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Tips from the Pros: How to Shut Off Your Water in an Emergency

water faucet running and overflowing

If you have a leaking or burst pipe somewhere in your home, the first thing you should do is shut off your home’s water supply. Every home has a main shutoff valve for its water, and it is vital that you know where this valve is before you have an emergency. You don’t want to be scrambling to find this valve while a burst pipe is flooding your kitchen or bath.

Locate the Shutoff Valve

Unfortunately, the location of the shutoff valve may be different for every home, but it is usually found in the main water pipe leading into the home. In California, where we have a relatively warm climate year-round, this valve is often outside.

Turn Clockwise

The shutoff valve will usually be made of brass and have a round handle. To turn the water supply off, you will want to turn the knob clockwise until you cannot turn it anymore. You may want to wear heavy gloves if the valve is stiff, and it never hurts to locate this valve and try to turn it just to make sure that you can shut off the water when necessary.

Drain Remaining Water

Once this valve is off, your appliances and faucets won’t work. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t still any water in your pipes. Turn on all of your faucets to drain the remaining water from your plumbing and make plumbing repairs safely.

Make Repairs

Once your water is shut off, you can start to make the necessary repairs to your plumbing. You might be able to do this yourself if you have the proper tools and expertise, but you should contact a qualified plumber if you aren’t sure you can successfully complete the task at hand.

Turning the Water Back On

After all the necessary repairs have been made, you can turn your water back on by turning the shutoff valve counterclockwise. Be sure to run the water in your faucets for a little while after this is done. There will almost certainly be some air trapped in your pipes, and you don’t want to be sprayed by a jet of water when you use your kitchen sink for the first time after you’ve fixed your plumbing.

For more information about shutting off your water or for help with burst pipes, overflows, and more, please give Adeedo!’s highly-skilled San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange County plumbers a call at (833) 936-1791.

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