This isn’t a topic you want to think about often, but what happens if your house experiences a massive plumbing leak that threatens water damage and flooding? You may have seen this happen in movies, usually for comedy, but it’s a real issue and not funny at all when it happens to you. The damage to personal possessions can be devastating, and remediating water damage is difficult and costly.
Fixing major plumbing leaks is one of the most important jobs our plumbers in Pittsboro, NC do, and they’re ready 24/7 to help out. But they can’t be there instantly, so to prevent as much damage as possible, you must know where the main shut-off valve to your house is. When you close this valve, you stop water flow to all parts of your house. If you don’t know where this shut-off valve is … we’re here to help you learn!
The Location of the Shut-Off Valve
Unfortunately, the shut-off valve isn’t in the same place on every home. Most of the time, the valve is located near the house’s water meter. But where is the water meter?
In our climate, the water meter can be located either outside the house, attached to its side, or underground. Do a lap around the house to see if you notice a meter. It may be behind a lid or up on a post. If you don’t see it, hunt around to find a small hatch on the ground, something like a manhole cover. It should be marked with “water.” Lift the lid, and you’ll see the water meter below.
Still can’t find the water meter? Call the local utility company that handles your water (i.e. the folks who send you the bill) and they can help you. Your friendly neighborhood plumbers (i.e. us) can also show you where it is.
Okay, you’ve found the water meter. Now where’s the shut-off valve?
The valve will be located on the incoming side—the section of the pipe going into the water meter from the municipal supply. The valves don’t all look the same (that’d be too easy), so look for something that looks like a garden hose faucet, or a metal flange. Some cannot be turned by hand and require a special wrench called a water key. Sometimes the water key hangs near the valve. If it isn’t there, purchase one from a hardware store as soon as you can.
The Automatic Shut-Off Valve
Now you know where to go when you’ve got plumbing leak problems. But we want to recommend an even better solution: installing an automatic shut-off valve. This is a device we can attach to your water main that will automatically close the water flow to the house when it detects flooding or a sudden drop in pressure. It not only stops the water flow faster than you can, it can stop water flow when you aren’t home. It helps immensely with your peace of mind!