How to Find & Turn Off Your Water Valves

Unless you have experienced a water leak in your home, you may not know what to do. Panic usually sets in as you see water leaking from your ceiling, pouring from your light fixtures, and covering almost every floor of your home. The pros at ServiceMaster by Bailey want to help you prepare in the event your home or business is affected by water damage.

No matter how minor the leak is, shut off the water valve to the fixture or to the entire building the moment you notice the leak.

Identify Where Your Water Valves are Located & How to Turn Them Off

It is important that everyone in the house or business knows where your water valves are and how to turn them off in the event of an emergency. For smaller leaks, like an overflowing toilet, it may only require shutting off the valve to the specific fixture or appliance. But for major water leaks, like a burst pipe, you should turn off the water valve to your whole house.

Common Appliance or Plumbing Fixtures

All your plumbing fixtures and appliances, like the toilets, refrigerator, and faucets, should have their own water shutoff valves. Look behind the toilet or under the sink for a chrome-plated or plastic valve handle connected to the water supply line. If the fixture produces both hot and cold water, there will be two valves.

Depending on the type of fixture and design, instructions could vary. Check to see if your valve has instructions on it for shutoff. If you have a modern valve, pull on the flat knob to close it. Other valves handles can be turned clockwise to close and counterclockwise to open. If your valve has a flat lever, turn it 45 degrees to close.

Water Shutoff Valve for Your Entire Home or Business

In most cases, the water shut off valve for the entire building will be inside. For buildings with a lower level or basement, check the front foundation wall. For buildings on a slab, check nearby the water heater or kitchen sink.

No luck finding your water valve inside the building? Check your water meter outside. They are sometimes located near the street or in your driveway under a metal plate. Open the meter and turn the valve clockwise or 45 degrees to shutoff.

Preparing for Emergency Water Leaks

Keep anyone who lives in your home or works in your facility prepared by creating a water emergency plan. Include the locations of your valves, how to turn them off and our number (770-720-9533) for 24/7 water restoration service. Have a physical copy in the building then review it with your family or coworkers two times a year. This will allow you to test the valves twice a year as well. If you plan to leave on vacation, turn off your valves so you can avoid a disaster while you’re gone.

Have any questions or want to talk to the experts? Give us a call or send us your info online. We’re happy to help you and if you notice water damage in your home, call us immediately to avoid mold growth. For more information on ServiceMaster by Bailey’s residential water damage or commercial water damage services, visit the residential water damage page here or the commercial water damage page here.

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