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Husted Plumbing Blog

Do You Know How to Shut Off the Water Main? (We’ll Tell You)

pipe-about-to-burstNo plumbing problem is worse for a home than flooding due to a broken pipe or busted appliance allowing water to run out of control. Water damage is expensive to remediate and brings with it hazards such as structural collapse and the growth of harmful molds.

Fortunately, you have a great plumber in Ventura, CA ready to come to your assistance when you have an emergency causing water overflow. But we can’t reach you instantaneously, no matter how much we’d like to. This is why it’s important for you and your household to know about how to shut off the water main in case of a major plumbing problem. Read over this blog entry, then check on where your shut-off valve is located. Make sure all the responsible adults in the house also know where the valve is located and how to close it.

Finding the Shut-Off Valve

In many homes around the country, the shut-off valve is located indoors in the basement, keeping it away from the effects of the cold that can freeze pipes. In California, you’ll rarely find the shut-off valve in the basement because 1) the temperature never gets cold enough to freeze pipes, and 2) a basement? What Middle Ages nonsense is that?

This means the job of finding the shut-off valve is simpler because you don’t have to determine if the valve is indoors or outdoors. It’s almost certainly outdoors. But where?

The valve is put near the water meter for your house. You may already have an idea where this is if you’ve checked on your readings before. If you don’t know where it is, look at the edge of your property where it faces the street. Along the edge of the lawn near the sidewalk or other border marker, you’ll find a plastic or concrete cover. This is the location of the water meter.

When you lift the cover, you’ll see the meter and pipes on either side of it: the house side and the city side. In most situations, the valve to shut off the water flow will be on the house side. Newer models will have a yellow lever to operate the valve: push the lever 90° to shut off flow. An older model will have a circular valve. Turn the valve clockwise to close it and stop the water.

If the valve is on the city side, you may not be able to turn the valve without a special water key. The key may be hanging beside the valve. If you don’t see it, you can purchase a water key from a hardware store.

The Automatic Shut-Off Valve

There is another possible option for the shut-off valve, and that is to have a professional plumber install an automatic one. In case of broken plumbing causing a drop in water pressure (i.e. flooding) the valve will shut on its own. Some automatic shut-off valves use water sensors in the home to tell when there’s flooding. Regardless of the method the valve uses to work, it takes care of stopping water flow and further flooding damage on its own—nobody needs to be home! This is a great way to put your mind at ease.

Husted Plumbing has been family-owned and operated since 1935. Call us when you have emergency plumbing needs.

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