.
Turn the water back on
Once you have completed any necessary repairs, it is time to turn the water back on. It is important to ensure that the valve is still in the “off” position before turning the water back on. Then, turn the valve back to the “on” position by turning it counterclockwise. As you turn the valve, you should start to hear a slight hum as the water begins to flow through the pipes. Once you hear this noise, the water is officially back on.
Once all of the checks are complete and there are no issues, you can use your water normally. Be sure to monitor the usage for any strange sounds or irregularities. Doing so will help you catch any problems quickly and prevent further damage from occurring.
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