Get to know your main shutoff valve

Monday, August 28, 2017

SoCal Plumbers 911 can always be counted on to find and dispatch the qualified plumber closest to you, so your plumbing problem will be fixed quickly.

But for some emergencies, such as a burst pipe, every second counts. One thing you can do before the plumber arrives is to shut off the water at the main shutoff valve. This will help limit the damage and make it easier to clean up after the crisis is over.

Where is it?

If your home has a basement, that’s likely where it is – check along the front foundation wall. If it doesn’t have a basement, the valve will be located on an outside wall, near the garage or utility room.

What does it look like?

If it’s a gate valve, it will be a piece of metal with a circular wheel at the top. This wheel is often painted a bright color like red or blue to help identify it and make it easier to find. Turn the wheel to the right to shut off the water supply.

If it’s a ball valve, it will be a piece of metal with an oblong handle at the top, which will also be painted like the wheel on a gate valve. Just turn this handle clockwise until it’s at a right angle to the pipe.

After the valve is shut

Open a sink faucet all the way to relieve pressure, and then open the rest of the faucets. You may also want to shut off power to an electric water heater, or turn the thermostat down on a gas water heater.

Turning the water back on

When the plumber has completed his repairs, he or she will re-open the main water valve. However, if you are ever in a situation where you need to do this yourself, start by closing all the faucets except for one, and then slowly turn the main valve back on. Then slowly open the rest of the faucets in the home (both hot and cold if the sink faucets are separate). This removes any air from the lines. When this is complete, restore the original settings on your hot water heater.

Need a plumber now?

You won’t have to wait long – just contact our plumber referral service and we’ll connect you with an experienced professional in your city, who will fix your plumbing problem fast.

 

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