How to Shut Off the Water in an Emergency

November 9, 2015/ 0

For nearly 70 years, our Orange County and Los Angeles plumbers have been kept very busy with frantic calls from people experiencing leaking or burst water pipes. If this happens in your home or business, it is important to know how to turn the water off fast to save your structure from water damage.

One method for shutting off the water is at the main shutoff valve. This valve is most commonly located at your home or businesses’ exterior, close to the point of entry, but might also be found in the crawl space beneath the structure. It is typically made from brass and has a round handle. By locating this valve and turning it clockwise, you should be able to successfully turn off the flow of water coming from the street into the structure. This technique is best used for leaks inside the home or business.

For leaks located outside the structure, the water has to be turned off at the meter. Generally the main shut-off is in a metal box by the street. Sometimes it’s marked with a “W” for Water. To turn off the water via this method, you will want to lift the lid on the box and search for a valve or a handle. For a handle, apply light pressure to turn it as far as possible without breaking it. For a valve, find a meter wrench and use it to make a quarter turn. The three main reasons for turning your water off at the street include: your inside water shutoff fails, there is a leak in the pipe between the street and the house, or you are replacing the main shutoff valve at the front of or inside your home.

Should you experience a plumbing emergency and are unable to turn off the water one of our Orange County or Los Angeles plumbers would be more than happy to help.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a highly skilled Orange County or Los Angeles plumber from Jack Stephan, please give us a call at 1 (800) 464-7586.


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