Just by the title of this post your already bored right? Well if you are a new homeowner or even if you’ve just never taken the time to locate your main water supply I want you to get un-bored right now.
What I am going to show you today can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. I cannot stress enough how important it is to find out HOW TO SHUT OFF THE MAIN WATER SUPPLY TO YOUR HOUSE.
It’s like NUMBER 1 on the list of things you need to do today… I will tell you what NUMBER 2 will be in a minute.
Why is locating your main water valve and learning how to shut your main water supply so important?
- a natural disaster could occur which would cause for you to immediately need to turn off the water supply
- a pipe could burst in or around your home and to prevent massive amounts of damage you would want to cut off the water
- if you are doing a home improvement that involves plumbing you would want to turn off the water supply
- you are notified by the water company that your water is continuously running (indicating a leak)
- if you have a leak and you need to do the repair you must turn off the main water supply
This weekend we got the dreaded call from the water department. It’s an automated message that tells you that your water is continuously running. That can mean several things… it could be as simple as a leaking faucet or running toilet or as severe as a busted pipe.
I call this the dreaded call because this isn’t the first time we have heard this message on our phone. In fact we got the call last spring and then found out that we had a pipe that had a tiny hole in it that was spraying. It was a hole in the hot water line and it was super hot outside. Hot water and hot crawl space equaled lots of mold… LIKE $8,000 dollars worth of MOLD!!!! AND not to mention the $450 pipe repair!
But that’s not all… last year our condo building had all the sprinkler systems burst because they froze. Although we don’t live there the damage to about three fourths of the units was severe. We still had to pay the insurance deductible even though our condo was not damaged. Now we really had no control over this natural occurrence nor could our tenants have shut off the water but this is just another example of how easily something could happen. The damage due to this incident was hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now that you have located the water meter and lifted open the top you want to take note of one very important feature. THIS IS THE 2nd MOST IMPORTANT THING TO LEARN TODAY!
See the little red gear, it’s the one right above the long dial. OK … If that thing is sitting still… GREAT….. If it is moving…. NOT GREAT.
But WAIT… you need to know a little bit more about that dial. If you have any water running in your house it may turn. You want to check it when all appliances and faucets are off. If it is moving when all appliances are off then it’s time to start your investigation.
First check all your faucets and sinks to insure they are not running or leaking. If you can’t find anything then it’s time to crawl under the house…. yep in the crawl space.
As soon as I got the call that the water was running I got under the house and started to crawl to where I knew the previous leak was. I stopped about half way and listened. I could here water hitting the plastic sheeting covering the crawl space. I followed the sound of the drip and located the pipe that had burst. Luckily, I found it in time before too much damage had occurred. This time I did not want to call or PAY a plumber so I did what any DIY blogger would do. I went to Google and researched how to fix my leak.
The first thing I needed was a water valve key. You can find these at Lowes in the plumbing section or order one here from Amazon with our affiliate link Jones Stephens Corp. M25-527 Water Meter Key . We are now storing this key in our emergency closet… it’s nice and handy in case of an emergency!
Next, locate your shut of valve. The key will fit around the narrow piece of plastic on the top, not in to the two holes.
Place the key on top of the valve and turn. I had my son turn off the water while I was under the house. We used our cell phones to communicate whether the water was completely off or not.
By simply knowing where my main water valve was and how to shut off the main water supply I saved thousands of dollars. Not only could a small leak cause mold but it could cause damage to all the insulation, the support beams, the sub flooring and the hardwood floors.
The best thing about this project is that I got Gavin involved and we taught my husband how to turn off the main water supply. Now 3 of the 4 of us all know exactly what to do if the a leak occurs again.
Now Mom and I have both repaired leaks. Here’s her post on how to repair a leaking pipe and I will show you later next week how I repaired my pipe.
Before you do anything else… go find that water supply ! (ladies please don’t rely on your hubbies to know it… you need to know this too in case he’s not there when an emergency happens)
A QUESTION FOR YOU … Tell us where you main water supply is .. we can learn from you…
Rhonda Brockman says
Ours is out front between the road and circle drive with a green cover !!!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
What a bummer!! Every time we leave for any length of time we ALWAYS turn the water off at the main — on the street side of the water meter NOT after it’s already gone through the meter. Ours is not too deep so hubby uses channel locks to turn off the water. The reason we do it on the street side of the meter is if there should be a leak it is on the utility companies side — it hasn’t been metered. We always worry about leaks in the crawl space so this was our solution for protection.
I was not wrong when I called you Super Woman. Wish I knew this last year when my house flooded!