Plumbing disasters can strike quickly and, most times, will happen without warning. Knowing exactly where your shut-off valves are – and how to use them – can prevent or limit the damage from occurring in your home. There are many valves and switches inside your home, but the main water valve is one of the most important. This valve is responsible for shutting off all access to water for all of the appliances or plumbing fixtures throughout your home.
When to Use a Shut-Off Valve
Water supply shut-off valves should only be used in serious circumstances. For example, you may want to use your shut-off valve if you find yourself in the face of an emergency or a major renovation, or if you’ll be away from your home for more than a week.
Finding yourself in the middle of a plumbing emergency due to a pipe burst, a major leak in your pipes, or flooding caused by plumbing problems is absolutely a reason to use your water supply shut-off valve. Doing so will prevent more water from piling onto the issue and making it larger than it needed to be. Specific examples include:
Planning on performing a major renovation at your home? If so, it will require that you turn off the main water valve. If you plan to replace pipes in an area where appliances or plumbing fixtures may be used, such as a kitchen or bathroom, you’ll need to make sure that no active water is flowing through those pipes.
When you’ll be gone from your house for a significant period of time, you should consider turning your water valve off. While you are away, if a water leak or broken pipe occurs, you won’t know until you come home to a flooded house.
Bigger emergencies aren’t the only time to shut off the water. In the event of a smaller emergency, such as minor water leaks, you should turn off the valve to make sure that a small water leak doesn’t turn into something bigger. A plumbing professional from Estes Services will be able to perform leak repairs quickly and at a reasonable price point.
How to Turn Off Your Main Water Line
First, find out where your main water valve is located. How you’ll turn off your main water line depends on its age and model. If your main valve has a wheel handle, for example, you’ll want to turn it clockwise a couple of times until you feel the wheel stop turning.
Handle valves, on the other hand, should be turned about a quarter of a rotation clockwise. You’ll know that the valve is now turned off because the handle will no longer be parallel with the pipe.
It’s important to note that if your main water line’s handle feels like it doesn’t want to turn, you should call a professional. Forcing the handle to move could result in the handle breaking off and creating more issues as a result.
When to Call a Plumbing Professional
If you had an emergency that required you to turn off the main water line, make sure to call a professional to repair the problem. Broken pipes that cause flooding, damaged plumbing fixtures, or even old pipes that need to be replaced should be handled by someone with expert knowledge in the plumbing industry.
Preventative plumbing maintenance can save you time, money, and worry in the future.
Estes offers several different services for residents in and around the Atlanta area. Our plumbing professionals are certified and have the experience to offer answers and solutions at an affordable price. Call us today and keep your whole house plumbing system in tip-top shape!