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How To Shut Off Your Water in an Emergency


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Plumbing emergencies can happen at any hour. From burst pipes and sewage backups to ruptured lines, your home can experience extensive water damage, leading to costly repairs.

Every homeowner needs to be prepared and knowledgeable about shutting off the water supply in an emergency. This is important to prevent further damage to your property and ensures your insurance company covers the cost of repairs without unnecessary delays or complications.

In this blog, the experts at Good Times Plumbing & Restoration will guide you through important information you need to act fast, including locating your main water shut-off valve, understanding how to operate it, and implementing immediate containment measures to minimize water damage.

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Where To Find the Main Shut-Off Valve

You don’t want to wait for an emergency to locate your main shut-off valve. Depending on your home and plumbing setup, it can be in different areas.

By familiarizing yourself with your main shut-off valve beforehand, you can act fast to shut off the water supply in the event of a plumbing emergency, minimizing potential damage and reducing the overall impact on your home and belongings.

Common locations for the main shut-off valve:

  • Outside your home: The main shut-off valve is usually outside near your water meter, often in a covered box by the side of your house, near the street, or in the front by the sidewalk.
  • In the basement: If you have a basement, check near the front foundation wall for the shut-off valve, typically within 3 to 5 feet from where the main water enters, either through the concrete floor or the wall.
  • Other areas: In a slab-built home, you can expect the shut-off valve to be close to or beneath the water heater or kitchen sink, and it might also be in alternative areas such as the garage or laundry room.

How To Turn Off the Main Water Valve

Two types of valves can be found in your home: ball valves and gate valves. To properly turn off your main water line, properly identify and understand which type of valve you have.

  • To turn off a ball valve: Ball valves typically have a lever handle attached to a spherical, ball-shaped mechanism inside the valve body. To turn it off, turn the lever handle perpendicular to the pipe. This effectively blocks water flow.
  • To turn off a cage valve: A cage valve typically consists of a cylindrical body with an internal cage-like structure. To turn your cage valve off, turn the circular handle clockwise until it stops. This shuts off the flow of water to your home.

Regularly check and maintain your main water shut-off valve to ensure it functions properly.

Turning Off Water From the Water Meter

Unlike a ball valve or cage valve, turning your water off from the meter takes a little more effort and may require the use of a specialized tool, such as a valve key or wrench.

Follow these simple steps to turn your water off from the water meter:

  • Find your water meter box: It’s often at the front of your property. Clear the area of debris.
  • Access the shut-off valve: Open the hinged door that covers the box and remove it. This will provide access to the meter valve. Remove insulation carefully and set aside.
  • Turn off the water: Use a wrench or a valve key to turn the valve clockwise until it stops.
  • Confirm water is off: Check your faucets to ensure your water is off.
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Have a Plumbing Emergency? Call Good Times Plumbing & Restoration

At Good Times Plumbing & Restoration, we understand the importance of responding quickly to emergencies, which is why we provide 24/7 emergency service for your plumbing problems. We aim to keep our customers informed, comfortable, and supported throughout their emergency plumbing situation.

With quick turnaround times, and trained technicians, we ensure the efficiency and reliability of your plumbing infrastructure when you turn to our trusted experts.

Have a plumbing emergency? Call Good Times Plumbing & Restoration at 480-725-5010 to schedule plumbing services in Gilbert or Chandler.

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