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Have you ever said, “If only I had…(fill in the blank)…then none of this would have happened?” This blog is intended to minimize stress and cost and maximize efficiency and peace of mind. I am talking about your home’s emergency shut-off valves. If you had an emergency and needed to turn off your water, would you know where the shut-off valve is located? Knowing where to find your shut-off valve is only half of the solution.
Common places to look for your shut-off valves include corners of the basement, in the crawl space, in the garage where the water line enters the wall or ceiling, near the water heater, near the clothes washer hookup, or outside near the foundation. If your water pipe springs a leak, knowing where the shut-off valve is located can save you lots of money in water damage, repair, and replacement.
There are two types of shutoff valves: a main water shut-off which shuts off the flow of water throughout the whole house, or the supply shut-off valve which stops the flow of water to a specific appliance or fixture.
Your main shut-off valve in your home may have one of two different designs: a gate valve or a ball valve. The gate valve is durable and will last for years, however, after years of not being turned, it may be difficult to turn with your bare hands. Test it now before you are standing in inches of water in the event of a burst pipe.
A full-flow ball valve is most commonly found in homes with plastic or copper main water pipes. To close this valve, turn the handle clockwise one quarter turn aligning it at a right angle to the pipe.
After testing your valve by closing and opening it, the valve stem may begin to leak. A packing nut holds the stem of the valve in place. Tighten the packing nut just enough to stop the leak, but not too tight so that the valve is too difficult to turn when an emergency occurs.
Once you have found your shutoff valves, tag them so they are easy to find in an emergency. It is recommended that you also make sure the whole family knows where these valves are located. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for 2 free shutoff valve tags.
Need help finding your shutoff valves? Maeser can help. Give us a call at 502-266-6544.