It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare: A pipe bursts, a fixture leaks, or an appliance causes a flood, leading to costly damage, repairs, and replacements. The best way to stop the damage is to cut off the water at the source.
First, we recommend taking a walk around your house and locating all of the shutoff valves in your home, this way you’ll be prepared if a plumbing disaster strikes. If you have a family, show your spouse and older children where these valves are – in case something happens when you’re not home.
If your home is served by a well, you should find the shutoff valve on the house side of the pressure tank. It’s also a good idea to cut the power to the tank, this way it doesn’t mistake it as a pressure loss and burn out trying to compensate.
If your home has metered water, the shutoff will be located on either side of the water meter. Water meters are usually located in the basement, mounted on an outside wall, or near the street in a concrete meter pit.
Shutting Off the Hot Water.
Look at the hot water heater, there you will find a valve on the hot water outlet that controls all of the hot water to the house. If you don’t have one on your hot water heater, you can ask that a plumber install one.
Shutting Off the Toilet.
Look behind your toilet, close to the ground. It usually looks like an oval handle.
These shutoffs can usually be found beneath the sink or inside a cabinet or vanity. The valve to the left is usually for hot water and the one to the right is for cold water.
Shutting Off the Dishwasher.
First, take a look under the kitchen sink. You should find a reducer coupling and shutoff valve that leads to the dishwasher. Not there? Look in the basement just below the appliance.
Clothes Washing Machine.
Look behind the washing machine. Washer hoses are known for being weak, so close the valves when you’re leaving your home for a work trip or vacation.
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