For your main house? Washing? Bathroom? Gas shut off?
These locations are best known before a crisis arises. Not knowing can mean extensive and expensive repair bills.
The main water valve is where water enters your home. It is usually found in an accessible place near the perimeter of the house and at (or below) ground level. Look near the wall of the front foundation, near the water heater.
If you cannot find the water shut off valve, check the inspection report supplied to you when you purchased your home. The main water shut-off valve should be clearly labeled.
If you cannot find the shut off valve inside the home and have no home inspection report, look for the covered cement box on your property line. This is usually found at the curb and is a buried box with the main valve located in the box. You may need a ‘meter’ key to turn the water off. With the top lifted off (watch for critters!), use a water meter valve tool (about $10.00 at your local hardware store) and turn clockwise to turn the water off. Go inside and turn on a faucet to release pressure in the lines.
In the bathrooms
The toilet and sink should have their own shut off valve under the fixture. The shower cut off is usually within the faucet itself.
In the kitchen
The water shut off valve is under the sink behind all the stuff that people tend to collectin that cabinet. Locate the hot and cold-water lines, one at a time, that move away from the sink to where they disappear into the wall or floor. Look for a rounded knob or lever attached to the pipe at some point along its course. When encountered, turn the control — which will be a shutoff valve — clockwise to cut off the flow of water to the sink. Repeat with the opposite shutoff valve to stop all water flow. Turn on the faucet to ensure it’s off, and let the remaining water run down the drain before proceeding with your work.
There are two locations for gas shut off valves: street side and house side. These whole house gas valves should only be turned off in an emergency or when absolutely necessary. Turning the gas back on will likely require a visit from the gas company. There could be some danger depending on the emergency. To turn off the gas to your home using the house-side shut-off valve, move the lever so that it is at a right angle to the pipe. Wait a few moments for the gas in the line to deplete. Ensure it is off by checking that the valve is perpendicular to the gas line. Listen for any sounds through the pipes and check pilot lights on appliances. Don’t attempt to turn the main supply back on—call your gas company instead. They will be able to properly operate the valve and ensure that your system is safe by checking for leaks and verifying that any gas appliances with pilot lights are safely re-lit. It may be helpful to buy an emergency gas meter wrench shutoff tool and secure it to the meter. Hang the wrench from the gas meter supply pipe with a piece of stainless steel wire. Then secure the bottom portion. Twist the wire just a few times so it’ll release quickly in an emergency.
Each gas appliance should have a gas line running to it that will have a valve located just before the appliance.
Gas Water Heater– the valve is most often found at the bottom of the water heater.
Gas Stove-Pull out the stove from the wall carefully and look at the the back of the oven. Or, you may get to some valves by pulling out the bottom drawer of the stove.
Gas Furnace-the valve is usually on the gas line next to the stove.
Gas dryer: The shut-off valve for a gas dryer is found behind the appliance,
For those with propane or liquefied petroleum gas, there’s a main shutoff valve on the tank itself, and usually a main shutoff valve somewhere before the first appliance
Buy an emergency gas meter wrench shutoff tool and secure it to the meter. Hang the wrench from the gas meter supply pipe with a piece of stainless steel wire. Then secure the bottom portion. Twist the wire just a few times so it’ll release quickly in an emergency.
When you shut off main or individual gas valves, you’ll be extinguishing the pilot lights to certain appliances. Many newer appliances have “pilot light–less” electronic ignition systems, but if you have older appliances, you’ll need to relight the pilot lights. Most appliances have clear relighting directions on a label near the pilot light or in the instruction manual.
It is vital for homeowners and renters to know where the shut off valves are in their living spaces. This knowledge is essential to be able to respond quickly to emergencies or to prepare for natural disasters. Take a walk around your home today and locate the cut off valves so you will be prepared!