An incredible step towards ensuring that your home is prepared for an emergency is knowing where your water shut-off valves are. Educating yourself on how and where to turn off your main water supply can help prevent severe problems. When a catastrophe happens, it’s essential to turn off your water shut-off valves. Calamities like earthquakes, floods, and fires can happen quickly. And by knowing how to shut off your water during an emergency, you can prevent severe damage to your home.
Typically, the water shut-off valves will be near the perimeter of your house. But first, check it inside your home. It may be located in your basement or crawlspace or on the wall near the front of your house. You can also check in your garage or near your water heater.
If you weren’t able to find the water shut-off valves around the perimeter, then you should probably check also outside. Shut-off valves outside your house are typically buried underground near the street. Look for a round or rectangular metal cover flush on the grass or sidewalk. It might be labeled with “water meter” to help you identify it.
Gate valve: Over the years, gate valves become very reliable, but they become tough to turn after not being turned for years. In turning off a gate valve, turn the handle clockwise. We suggest not to apply too much force while turning it as it might bend and damage the gate, or snap the valve stem.
Ball valve: A ball valve has a lever. If the lever is in line with the pipe, it means that the valve is OPEN, but if it’s perpendicular to the pipe, the lever is CLOSED. To close a ball valve, turn the lever clockwise 1/4 turn so that it’s at a right angle to the pipe.
There is nothing good that comes about from a water leak in your house! Recognizing a water leak earlier can save you money and prevent a potential disaster. Here are the two most common signs that you may have a leak and should consider contacting a plumber.
Check your water meter: First, turn off your water in your home. This includes your sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines. While testing out, we suggest that you first stop using your toilet. After turning off all your water, set a toothpick on the meter at the exact location of the arm, and came back for at least 20-30 minutes to see if the meter had moved. If you see that the arm is in a different position, it means that you surely do have a leak, and there is water escaping your system.
Monitor your bill: If your water bill increases unexpectedly, but your water use habits haven’t changed, it may be due to an invisible leak. A leak is terrible in so many ways: it causes additional expenses, it wastes precious water, and it could even cause damage to your home.
Leaks can add about 10%-15% of your regular water use, which can result in a higher water bill than what you typically pay. Take a look at the chart below to see how much water can be wasted due to leaks. You can see it pays to detect and repair leaks early!
After a disaster happens, if you hear news about broken water or sewage lines or a water problem, you should turn off your water to prevent contaminated water from getting into your home.
Here are some points for handling water in a disaster.
Call Caccia plumbing at (650) 376-6800, and we will assist you and get your home back up and run after a disaster. We have professionals that deal with water damage and also provide other services for you in San Mateo.
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