A Guide to Water Shut Off Valves
Have you ever needed an emergency plumber and the first thing that someone tells you on the phone is to find the shut off valve? If you have then you have probably heard of the caveat that you need to turn off the water supply. This is a very general and straight forward thing for many journeyman plumbers to start off with before their job begins. If you fail to do this, then a mishap can happen during the pipe repair causing damage and even flooding. Therefore, it is very important that you learn where your shut off valve is to prevent any mishaps from happening. This guide will help you locate and know how to shut off your valve.
Main Shut Off Valve
This will turn off all the water in the house. It is mainly done when the water pipe leaks or when a fixture does not have a valve. This valve is located in the home, probably close to the hot water tank or in the basement. Alternatively, if you fail to locate it in these areas then you could find it outside close to the foundation of the house. Turn the water faucet on and close this valve to test if it really works.
Some people do not have an interior water main shut off valve. You could try and locate yours close to the water meter. Make sure that you consult with your area water distributor because in some areas you will need to permission and supervision of a licensed plumber or city worker to handle this valve. Check the side of the meter for the main shut off valve. When you turn the valve, make sure that you look at the water meter dial. If it stops, it means that the water is no longer running.
Your house water meter should be located in an underground area covered with a metal lid. It could also be on the sidewalk of your home or close to the front of your property line. The lid should read something close to or “Water Meter”. The meter has a round dial that has a flip-up lid. Once you locate it, raise the flip and locate the shutoff valve. This should be between the street and the meter. Make sure that you do not turn off the water for your entire street. Make sure that the water is off by lifting the lid on the face of the meter. The meter might have a red leak-detector dial or a blue one. if this detector is spinning, then it means that the water is still continuously running.
When it comes to the local valves, you will locate the supply stop valves on the lines that lead to the plumbing fixtures themselves. You may not have noticed but most sinks have their own valves. Wall valves are common for the toilet and appliances like water heaters and washing machines. This is a very convenient valve since you do not have to turn off the water leading to all your house appliances. You can fix a single plumbing fixture by just turning off its valve.
It is not easy to locate the valves of most showers and bathtubs. You will locate some in the access panel, in the ceiling or even under the floor. If you seek to turn off the water that leads to the bathtub or the shower and you cannot access the valves, then your best chance is to turn off the main valve. Even if you do not feel like you will ever interact with the plumbing issues in your house, knowing where the shutoff valve is, is a very important thing.
You never know when a plumbing emergency might arise and you will have to turn off the water before the house is damaged. Make sure you also teach your children about the shutoff valve, to help them deal with an emergency when you are not around.
Benefits of Getting an Automatic Shut Off Valve
Picture yourself enjoying the Christmas holiday with your family, then a minor issue arises that turns into a major one that destroys the entire mood of the holiday. A small leak could lead to damaged appliances and destruction in your home. This is why you should consider installing an automatic shutoff valve in your house.
This will save you the time of calling a plumber or trying to locate the water shutoff valve in your house amidst an emergency. The plumber will install it at the center of your plumbing system at home and gauge the water flow rate in your system as it moves through the pipes. This will give the automatic shutoff valve an estimated number that It can use to gauge if there is a leak or not.
When the water rate increases past the set rate then it means that the water system is leaking, which will prompt the valve to seal stopping the flow of water for your house. It may seem like an inconvenience if triggered in a false alarm, however, it is extremely beneficial in comparison to the effects of a leak in the house.
Leaks are very dangerous especially in instances when you do not know the source of the leak. Not knowing where a leak is coming from could send you into a panic that could be avoided by installing an automatic shutoff valve. No one wants to go home after a long day at work only to find the floor and their personal belongings drenched in water. Additionally, it will help maintain the house since it will prevent leaks in crawl spaces and inside walls. This will save your time, energy and money from a major plumbing repair job caused by leaking pipes inside the walls and crawl spaces. The benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.
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