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Finding Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

Finding Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

Imagine coming home or walking into a room and finding a rush of water at your feet.

Instant panic.

Water is one of the most destructive elements in a home. Time is of the essence to stop the problem before it continues to escalate. But in order to do that, you have to start at the beginning. If a pipe burst, the only way to stop the water flow is by turning off the main water shutoff valve. And if you don’t know where it is, it can take precious moments to find it.

After the water enters your property and passes through city installed valves, it comes to what is known as the main shutoff valve in your home. The main shutoff valve probably has one of two designs:

Gate Valve – Gate valves are reliable and last for years. However, they can be difficult to turn if they haven’t been touched in a while. To keep it operating effectively, schedule moving it into your normal household routine to ensure it will be working properly in the event of an emergency.

Ball Valve – Usually used within homes that have plastic or copper main water pipes leading into the home. A ball valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close, turn it clockwise a quarter turn, so it’s at a right angle to the pipe.

You’ll find the main water shutoff valve in several different places, based on the construction of your home.

Basement – the shutoff valve is typically located near the front foundation wall, and will be within 3 to 5 feet of where the main water line enters.

Crawl Space – the shutoff valve will typically be located near the water heater or the kitchen sink, or be somewhere within the crawl space. If it is difficult to get to, you may consider a secondary valve located in the living space for easy access.

Slab – the shutoff valve is typically near the water heater or the kitchen sink, but could be anywhere in the house.

If you haven’t done so in the past, now is the time to find your water main shutoff valve and make sure it’s fully operational. Ensure everyone in your home knows where it is and how it works.

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