Get a Handle on Learning How to Shut Off Your Main Water Valve in Reading MA and the North Shore
One of the best ways to prepare for a plumbing emergency and feel confident about controlling it until you can call a professional plumber is to learn where your home’s main water valve is and how to properly operate it. In the event of a plumbing catastrophe, such as frozen and burst piping, shutting it off will reduce water damage and mess.
With our variety of services, including main water valve repair service, we’re committed to making sure your home is comfortable and safe. In case of an emergency knowing how to find and shut off your main water valve could help as you call one of our Waldman plumbing experts
Locate your main water valve
Generally, your main water valve is located either inside your home or outside. In the northeast, it’s usually found inside your home because it’s less likely to freeze. They’ll usually be found in your basement, crawl space, or utility room.
Main water valves are also usually located close to water meters. Look for brass pipes or valves with either a flat handle or a round, wheel-like valve. A flat handle that looks like a popsicle stick is referred to as a ball valve and a round handle is known as a gate valve. Be sure to share this location with your family as well so they’re aware of it in case of an emergency!
Always turn clockwise
Turning the valve to the right or clockwise will turn off the flow of water, making any appliances inside your home that use water inoperable until the water is turned back on by turning the valve counterclockwise or to the left. Ball valves only have a 90 degree range of motion and can be turned off by turning the valve until its perpendicular to the pipe. On the other hand, you may need to turn a gate valve several times until it can no longer move. If you’re unable to turn either kind of valve by hand, use a wrench.
Turn on all your faucets
It may seem a little strange to turn your faucets on after shutting your water off but doing so helps to remove any leftover water from your system. Just turn your faucets all the way into the ‘on’ position and allow the water to drain. Before you turn your water back on, it’s important to unscrew the aerator or tiny screen found at the end of the faucet to remove and scale any debris that may have broken off while draining it.
Shutting off the main water supply to your home is not the same as shutting it off from the street’s water meter. You may only have to do this for one of three reasons including: your home’s main water valve failed to shut off the water, there’s a leak in the line between your home’s main water valve and the street’s, or your main water valve is being fixed. To be on the safe side, always contact your water company to inform them you need to shut off the water supply to your home before doing so. While most companies allow this, it doesn’t hurt to let them know.
Often located in boxes with access covers, street shut off valves and meters work in the exactly the same way as your home’s main shut off valve does. Just like your home’s, you may need a wrench to turn the valve clockwise if you’re unable to do so with your hand.
At Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc., we strive to take the guesswork out of troubleshooting plumbing emergencies and problems. If you have any questions or concerns regarding how to operate your main water valve in Reading, MA or the North Shore, don’t hesitate to give us a call right away!