So, you need to turn off your water shut off valve. This sounds like it should be an easy task, but for many homeowners, turning off the water can be a challenging. Finding the valve alone can be difficult, if you’re not sure where to look. The location of the main shut off valve may depend on the location of your home and its construction.
Look in the front of the yard, close to the street. In your yard, you’ll see a plastic or metal plate in the ground, like a small manhole cover. This manhole cover might say “water.” Use a pry bar to lift off the cover. Inside, you should see a meter and a valve. To turn off the water to your home, turn the valve in a clockwise direction.
If the shut off valve isn’t in the yard, it might be in the basement, near the front foundation wall. Look in your basement for a pipe with a meter and valve attached. The pipe may be protruding from the wall or the floor.
If your home has a crawl space but no basement, look under your sink or near your water heater. If you can’t find a shut off valve in either of those locations, it could be anywhere in your house or in your crawl space. If you live in a warm weather climate, the shut off valve could even be located outside the house, on a side near the street. The same goes for slab-on-grade construction: the valve could be anywhere inside or even outside the house.
Once the water has been turned off, draining the pipes is a natural course of action if you’re completing a home improvement project. Turn on the faucets in your home, starting with the faucets farthest away from the water main, and allow all the water to drain from the pipes. Don’t forget to turn off the boiler and water heater for this project.
Note that sometimes turning off the water main can cause sediment in the valve to shake loose. That sediment can catch in the water aerators on your faucets, which can lead to clogs that make it seem as if your plumbing has reduced water pressure. Taking off the aerators before starting to drain the pipes can prevent this from happening. If your aerators do become clogged, simply unscrew the aerators and then use a toothpick or a needle to remove the sediment as needed.
Shut off valves can get difficult to turn after a while, especially if they’re never used. Locating and turning off your water shut off valve on an annual basis can help make this task easier if you’re ever experiencing a plumbing emergency. Mark your calendar to close your home’s water shut off valve every year at the same time.
If you’re having trouble with your plumbing, can’t turn off your water main and need help from a professional plumber, contact Terry’s Plumbing. We’ve got all the tools and experience to take care of your home plumbing projects. Call us today at (412) 364-9114.