Where Is My Emergency Water Shutoff Valve?

If you have a plumbing leak somewhere in your home, the best thing you can do is cut off the water supply to the leaking line and stop the damage from growing. Thankfully, every home has a way to do this: an emergency shutoff valve. Emergency shutoff valves separate your main water connection from your home’s water line network and give you the ability to close this connection at will. Most of the time, this valve remains wide open and you forget it’s even there. However, knowing where it is when an emergency comes up could be the difference between a fast repair and needing to fix a substantial amount of damage to your home.

To help you better prepare for an emergency, our team is here to help you find your emergency shutoff valve so you know where to go the next time you have a major plumbing leak. Here are four common places where you might find this important device.

In Your Garage

For most homeowners in California, an emergency shutoff valve is generally located in your garage. Your garage is most likely front-facing, and is very likely near the point where your home connects to the main public water line. This makes the forward-most room in your home, usually your garage, a great place to start your search.

Look around in your garage for an exposed plumbing line that has a valve on it. The valve can either have a round metal knob or a flat metal handle that can be twisted. Turning knob or twisting the handle in a clockwise direction will shut off the water flow through your line and stop the leak from damaging your home.

In a Closet Near the Front of Your Home

What if you don’t have a front-facing garage? What if the point on your home that’s closest to the street is actually in a different room? In these cases, your shutoff valve may actually be positioned in a closet or utility room near the front of your home. Once again, keep an eye open for an exposed plumbing line popping out of your wall that has a valve on it. In some cases, this valve will be labeled but in others it may just be there without any indication of what it might be. Odds are, it’s probably your primary water shutoff valve, and the benefit to you is that you don’t have to go outside to shut it off.

On the Exterior Wall of Your Home or Business

In some cases, the valve itself is located on a wall or even on a plumbing fixture located near an exterior wall of your home or business. This is generally far more common for commercial buildings and businesses that often don’t have garages or forward closets where the emergency valve can be placed. Look around the exterior of your building to see if you can find an exposed plumbing line it may be covered to protect from the elements or even be quite large to accommodate for a large capacity of needed water. However, it should be fairly easy to spot.

Buried Under a Cover in Front of Your Home

Finally, this last location is also outdoors, in a fairly standard location. Some water shutoff valves are located right next to your water meter, and that’s usually buried underground beneath a cover at the front of your property. These covers can usually be found on the sidewalk that runs immediately in front of your property or under a plastic cover sitting on your front lawn. These covers protect your shutoff valve and meter from damage by the elements and also prevent tampering that could damage public plumbing infrastructure.

If your emergency shutoff valve is located under this cover, then there’s a good chance you can probably access it by simply lifting the cover off (though if the cover is made from concrete it might be quite heavy). If not, then there’s a good chance your cover may actually be locked to prevent anyone other than your water utility provider from getting in. If this is the case, you may need to call your water company to come out and check to make sure your shutoff valve isn’t inside this cover. If it is, you may need to purchase a key to be able to access your shutoff valve. This isn’t the ideal situation, but it’s sadly one some people have to deal with.

Got a plumbing leak? Shut off your water and call the leak repair experts at Rooter Guard Plumbing Services by dialing (818) 572-9743 today!

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