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Guide to Understanding Appliances and Controls for New Homeowners

Moving into a new home often comes with a learning curve, especially when it comes to managing different appliances and controls. Here are some essential tips and reminders for getting started, particularly for first-time homeowners:


Locate the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Why: In the event of a burst pipe or water-related emergency, you'll want to quickly turn off the water supply to minimize damage.

Where to Find It: The location varies depending on where you live.

Northeast, Midwest, and Other Regions with Basements: Usually found on the street-facing basement wall.

South and Southwest: Might be inside a water meter vault in the front yard. You may need a special key, so check with your local water company.

Florida and California: Often found on the outside front wall of the house, possibly next to a hose bib.

Slab Homes: Sometimes inside a closet on the front wall of the house, often behind a removable panel.

Tip: Identify its location before an emergency arises and show everyone in your household how to operate it.


Understand Water Heater Controls

Why: Water heater settings can be confusing, especially on gas models with A, B, C, and D settings instead of specific temperatures.

Where to Find Help: Most manufacturers provide manuals online. Locate the brand name and model number on your unit and search for the manual for specific instructions.

Temperature Setting: Set the temperature to 120°F for optimal hot water supply and to prevent scalding.


Reset Your Garbage Disposal

Why: If the garbage disposal stops working, it may just need a reset.

How to Reset: Locate the reset button on the bottom of the disposal. It's like a local circuit breaker.

Press the button to reset it.

Clearing a Jam: If the reset button doesn't work, it might be due to a jam.

Look for a hex or Allen wrench that came with your disposal, usually found in the kitchen sink cabinet.

Insert it into the hole at the bottom of the disposal and turn it back and forth to free up any stuck parts.

Tip: If you've misplaced the wrench, a standard 1/4-inch Allen wrench can work.


Being aware of these essential controls and knowing how to handle them can make life easier in your new home!



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