Learn How to Shut Off Main Water Valve to Avoid Water Damage

Do you know how to shut off the water valve to avoid water damage in your home or business? If you’ve never checked out your water valve before or haven’t taught your teenaged children how to shut off the water valve, you are at risk of water damage should you ever have a plumbing emergency.

When Would You Need to Shut Off the Main Water Valve?

You’ll need to shut off the water to the entire house if:

  • There is no local shut off valve by the area or appliance in question
  • You need to shut off the water to the entire house for some reason

You might need to do this if:

  • Your washing machine breaks and is overflowing with water
  • Your water heater breaks down and is leaking or overflowing with water
  • A pipe breaks and is leaking water

That’s why you’ll need to learn how to shut off the main water valve and will want to make sure all teenagers (who might be home alone) know how to turn it off as well. We’ve provided an easy-to-follow guide to shutting off your main water valve for you to use as you practice.

Locate the Main Water Shut Off Valve

Your main water shut off valve is attached to your water meter. Don’t know where your water meter is? If you’re in Charlotte NC or a Southern city, your water meter is probably by the curb in front of your house, housed in a metal pit or concrete box. It will probably be marked with the word “water” on it. If you live in a colder climate, your water meter is probably in the basement. You’ll have to use pliers or a screwdriver to open the lid.

Once you locate your water meter, notice the two pipes coming out on either side of your water meter. Atop these two pipes should be two valves or levers. The one that goes to the house (from the meter) is the house side shut off valve. The one that goes from the meter to the street is the supply side shut off valve. When turning off the main water supply, you’ll want to turn off the supply side.

Test the Main Water Shut Off Valve

Once you’ve turned the valve off, go inside and make sure it really did turn off the water supply by turning on a faucet.

Teach Your Teenagers How to Shut Off the Main Water Valve

Have a family meeting to make sure everyone knows what to do in case of a plumbing emergency. Have the teenagers in your house practice opening the lid to the water meter and shut off valves and turning the valve. Don’t assume they’ll know which way to turn it or how much work it may be get the lid open. They’ll need to know all this for when they handle an emergency while you are home.

Replace The Main Water Valve if it is Difficult to Turn

If you have elderly relatives, you’ll want to check their main water shut off valves to make sure they can turn them off by themselves. If the valve is too difficult to turn, replace the water valve.

Let a Professional Replace Your Main Water Shut Off Valve

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