If you return to your home or your working on a DIY project or there is a natural disaster, and the plumbing pipes are flooding your home with water you will need to turn the water supply off quickly. In an emergency situation, it’s a good idea to know in advance what you need to do and work to a previously established plan. When you’re under pressure, it’s not the best time to try and learn how to turn your water supply off quickly. So, it’s worth taking a little time now to learn where your valves are located, how to access them, and how you can turn them off. Let’s get started.

Work Quickly and Methodically

The first thing that you need to understand is the importance of the problem. A single 1” pipe could be releasing 7 gallons of water per minute into your home. In the 10 minutes that you might be searching for a shutoff valve, 70 gallons of water have flooded in. So, time is of the essence, but rushing is often counterproductive, and you can make mistakes that waste even more time. Follow these instructions, work quickly and methodically and get the water shut off to avoid further water damage in your home.

How to Shut Off Municipal Water

Finding the shutoff valve for a municipal water supply can be tricky; in some homes, it’s located in a basement where the mains water pipe enters the home. In this particular case, the water shut off valve is easy to access, and you only need to turn it to halt the flow of water.

Other homes have a shutoff valve located near a water meter valve that’s located under an iron cover near the curb outside your home. In certain neighborhoods, you may need a special five sided “pentagonal” tool to get the cover up, and this is in place to prevent water tampering. This type of retaining bolt can vary a great deal in size, so you will need to measure it if you want to get a tool to easily remove the cover. In an emergency, some of these bolts can be removed with pliers, but this is tricky, and some bolts are recessed, and they cannot be removed at all without an appropriate tool.

Once the cover is removed, you may notice that there is insufficient space to use an adjustable wrench to turn the water valve off. Check in advance if you need a specialist tool to turn the valve easily in an emergency situation.

How to Shutoff Well Water

If your home is supplied with water from a private well, you need to take some time to familiarize yourself with the shutoff procedure. Compare to shutting off municipal water this is usually a far easier and faster process. Locate the switch or circuit breaker for your well pump and turn it off, and this will prevent fresh water from entering your plumbing system. The pressure tank will still contain water, so you need to locate and turn off the water valve located near the pressure tank.

The Next Steps

There may still be water in your plumbing pipes that can still flood into your home after shutting off the valve. Go throughout the home and open every faucet to drain that water away safely.

If you are interested in learning about water treatment or have concerns about the safety of your water supply, be sure to speak to an experienced water treatment professional.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.