Burst pipes are one of the most frustrating plumbing issues that homeowners can face. If the home is left unattended in such emergencies, the home can quickly flood, causing massive water damage to your homes structure and the valuable items inside. However, if you or another member of the household happen to be present when such a plumbing emergency arises, knowing how to quickly turn off your main water supply can immediately ensure that your property is safe while you're waiting for a Mr. Rooter plumber to arrive. Doing so isn't incredibly difficult, but in the heat of the moment, when water is rushing into your living room, isn't the time to make a first attempt. Being prepared ahead of time will make a huge difference in your ability to control the situation and remain calm. Follow these simple steps in order to locate and turn off your supply valve, and then show other family members or roommates how to do it as well, in case they are ever alone in the house during a pipe mishap.
Find the Main Water Valve
If you want to shut off the water supply to your home, you must first locate the valve. There are usually two different options. If you want to shut off the water supply to the entire property, it can often be found at or near the meter box. If you have a burst main line or a haywire sprinkler system, then this is where you'll want to go. You'll often need a key or wrench in order to open the box, the method of opening varies from one city to another.
If you only wish to turn off the water to your home, there is usually a shut off valve found where the main line enters your house. If you live in northern states with potential for extremely cold weather, the valve is probably located inside, perhaps in a basement. If you reside in a warmer climate, then it is probably found on an exterior wall.
Turn It to the Right
Once you've discovered the location of your main shut off valve, turn the lever all the way to the right. Different models may require different amounts of pressure or tools to do so. Just make sure that you turn it as far as you can to ensure that your pipes will be totally free of water.
Empty the Water in Your Pipes
Once you've turned off your main water supply, make sure that you also get rid of all the water that is already in your pipes. This is especially true if you are planning on doing any work on your pipes. Doing so will help you avoid unintentional flooding of water. This is easily done by turning on all faucets and shower heads in the home until the last drop of water has gone down the drain.
If you search high and low and you still can't find your shut off valves or if you have trouble turning it off, contact your local plumber at Mr. Rooter. We can send one of our expert plumbers to your home and help you locate your valves and show you how to turn it off in the case of an emergency.