DID YOU KNOW THAT PEOPLE DON’T SHUT OFF THE WATER VALVE TO THEIR HOMES BEFORE VACATION? THEY MAY NOT EVEN KNOW HOW! One of the most IMPORTANT things to do as a homeowner is to find the shut-off valve and know how to use it. Most structures have a main shutoff valve near the utilities on the ground floor, such as in the garage, basement, or closet, as well as another shutoff near the street or well that may be underground inside a manhole.
The time to find this shut-off is not when water is spewing into your home! Time will make a huge difference in the costs of repairs. The main valve can be a number of styles, but the handle usually looks like a wheel with spokes in it or like a lever, typically black or red and sometimes marked “main.” You should turn a wheel to the right and a lever you would simply move in the opposite position. Do a trial test and see if you shut off the water so you know for next time!
Each of the water using appliances and utilities in your house will also have an individual shutoff valve of some kind. Toilets have a lever-looking handle at the base, near the wall. Sinks have a shutoff underneath, also near the wall and typically inside the cabinet or vanity. You can also turn off the water to the washing machine. Again, the idea is to be familiar with the valves and how they work, so you can act fast if needed. Some experts recommend that you turn off the water to the house or at least the washing machine and toilets before vacations or other extended absences so the danger of burst hoses or other water leaks is reduced.
A Quick Local Story….
A customer of ours went on vacation for a month knowing that his toilet flapper was acting up. He didn’t shut off the water to the home or the appliances/toilets before he left town. We received a frantic call when a neighbor spotted a lake in his front yard. There must be a water main break he suggested! We flew (literally) over to his house to see what was going on and we looked for a break in a pipe or a large issue causing this lake outside his home. When we couldn’t find anything, we entered the home and found that one of the toilets flapper was “stuck”, the water constantly ran and backed up literally flooding the home. This is a perfect example of the reasons why you would shut off the water to your home and appliances/toilets prior to leaving for any extended absences from the home. This was a costly mistake and one I am sure our customer will not repeat! Find your shut-off valves to your home….if you don’t know please call us to ask! If you need old gate valves (round wheel) replaced with newer ball valves give Rocket Plumbing a call!