You awake in the middle of the night to the sound of running water. Your worst fear has come true – a pipe has burst and is spewing water all over your bathroom. While calling a plumber is certainly the right thing to do, your first priority should be to stop the flow of water by shutting off your home’s main water valve. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not know where this valve is located or how to operate it.
Step 1 – Find Your Water Meter
All homes that are connected to a municipal water supply are equipped with a main shut-off valve which can cease the flow of water to all appliances, pipes, and fixtures. This valve can usually be found next to the water meter, though the location of the water meter is not always apparent. Depending on the design of your home, it may be located on the side of your house, attached to a small post above ground, or even be hidden underground under a hatch or metal cover. Call a plumber or your water company and ask for its location if you are unable to find your water meter.
Step 2 – Look for a Handle
Once you have found the water meter, check the attached water line for a spigot handle or metal flange. This is your shut-off valve. It is important to note that not all shut-off valves look the same or can be turned by hand, with some requiring a pipe wrench or water key to be turned. These tools can be purchased at any local hardware store and should be kept handy in the event of an emergency.
Step 3 – Check Your Individual Appliances
After shutting off the water to your home, it is usually wise to check all of your plumbing fixtures and appliances and locate their individual shut-off valves. These valves can often be turned by hand, though they may become stuck open if they haven’t been used for several years. Toilet valves are usually attached to the water line protruding from the wall, while sink valves are most often installed underneath the sink. Shut-off valves for showers and tubs are usually kept within the walls themselves and may require you to remove hardware such as faceplates to be accessed.
Sprung a Leak? We Can Fix It!
If you have a stubborn leak or a major flood from a broken pipe, Duran & Sons Universal Plumbing & Rooter is here to help. With 24/7 emergency services and a dedication to 100% customer satisfaction, our San Fernando Valley plumbers can quickly get things under control and protect your property against further damage.Dial (818) 946-0545 today to find out more about our world-class plumbing services.