It seems like a guarantee that if you own a home for long enough, there will come a time that your homes plumbing will spring a leak. Sometimes leaks are straightforward and can be quickly and easily fixed, and then there are the leaks that require immediate emergency action. For instance, water coming down to the first floor of your home through the ceiling, or a burst pipe that is causing serious and significant flooding. These are the types of leaks that require emergency action in order to neutralize damage. The first and most important step in dealing with an emergency plumbing leak is knowing how to shut off your home’s water supply.
Having an understanding of where your homes shut off valves are located will allow you to react calmly and with purpose in the event of an emergency plumbing leak. It will allow you to greatly minimize potential water damage instead of waiting for a plumber to arrive at your home to shut off the water for you. Simply understanding how to quickly access your homes main water shut off valve can help you avoid allowing hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water to flow into your home causing severe flooding and water damage.
Dealing With a Sink or Washing Machine Shutoff
The first and most imporant thing to remember about modern plumbing is that all water that flows through your home or businesses pipes is under pressure. This means sudden leaks can often times be severe as water is pushed from cracked or damaged pipes into your home. When this happens time is of the essence and knowing how to quickly locate a shut-off valve can mean the difference between slight water damage and severe flooding.
For leaks that occur within a pipe that is under the kitchen or bathroom sink, locating the shut off valve can be very simple. This mainly has to do with their location in proximity to the leaking area. In most homes, apartments, and condos shut off valves are lusually located directly underneath the sink. They will typically be plastic or plated in chrome and exist in a pair, with one operating cold and the other hot water. To shut off the water supply to a leaking sink simply turn the valve counter clockwise aka to the left. If it is to difficult to turn by hand, a pair of pliers may be used.
When it comes to washing machines they can be even more simple thank sinks. Look for a valve to push down. The same holds true for water heaters as well.
Shutting Off Your Main Water Valve
Sometimes faucets and fixtures are not equipped with shut off valves. In the event that this is true for your home, locating the the main water shut off valve to your entire home will be necessary. In most cases it will be located very near the area wheere cold water pipes enter your home. If you live in a warm climate like we do here in Dallas Texas, this will likely be outside the home. If you live where the climate gets very cold in the winter, it would serve you well to look indoors. Regardless of it’s location it will likely be red in color. To shut off the water supply to your home this valve needs to be turned clockwise.
Pro Tip: When attempting to stop the flow of water into your home it is important to never try to control the amount of water entering your homes plumbing system by turning the valve to a “middle position” The rule here is completely ON or completely OFF. Nothing in between is acceptable.
If you are experiencing a burst pipe, overflowing sink, or other water related plumbing issue in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex do not hesitate to give us a call today at (214) 388-8838. We are standing by ready and capable to help you!