Knowing the answer to “Where is my main water shutoff valve?” before a potential water disaster occurs is essential for renters and homeowners. Call Abend Plumbing & Heating in Baltimore, Maryland. We’re here to answer some common questions, so you’re prepared if you spring a leak in your home.
What Is The Main Water Shutoff Valve?
The main water valve is the pipe connecting your home’s water supply to the city water line. The shutoff valve is the fixture that controls the flow of water. No water comes into your home’s water pipes when it’s off. When the shutoff valve is on, water flows from the municipality’s public water supply into your home.
You also have little water shutoff valves under your kitchen and bathroom sinks, toilets, and washing machines. After you’ve located the main water shutoff, you should be able to identify the smaller shutoff valves for your other fixtures quickly.
Where Is Your Main Water Shutoff Valve?
The main water shutoff valve will be located along the perimeter of your home and should be on the street-facing side of your home. The water main from the public water supply comes from under the street and branches off to each home or building to supply water.
Main water shutoff valves are usually in a utility closet on the bottom floor. It might also be near your water heater, in a crawlspace, or in the garage if you don’t have a basement.
If you’re on well water, your main water shutoff valve could be on the side or back of the wall. You may search along the perimeter to locate the shutoff valve or check your property inspection report completed when you bought the house. The plumbing section should identify the valve and may even have a picture of it.
If that all sounds too complicated, call Abend Plumbing and Heating now, and we’ll locate your main water shutoff and fix your plumbing problems so you don’t have to.
Depending on the age of your home, you’ll see one of two valve types:
- Ball valves: Ball valves are what builders and plumbers use for current home builds and remodels. Its handle is about 2-inches long and wrapped in colored material.
- Gate valves: These are more common in older homes. Instead of a long handle, the gate valve has a colored circular handle.
How To Turn Off The Main Water Shutoff Valve
If you have a ball valve, it only moves in one direction. The handle will run parallel to the pipe when the valve is open. When it’s closed, the valve will move vertical or perpendicular to the pipe. There is a stop in the valve body only to let the valve move a quarter revolution to either open or close the valve.
A gate valve works like a hose faucet. Turn the handle clockwise several times to close the gate to stop the water flow. Turn the valve several times counterclockwise to reopen the valve.
Turn on the faucet in a nearby sink to check that you turned off the water. If the water stops, you’ve closed the main water shutoff valve.
Suppose the water leak comes directly from one source, like the toilet or a sink. In that case, you can instantly turn off the water shutoff valve at the source instead of turning off the water to the entire house.
Turning off the main water shutoff valve is easy once you know its location. But you still have a plumbing problem on your hands. Call the experts at Abend Plumbing & Heating to locate and fix your plumbing problem before it causes unnecessary damage to your home. We’re licensed professionals here to keep your pipes in excellent condition and make your life easier.