Take 2 Minutes to Save $40,000 in a Plumbing Emergency

prevent water damage

Learn How to Prevent Water Damage

As Charlotte plumbers, we offer a lot of advice that is “nice to know,” but this simple two-minute exercise can save you $40,000 or more in expenses. Take two minutes right now to learn what to do if a pipe bursts in your home. It could literally save you $40,000 or more in damage to your home.

Why So Costly?

Every year we get called out to deal with an emergency just like the following:

A pipe bursts somewhere in the home and the flooding begins. Gallons of water flow from the burst pipe, flowing uncontrolled. If the pipe burst on the second floor of the home, the damage is even worse – the water quickly fills a room, seeps into the floorboards, and collapses a ceiling. Panicked, the homeowner calls plumbers, but by the time they learn what they need to do, the damage is already extensive.

What should you do the second you realize a pipe has burst or an appliance is overflowing in your home? Shut off the main water valve. The second you turn

Locate Your Main Water Shut Off Valve

If you don’t know where your shut off valve is, look at your home inspection report. Your main shut-off valve is located in either your garage or utility room, usually near the front of the house or by the water heater.

Your shut off valve will look like one of the following:

Gate valve

Charlotte plumbing emergency

Ball valve

Charlotte emergency plumbers










Stop valve

Matthews plumbing emergency






You should also look for your curb shut off, which stops water at the curb from entering your home. A plumber will turn this off if the main shut off valve is not closing all the way. It will be marked “WATER” or with a “W” to indicate that it is the water main curb shut off valve.

It might look like this:

Charlotte plumbers emergency, Learn How to Prevent Water Damage 

Test Your Shut Off Valve

Now that you’ve found your shut off valve, test it. You need to see if it will turn off all the way. When it comes to water flowing into your home at a rate of many gallons per minute, “almost” is not enough. You need to ensure that it works all the way.

Shut it off. Then go inside and run water in your kitchen sink and see if it runs out of water quickly or not.

If it doesn’t effectively turn off the water completely or the shut off valve is hard to turn, you need to have a plumber replace your shut off valve immediately. We recommend ball shut off valves because they are easier to turn on and off (in many cases, children or elderly persons who are home alone in the case of a plumbing emergency are not able to turn the valve off) and are less prone to leaking.

Now Teach Your Family Members How to Prevent Water Damage

You know how Murphy’s Law works – now that you know where your shut off valve is, the plumbing emergency will probably happen when you’re gone and someone else in your household is home instead. Make sure you teach everyone in your home how to find and turn off the water main so you can prevent extensive damage to your home.

While you’re at it, look under your kitchen and bathroom sinks and locate the local shut off valves. These valves turn off water to localized plumbing units, like your toilet, sink faucet, shower, etc. Check by your appliances, too. It’s good to know what your shut off valves look like and if they work.

Need a New Charlotte Shut Off Valve?

Give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form. You’ll be glad you took preventative action before you encounter a plumbing emergency.

Article Summary

Quick question & answer: If a pipe bursts in my home or an appliance overflows, what do I do?

If a pipe bursts in your home or an appliance overflows, you can do the following:

  • Locate your main water shut off valve
  • Look for your curb shut off
  • Test your shut off valve
  • Teach everyone in your home how to find and turn off the water main to prevent damage

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