Just like how it’s important to know how to safely operate your electrical panel, knowing how to shut off your main water is an essential aspect of general home maintenance. In fact, knowing how to do so in the event of plumbing emergency such as a frozen or burst pipe pipe can help save you money by greatly reduce the chances of significant water damage!
Rooter-Man’s professional plumbers always to the rescue here in North Houston and Magnolia! Our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee means your safety and protection is our top priority. Whether it’s fixing a leaky faucet or scheduling a routine inspection, our expert plumbers are equipped to handle a number of different jobs including main water valve repairs, so never hesitate to call us!
Here’s how you can find and operate your main water valve.
Find your main water valve
Depending on the climate, main water valves can be located inside your home in an area such as the basement, a crawlspace, or utility room or outside your home along a wall. In colder climates, it will most likely be inside to prevent freezing and for warmer climates it can be found outside. In either instance, it can be found close to your water meter. Look for brass valves with a handle. If the handle is round like a wheel, this is known as a gate valve. Ball valves have handles that are flat like popsicle sticks. Share the location of your main water valve with the rest of your family so they can also be prepared in the event of a plumbing emergency!
Turn the valve clockwise to shut it off
Turning the valve clockwise will shut off the flow of cold water into your home. Appliances that need water to operate cannot be used until you turn the water valve counterclockwise to restore water. You may need a crescent wrench to turn the valve if you’re not able to do so by hand. This is common especially in valves that have not been used in some time. Gate valves may need to be turned several times. For ball valves, turn the valve clockwise until it is perpendicular to the pipe. It’s range of motion is 90 degrees.
Turn on your faucets
Turning on your faucets after shutting off your main water supply may seem counter intuitive, but it’s necessary for draining any existing water out of your system. Simply turn your faucets on to open them and allow the water to empty. Before turning the water back on, be sure to unscrew the aerators or small screens at the end of faucets. That way you can remove any scale or residue that may have come loose from the inside of your pipe while it was draining.
Turning off the main water supply to your house is different than turning it off from the street water meter. Usually, there are only three reasons where this would be necessary: the main water valve in or outside your home isn’t working, the line between your home’s main water valve and the street’s has a leak, or your home’s main water valve is in the process of being repaired. While the majority of water companies allow open access to the street shut off valve, it doesn’t hurt to check with them first before shutting it off.
Street shut off valves and meters are often located in boxes with access covers and work in very much the same way as your home’s main water valve. You may need a wrench in order to access and operate the valve properly and remember to always turn clockwise in order to shut it off.
Whether it’s a quick fix, help navigating your home’s plumbing system, or plumbing nightmare, let Rooter-Man be your solution to all your plumbing emergencies and problems! Our certified North Houston plumbers are dedicated to keeping your plumbing, and your life, flowing smoothly!