As a homeowner, it is crucial that you know how to turn off the water to your fixtures as well as to the whole house. When there is leak or breakage in the water line, everyone in your household should know how to do this easy task so expensive water damage can be avoided.
Turning Off The Water Supply to the Entire House
Leaks can happen suddenly due to a breakage in the pipes, the water heater, or for other reasons. When you know where to turn off the water supply to your house, you can prevent extensive water damage that can result in very costly repairs.
You can turn off the water to your whole house by finding the main water line and turning the shut-off valves.
Typically, you can find the first shut-off valve at the main water line to the house on an outside wall located in the crawl space beneath the front of the house or in the basement. If your house was constructed on a slab, you might find the water line in the garage or near the water heater. When you find the shut-off valve, use your hand and turn the handle of the valve clockwise. This will shut off the entire water supply to your house.
There is a secondary shut-off valve located at the water meter. To shut off this valve, you will need to use a specialized key or a set of channel lock pliers.
Sometimes there is a third valve buried underground at the perimeter of your house near the street, in front of the water meter. If the source of the leak is at a part of the water line that is outside of your house, you will have to turn off the water at this valve. You might be able to turn this valve by hand. If not, you’ll need to use the special key or some channel lock pliers to get the job done.
If you can’t shut off the valve because you don’t have the appropriate tool or you don’t know the location of the valve, contact a nearby plumber or your water department for assistance in turning off the water.
Turning Off the Water To A Fixture Inside the House
Each fixture in your house has its own shut-off valve for the hot and cold water supply. If the fixture has a leak, you can shut off the water just to this fixture at this valve.
The water line that supplies water to the fixture is a branch of the bigger main water line that feeds water to your house. The line at the fixture level has a shut-off valve called a stop.
You should learn where the shut-off valve is for each fixture in your house. If there is leak at one of these fixtures, you can quickly shut off the water supply to the fixture by turning this valve, thus minimizing potential water damage.
How To Maintain The Shut-Off Valve
At least two times a year, you should check the water lines and the respective stops for each of your fixtures. Make sure the valve can be opened and closed smoothly. Doing this a couple of times a year will prevent the valve from sticking when you have to turn off the water due to a leak.
If you see a leak due to damage on one of your valves, contact us immediately for a replacement.
We hope this information has been helpful. If you need assistance from a plumber near you in Milwaukee and the surrounding towns and cities, please call us for fast, affordable, 24/7 service.