Locating the Shutoff Valve in Case of a Plumbing Emergency

Ever been in a plumbing emergency in Connecticut ? The situation is panicky, often leading to chaos. After all, water leakages are hazardous and can cause damage worth thousands of dollars if not dealt with appropriately.

Obviously, as you become aware of the situation, you should call a plumber right away. But even the best ones of them will take a few minutes to show up. And these few minutes are all that are required for a significant amount of damage to take place.

However, you can minimize the damage if you know the location of your home’s shutoff valve and how it can be turned off.

So Where Is the Shutoff Valve Located?

The location of your home’s shutoff valve can be determined through the following three ways.

Conduct a Physical Examination

Start searching for the shutoff valve physically inside your home. Usually, it will be within your house’s perimeter, near the edge and generally on the side that faces the street. Once you find the valve, you can turn it off.

But unfortunately, it’s not this simple, which takes us to our next step.

Check the Inspection Report

Where is your home’s inspection report? That can inform you whether the physical examination was unsuccessful or not. Go to the section on plumbing and read through the information. It should mention where your valve is located; some reports also include a photo. Even if there were no defects with the plumbing system when you were buying the house, the location of your home’s shutoff valve should still be mentioned.

Find the Valve on the Street Side

If none of the above steps worked, then try to find the second shutoff valve, which is usually located at the point where your water mains begin— generally, between the boundary line of your home and the sidewalk or street. This valve is concealed behind a plastic or metal trap door, situated at ground level.

If you can’t find the valve, then call the water company on their helpline. They’ll guide you on shutting off the valve or will dispatch a team.

Know the Following

Sometimes, the shutoff valve may be accessible from the basement— in this case, you should look for the valve above eye level. And when at ground level, look for the valve downwards.
The shutoff valve is often concealed behind an access panel, and is hidden from view.
If your home has PEX plumbing manifold, you can turn off the supply from the manifold instead of the main shutoff valve.

How Can the Valve be turned Off?

Knowing the location of your home’s shutoff valve isn’t enough. You should know exactly how to turn off the valve in case of a plumbing emergency in Connecticut.

Knife Style Valve

This kind of valve is like a straight handle, running parallel to the supply pipe. Turn it and it would shut off. Knife style valves can be turned off in only one direction. Turning off in the opposite direction is prevented through a metal stop.

Round Handle Valve

This valve works like a hose faucet and must be turned a number of times in a counter clockwise direction before it is completely turned off.

Street Side Valve

Lift the trap door and set it aside. Remove sand and dirt gently using a garden trowel, but don’t throw away this sand. This is required because it prevents the pipes from freezing in the cold winter season. When all dirt and sand has been removed, you should spot a glass cover behind, which is the meter. Sometimes, a secondary cover is also attached for extra protection.

Now carefully observe the inside of the utility box; notice the two valves. Of these, one is the street side valve and the other is your house size valve. The street side valve is next to the water meter. This valve can only be turned off using special equipment, which is available with only the water company. Don’t touch this valve in any case. In some of the regions, you may face potential issues and legal ramifications for doing so.

House Side Valve

The house side valve should be on the other side. It should have a knob or a nut and can easily be turned off.

What’s Next?

Sometimes, if the leaks are small or the plumbing issue is not serious, you may not want to turn off the main valve and completely block the water supply. Newer homes allow you to turn off the up streams at some point, which only blocks supply to a certain area of your home.

Shutting off Water Close to the Leak Source

Where is the leak? Shut off the closest water source.

Toilet: Examine under the toilet, against the wall. Note the metal tubing featuring a handle. Turn this handle in a clockwise direction until it cannot be turned anymore. Be sure not to exert unnecessary pressure, or you will break away the handle.

Sink: Examine the inside of your sink cabinet and find the metal tubes. Turn the valves or handles in a clockwise direction. They can also break easily so be careful when doing so.

Clothes Washer: In some homes, the valves are situated above the washer. Turn both of them in a clockwise direction. If you can’t locate, slide the washer out until you see them.

Bathtub: Generally, the valves of a bathtub are clearly visible. Turn both of them off.

Now you have all the information about locating and turning off your home’s shutoff valve. However, if you find yourself in a plumbing emergency in Connecticut, don’t delay calling the plumbers and get in touch with them instantly. Visit our website and stay connected through social media.