Most people don’t think too much about their plumbing system until it becomes a problem. The truth is, however, that everyone should know what steps to take in the event of a major issue in order to prevent damage to your belongings and your home. Water that is allowed to flow freely can cause serious destruction in a matter of minutes, so it pays to know how to turn it off yourself before calling in your plumber to complete any repairs.
Shut Off Valves To The Rescue
If you have an overflowing toilet or a burst water pipe, there is a shut off valve that allows you to turn off the water to that source. Toilet valves are usually located behind the base at the floor level, while shut off valves for the sink are most often found inside the cabinetry. Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines also have their own shut off valves as well. This means that in the event of a serious malfunction or water leak, you are able to disconnect the water and prevent further leaks.
When All Else Fails – Use Your Main Shut Off Valve
In the event that you can’t find the individual shut off valve, or if it doesn’t work for one reason or another, you should locate the main shut off valve that allows city water to flow into your house. This valve can usually be found where the water supply enters your home, often on the lowest level. Turning off this valve means you will not have any water at all until repairs have been made and the water is turned on again, but it can be a life saver in the event of an emergency.
Know Your Plumbing
It can be easy to take your plumbing for granted, but figuring out where the emergency shut offs are in the midst of disaster isn’t necessarily the best solution. In order to prepare for the worst, make sure you:
- Take the time to locate the shut off valves for all of your fixtures and appliances
- Identify your main water shut off
- Test your shut off valves periodically to ensure they are in good working order
- Have any rusty or faulty valves replaced immediately
- Ensure all members of the family know where to locate the shut off valves and how to operate them