Where is the water shutoff valve located?
Why is it important to know where this small plumbing fixture is located?
These are some of the most important questions that home owners should ask themselves about their plumbing system. Like the cardiovascular system of the human body, your home’s plumbing system is a complex network of pipes that delivers water to different parts of your house. Like our veins and arteries, pipes are susceptible to leaks and breaks. The latter often results in water exiting out of the broken pipe in excessive amounts, causing both a hefty increase in your water bill and possible water damage that could cost you thousands of dollars.
This is the first, if not the most important, reason why you should know where the water shutoff valve is located.
What’s the water shutoff valve or main valve for?
The main purpose of the valve is to provide full flow of water to the pipe when it’s turned on and to shut off the water supply throughout the entire house when turned off. Like a tap, the more you turn counter-clockwise, the stronger the water pressure becomes. High water pressure, however, can cause pipes to burst, so in the event that water starts spurting out your walls or taps, turning off the main valve is the best thing to do next to calling in a professional plumber to fix it.
However, your water shutoff valve can be difficult to turn when rust has set in or when it hasn’t been turned for years. Greasing it will do you no good as it can loosen the valve and cause even more problems. In case of rust, try calling your plumber to help you replace the valve.
So how do you locate the water shutoff valve?
- You can usually find the water shutoff valve in the basement, garage, or in an outside wall in your utility area.
- Some main valves are also found near the water meter.
- In countries with colder climates, the water meter and main valve are located inside your house, usually in the basement. In milder or warmer climates, the valve and meter are found outside your home.
In the words of GI Joe, “knowing is half the battle.” Knowing where the shutoff valve is located can help you save thousands of dollars in repairs and water bills.