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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Do You Know Where the Water Main Shut-Off Valve Is?

house-floodingPlease don’t skip over this question! And be honest. If your first reaction is “My house has a water main shut-off valve?” or “What’s a shut-off valve?” then you need to read the rest of this post. If you do know about the shut-off valve, but never thought it was important to pinpoint its exact location, then you also need to read this post.

Afterward, make sure everyone in your household knows about the water main shut-off valve location. It can make the difference in a small plumbing mishap and a huge plumbing fiasco!

The shut-off valve controls the flow of water into your house from the municipal water supply. In case of a plumbing disaster threatening to flood parts of your home and cause water damage, you may need to manually shut off the water to the house. Once you’ve done this, you can call our plumbers to repair the problem. (We’re also water damage restoration professionals and can help if your home does suffer from damage.)

Finding the Shut-Off Valve

The shut-off valve is located near your home’s water meter, which keeps track of the water entering the house from the municipal supply. For most houses, the water meter is located on the front of the property near the curb or the sidewalk. You’ll see a cover marked “water” or something similar, and the meter is housed in a concrete pit beneath. Remove the lid to reach the water meter; this may require putting a screwdriver under the lid to pry it up.

You’ll see the water meter and pipes on both sides. One is the city side and one is the house side. You should see a hand-operated valve on the house side. This is the shut-off valve. All you need to do is turn it clockwise to shut off the water to the house.

You may not find a valve on the home side. In this case, you will need to turn off the water supply using the valve on the municipal side. The city doesn’t want homeowners to tamper with the valve except in emergencies (such as the type we’re talking about here), so the valve usually can only be turned with a special key. It may be hanging near the valve. If it isn’t, you can purchase one from a hardware store.

Once you’ve found the shut-off valve and how to operate it, show the rest of the household where it is and what to do. That way you’re also covered in case a plumbing emergency happens and somebody is home.

What If Nobody Is Home?

Don’t worry—we have a solution for that. You can call a Montclair, CA, plumbing contractor to schedule the installation of an automatic shut-off valve. This is a device attached to the water main that stops water flow into the house when it senses a major leak and drop in water pressure. Nobody needs to be home to have the water shut off in case of an emergency. We offer automatic shut-off valve service and highly recommend most homes have this back-up installed.

At Sweetwater Plumbing, we don’t charge by the hour, We charge by the job! Call for plumbing service in Southern California.

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