Main Water Shutoff Valve
After the water passes through the three city-installed valves, it comes to what is known as the main shutoff valve in your home. This is the valve that you need to be able to locate in an emergency. Find it before an emergency occurs so, when you’re in a pinch, you know where it is. This valve is usually inside the garage or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it’s open. Turning off this valve (by turning it clockwise) cuts off the water supply to the entire house.
The main shutoff valve in your house probably has one of two designs:
- Gate valve: Gate valves are very reliable and last for years, but they become difficult to turn after not being turned for years. If you haven’t closed the main shutoff valve since you moved into your house, do it now. Better to find out that you can’t turn it with your bare hands now than to wait until you’re standing in 6 inches of water.
- Ball valve: Houses with plastic or copper main water pipes leading into the house may have a full-flow ball valve. This valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close it, turn the handle clockwise 1/4 turn so that it’s at a right angle to the pipe.
Know where your shutoff valve is and make sure it works in case of an emergency!
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