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Red shutoff water valve

Avoid Plumbing Disasters by Knowing Where Your Main Water Shutoff is Located

In the event of an emergency, it is important to know where your main water shutoff is located. This will enable you to quickly turn off your water in a plumbing emergency such as a burst pipe, ruptured line or sewage backup. Additionally, if you will be traveling or away from home for a longer period of time, you should turn off your water valve to prevent plumbing issues from arising. You should not only turn your water off, but you also turn your water heater to vacation mode as well as turn your thermostat up or down (depending what time of year you are traveling).

Locate the main water shutoff valve: Your main water shutoff is likely located within your home but may also be found in your garage or crawlspace.

  • In basement and crawlspace homes, the valve is probably near the front of the home on an interior wall. Valves for slab homes could be in the garage or near the hot water heater.
  • If you are unsuccessful in your search for the valve, you can also check for it on your home’s property inspection report within the plumbing section. Generally, there should be a description of the location and a photo of it.
  • If you are still unable to locate the main water shutoff valve after a physical search and from looking through the inspection report, there is another option. In a plumbing emergency, you can locate the beginning of your water main, which can be found at your property line with the street or sidewalk. There will be a plastic or metal utility box cover. When located, call your water company’s emergency contact number to receive directions on what to do, or to schedule an emergency dispatch. There are potential legal consequences from turning off the water company valve on your own.
  • In the event that all of these methods fail, you can always contact a trusted plumber or utility company to assist with locating or turning off your water valve.

Turn off the main water valve: There are a few different styles of valves; knife style and round handled valves.

  • Knife style valves are straight handles. When open, the handle runs parallel to the pipe. To shut off, turn the handle a quarter turn (they can only be turned in one direction).
  • Round handle valves are similar to hose faucets and need to be turned clockwise multiple times to shut the water off.

It is so important to know where to find your water valves as this knowledge can save you from costly plumbing disasters. If you have questions about locating or turning off your water valve, please give our friendly and knowledgeable technicians a call at 417-863-1122 and we’d be happy to help!