One of the most important things homeowners need to know is how to shut off the water supply to the entire home and also to each individual plumbing fixture. Making sure each person who lives in your home understands how to do this simple task can help avoid costly water damage in the event of a leak or water line break or hard freeze.
How to Shut off the Water to the Whole House
In the event of a water leak, pipe break, or water heater leak knowing how to shut off the water to your home can save you thousands of dollars in preventable water damage. To shut off the water to the entire house there are shut off valves installed on your main water lines:
The first shut-off valve is typically located where the water line comes into the house, usually on an outside wall near the front of the house which is identified easily because it is typically on the same side of house as where your meter is located. This shutoff valve can usually be turned off by hand. Just turn the valve handle clockwise to turn off all water to the house.
The second shut-off valve is at the water meter itself. Shutting it off requires a special key or a pair of channel locks, which is a type of wrench.
There may also be a third shut-off valve typically located by the meter box that allows you to shut off all service to the property. Separately located in a smaller box buried in the ground in front of the water meter, which is usually on the edge of your property near the street. If there is a leak on the water line outside your home, you may have to shut the water off at this location. Sometimes you can turn this valve off by hand, but you might need that special “key” or a pair of channel locks to turn it off.
If you don’t know where your shut-off valve is, or you don’t have the right tool handy, call your local water department or contact GAP Plumbing Inc to shut your water off for you.
How to Shut off the Water to an Individual Fixture
In the event of a leak at a single fixture, each fixture in your home has an individual shut-off for each of the hot and cold-water lines.
When the main water line enters your home, typically goes into your attic, then branches off to smaller lines to each fixture in your home. Each of these individual supply lines run to each plumbing fixtures and should have its own shut-off valve, also called an angle stop. Although in most Texas homes, we do not have individual shut off valves at each branch line because we are not prone to a hard freeze. In our Houston, and surrounding areas we only have installed shut off valves / angle stop located under each sink for maintenance purposes.
Homeowners should become familiar with the location of each of the shut-off valves / angle stops so that in the event of a leak or fixture failure, the water supply can be cut off quickly, drastically reducing the amount of water damage that can occur. This is also helpful in routine drips, leaks around your home.
Shut-off Valve Maintenance
In addition to checking your waterlines, each individual stop should also be checked at least once a year. Each valve should open and close easily. This will also help prevent them from sticking when you need to use them in the event of a leak. If you find that one of the valves is sticking or leaking, call us to replace it right away.
GAP Plumbing Inc., we have been providing reliable plumbing services to Kingwood, Atascocita, Humble, Spring, Porter, Splendora, New Caney and The Woodlands for over 15 years and our services cover all of your plumbing needs; new install, remodel, maintenance, and emergency repairs.
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