Tips from Local Plumbers--Learn How to Turn off the Water to Your Home

Tips from Local Plumbers--Learn How to Turn off the Water to Your Home

Turning off the water in the event of an emergency is a skill that every member of the household should master, including children. There are usually two different water valves that turn off the water to the entire house. In addition, many plumbing devices are equipped with device-specific valves. Although this blog identifies common water valves, it is important to remember that every home and every plumbing device is different. Our local plumbers recommend that you become familiar with the way your specific valves work and where they are located so that you can be prepared for an emergency.

Main Valve Near the Street

The main shut-off valve is located near the street by the edge of the property line. This is the spot where the building's main water lines connect with the city lines. The valve is encased in a box that is buried under the ground and covered by a lid. Because the winters in Stoney Creek can get really cold, the line will be buried deep enough to prevent the pipes from freezing. To access this valve you need to pry off the metal covering and use a shut-off key.

Main Valve to the House

In addition to the main valve near the street, many homes are equipped with a shut-off valve inside the house, usually in a basement. It is located near the area where the water line enters the house. There are two common types of valves.

Gate Valve

This type of valve has a round, bumpy knob. These valves are reliable and last a long time. However, over time they do become difficult to turn. Therefore, you should turn the water off and on periodically to keep the valve moving smoothly.

Ball Valve

Ball valves are found in newer plumbing systems. The valve has a lever that moves 1/4 of a turn. When the lever is parallel to the pipe, the water is on. When the lever is perpendicular to the pipe, the water is off. These valves are easier to operate than gate valves and are very reliable.

Device Specific Valves

Many plumbing devices have their own shut-off valves, including the following:

  • Toilets
  • Washing machines
  • Water heaters
  • Water softeners
  • Dishwashers
  • Some sinks and showers

These valves will stop the flow of water to a particular device and leave the water on for the rest of the house. If there is an emergency with a particular device, try turning these valves off first.

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