Trying to locate your home’s main water shut-off valve? It’s important to locate this valve because it controls the water supply to your home. In the event of an emergency, knowing where the valve is can save you money by reducing water damage and even preventing a major disaster. If you don’t know where your home’s main shut-off valve is, use the tips in this guide from We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air to find it and learn how to shut it off.
What Is the Main Water Shut-Off Valve?
Water valves can make or break your day-to-day comfort in Temecula. The main water valve controls your home’s access to water. If you turn it off, it prevents water from flowing into the home’s water pipes. With it turned on, your home’s appliances and fixtures, like faucets, refrigerators, toilets and sinks, all have access to water.
Where Is the Main Water Shut-Off Valve?
Unfortunately, homes don’t have a standard location for the main water valve. There are, however, a few places where homebuilders tend to install them. The most popular place is near the water meter. In-ground water meters sometimes even have the main water valves sitting right next to them down in the ground. Other common places include in the basement, in a vault or box, or buried beneath the ground away from the water meter.
Main water valve repairs can become quite costly. Those buried in the ground tend to have the highest replacement costs. Other factors that influence the cost of a main water valve replacement include the valve’s material and replacement type. Stainless-steel water valves are much more expensive to replace when compared to brass and bronze valves. The replacement type refers to the many components that a water valve has. For example, replacing the shut-off valve handle or tap replacement costs much less than replacing the water pressure regulator or a section of piping.
Additional issues that can impact the price of a main water shut-off valve repair include:
- Calcium buildup
- Water line vibrations
- Discolored water
- Low water pressure
Are There Other Water Shut-Off Valves?
Your home probably has several water shut-off valves that you’re unaware of, unless you took part in building the house. There’s a good chance it has water shut-off valves near the washer and dryer hookup, in the kitchen behind the refrigerator, near the water heater, under the kitchen sink (controls water to the dishwasher and sink), and outside, near an exterior water faucet. These valves allow you to control water flow to separate appliances and fixtures without having to shut off water to the whole home.
6 Ways to Find the Main Water Shut-Off Valve
There are numerous reasons for needing to turn off a home’s water supply. Regardless of the reason, though, it’s imperative to have a professional plumber perform any necessary repairs or replacements. Working on a main water valve yourself can lead to injury as well as costly damage to your home and property. Here are six tips you can use to quickly locate your home’s main water shut-off valve.
1. Check the Water Meter
If you have municipal water, the first place to look for a main water valve is near the home’s water meter. It’s likely located near the street. The water line itself usually runs from the street in a straight line to your home. Once you find the meter, look for a water valve. As mentioned before, if the water meter is in the ground, you can lift the lid and check for the shut-off valve.
2. Check the Basement
If your home has a basement and you’ve noticed exposed piping in its ceiling, the pipes may lead you to the water valve. You’re not looking for pipes connected to toilets, sinks, and tubs located on the main floor, which are usually about a half-inch in size. Instead, the piping connected to the main water valve is a bit bigger and runs straight to the shut-off valve.
3. Check the Plumbing Manifold
A manifold isn’t standard in every house. If your home has one, it likely serves as a hub from which all of your plumbing branches out and is usually close to the main water shutoff. Some plumbing manifolds have individual shut-off valves, meaning you may need to locate more than one to shut off water to the whole home.
4. Check the Home’s Inspection Report
If you took out a mortgage to buy your home, you probably had to have a home inspection done. Somewhere in the inspection report is a section related to the main water valve. Not only does the inspection tell you the status of the valve (operable or damaged), but it also tells you the location.
5. Call a Plumber
If you’re still having trouble locating the main water valve, you should call a plumber. Plumbers have expert-level knowledge and know the exact places to look to find water valves. In addition to helping you locate the valves, plumbers can perform plumbing repairs and replacements to ensure each valve works properly.
Some of the most common water valve issues that plumbers help homeowners with are:
- Check valve replacement
- Valve handle replacement
- Leak repairs
- Stuck valves
- Valve reseating
- Valve packing replacement
- Pressure-reducing valve adjustment
- Relief valve testing
6. Call the Water Company
If a plumber can’t find the main water valve, you can always call the water company. This only applies, however, to homes that don’t use natural or well water. In homes that do use natural or well water, the main shut-off valve is typically located near the water source, such as the well pump.
How to Shut Off the Main Water Valve
There are several types of water valves, including:
- Gate valve
- Butterfly valve
- Compression valve
- Stop and waste valve
- Needle valve
- Pressure-reducing valve
- Check valve
- Thermal expansion valve
- Ball valve
Due to its reliability, most people use a ball valve as their main water valve. Some people use a gate valve, with both types having the ability to not only control water access to a home but also water pressure. To close a ball valve, turn the handle so that it is perpendicular to the valve body. To close a gate water valve, you must turn the round handle multiple times in a clockwise direction.
Call the Professionals
Issues with the main water valve can quickly become tricky and dangerous. Having a professional fix them helps protect your home from major water damage. Here at We Care Plumbing, Heating, and Air, we have the special equipment and knowledge that it takes to repair water valves. We also specialize in drain cleaning, indoor air quality testing, including humidification and dehumidification, and heating and cooling services. Give us a call today if you need help locating your home’s main water valve in Temecula or a nearby city.
Author Bio: Rusty Cochran
Rusty Cochran is the President of We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We Care began humbly, operating in his family’s living room. Under Rusty’s strong leadership, We Care has grown from 2 employees to over 200 employees. We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air has gained recognition across the HVAC industry, receiving numerous awards and certifications, including being named the ACCA Contractor of the Year, The Map Presidential Award several times, Angie’s List Super Service Award, NATE certification, and multiple Dave Lennox Awards. LinkedIn Profile