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Locating and Operating Your Home’s Emergency Shut-Off Valve

In an emergency, would you know where the emergency water shut-off valve is located in your home?

Every home is equipped with a water shut-off valve. Water shut-off valves are often hidden in dark, creepy corners of homes such as basements or crawl spaces. Although those are not ideal places you’d want to be poking around, if you have a plumbing emergency on your hands, knowing where the shut-off valve is could prove to be invaluable, as water damage could end up costing you thousands in repairs.

The main shut-off valve in your home 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. Remember — righty tighty, lefty loosey!

The main shut-off valve in your house probably has one of two designs:
• Gate valve
• Ball valve

Gate valves are very reliable and last for years; however, they may become difficult to turn after years of not being touched. If you haven’t had to close the main shut-off valve recently, it’s a good idea to check it routinely so you don’t have any issues should an emergency happen.

Full-flow ball valves are a little different; the valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close the valve you need to turn the handle clockwise so that it’s at a right angle to the pipe.

It’s a good idea to identify what type of valve your home has and to make sure that everyone in the household knows where this valve is located and how to turn it off.

To learn more about solving common plumbing problems, click here to view our tutorial on YouTube!