How to Find the Main Water Shut-off Valve

There are a few things every homeowner needs to know, including how to shut off your main water valve. A main water shut-off valve is installed in or around every home during the construction process. If there’s an emergency, you’re going on vacation or you need to turn off the water for water heater repair or maintenance, you need to know where the value is located.

Where is the Main Water Shut-off Valve?

Most water meter arrangements have two valves, one on the house side of the line and another on the street side. If you live in a colder area where pipes are liable to freeze, the main shutoff is probably in the basement. In warmer parts of the country, you’ll likely find it on an exterior wall or in a box underground with a removable lid.

Older homes generally have a gate valve, while newer homes have a ball valve. A gate valve has a round handle that you turn to turn the valve on or off. Ball valves are more common in newer homes and have a lever handle. Gate valves have to be rotated a number of times to turn the valve completely on or off, which means you have to check and make sure the main is completely open or closed. Ball valves are more straightforward and simply require the lever to be pulled a certain direction.

Should I Turn Off My Main Water Supply?

There are a number of times when it’s essential to turn off your main water supply valve. When you’re replacing water heater or having plumbing repair work done, or renovating a part of your home, the contractor will want to know where the valve is so they can turn it off. It’s also a good idea to turn the valve off if you live in a cold climate and are going on vacation to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Another reason you may want to consider turning off your main water supply is a major leak. This constitutes an emergency, and many contractors are available 24/7 for breaks in the line that could cause major damage to your home. If you experience an emergency, especially one that sets off your home fire sprinkler system, it’s critical that you know how to turn off the main water supply.

As always, if you experience a medical or fire-related emergency, you should call 911 immediately. If your home fire sprinkler system has gone off but you’re not experiencing an emergency, turn off the main water supply valve and contact Choate’s HVAC to schedule service.

Routine maintenance is your first line of defense against major failures and repairs, including leaking water lines. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation. During your appointment, we’ll inspect your system and help you find your main water valve shut off.

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