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Why you should always know where your water main cut off is

Homeowners should always be prepared in case of an emergency. Knowing where your water main cut off is, having at least one first aid kit around the house, a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and a winter emergency kit for cars in the Midwest are all good ideas for homeowners to adopt. Another good practice is to find the emergency shut off and cut off valves for their house. These include the main gas shut off, the main switch in the circuit breaker, and the water main cut off. The first two are what most homeowners think of when emergencies arise, as both power and gas issues can be particularly deadly. But knowing where the water shut off is equally important — both for saving property, and for protecting those we care about.

Where is the Water Main Cut Off Valve?

Generally, homes have two major water cut-off or shut-off valves: an interior valve for indoor plumbing, and an exterior valve for water coming into the home from the city or community. 

The interior valve will be the one that’s most used by homeowners, though that will still be a fairly rare occurrence. Homeowners should look around the perimeter of their home for the interior water cut-off valve, at the ground level. If homeowners have some time, and are not trying to find the valve in the midst of an emergency, they can check their home inspection report. This document should list the location of the main water shut-off valve. 

The exterior water cut-off valve will be located closer to where the home connects to the street. It should be near where the water main connects to the home’s plumbing. This valve is usually within a utility box, and lists the water company’s emergency phone number on the outside. Calling the number will allow the water company to walk homeowners through opening the box and successfully shutting off the valve as needed.

Why use the Water Main Cut Off Valve?

There are certain scenarios where cutting off the water flow to the entire home is beneficial, but not every instance requires cutting off the water at the main valve. Most appliances that use water in the house have a specific valve for their hookup that will work if just that appliance needs the water cut off — for instance, for installations, replacements, or emergency work.

However, if there is a major leak in the house, if a pipe has burst, or those individual valves are failing, it’s better to cut off the water flow at the source using the water main cut off valve. This should be done immediately, and emergency plumbing services should be notified shortly after to help fix the issue at hand. 

It’s also a useful practice to cut off the water at the water main valve if homeowners are leaving for an extended period of time. This is a helpful stop gap measure that will prevent the house from flooding in the event of a catastrophic issue, such as a major leak, with no one home to immediately help. 

If you’re having issues finding your water main cut off, are curious about when to use to use it, or have an emerging plumbing issue that needs immediate attention, reach out to the professionals at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling. With over 30 years of experience, the knowledge plumbing professionals at Duane Blanton have an answer for your questions and a fix for your plumbing issue. Reach out today, via phone at (815) 781-2567, or right from your browser through Duane Blanton’s convenient online schedule tool.


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