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Know Your Home: Water Shut Off Valves

December 27, 2018

Quick, the water’s rising fast, and you’re about to become unpleasantly soggy! Do you know how to stop an oncoming deluge in the midst of an emergency situation? Finding your home’s water shut-off valves is a critical aspect of property owner preparedness. Here’s where to look first.

What Are Water Shut-Off Valves?

Water Shut Off Valves

As their name implies, these devices, also known as supply valves, control the main feed lines that deliver water to appliances, fixtures and entire sections of your home. Each building has a supply valve connecting it to the utility line, and when you don’t know where flooding originated, shutting everything off at this juncture is the most effective recourse.

Each fixture usually has its own mini supply valve. These may need to be closed in some emergencies, but if you’ve sprung a serious leak, chances are good that only stopping the main feed will be a viable remedy.

Where Are My Water Shut-Off Valves?

Find the spot where the main water line enters your home; in most cases, this will be in a basement or lower level somewhere towards the front of your building. If you know where your water usage meter is, the valve is usually close by.

There may be more than one valve here, but tracing the pipes can be a good way to identify which one is the shut off. Follow the paths from where the supply enters your building until you find a large valve that sits on the main line. To test whether it’s the correct one, rotate it until it’s completely shut. Then, check the taps in each part of your home to ensure that the water is cut off; you may have to wait for the last remaining fluid to drain from the pipes.

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