Every homeowner should know how to locate and turn off their home’s water shutoff valve.

Most plumbing emergencies involve large amounts of water, and the only way to stop it is by turning off the water shutoff valve to your home. However, if you don’t know where your home’s water shutoff valve is located, you’ll be up the creek without a paddle. That’s why, in our last blog, we went over a few tips for how to locate your home’s shutoff valve, so if you haven’t already, check it out. But now that you know how to find your shutoff valve, you need to know how to operate it.

How do you close your home’s water shutoff valve?

Regardless of where your water shutoff valve is located, you’ll need to turn it clockwise, or to the right, to turn it off. Most shutoff valves have wheel handles, and you’ll most likely have to turn it at least two full revolutions in order to completely shut off the water. If your shutoff valve is located outside, near the water meter, it’s a good idea to call your water company before you attempt to turn it off. In some cases, you’ll even need a special tool or key from the water company in order to turn it off, but most of the time, a pipe wrench will do the trick.

When should you shut off the water to your home?

Now that you know how to find and turn off your home’s water shutoff valve, you need to know when to turn it off! Here are a few circumstances when it’s a good idea to turn off the water to your home:

  • You’re dealing with a plumbing emergency – If you have a burst pipe or another plumbing emergency on your hands that is causing a large amount of water to flow into your home, turn off the water ASAP to minimize the damage.
  • You’re going on vacation – If a water line in your home bursts while you are away, you could come home to thousands of dollars in water damage. Shutting off the water to your home prior to going on vacation is smart and will help you to stay prepared for the worst.
  • You’re working on a plumbing project – Whether you’re installing a new appliance or unclogging your kitchen sink, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and clean-up if you turn off the shutoff valve first.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to turn off the water to your entire home if you are working on a specific fixture, like a toilet or a sink. Toilets, sinks, washing machines and bathtubs typically have their own shutoff valves that can be turned off before you work on them. Just as you would with the main shutoff valve, turn these valves clockwise to close them.

Need help finding or turning off your home’s water shutoff valve?

If so, turn to the experienced plumbers in Chino at Complete Plumbing and Rooter today. We’re Southern California’s premier plumbing contractors, and we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us today!