It is an unfortunate fact of human nature that many among us only do something about anything when it’s already too late. Let’s take the location of our water shut off valve (or water mains valve) at home for example. As a home owner, do you even know where it is?
Good for you if you do. If you don’t, then you’re one of the countless home owners all over the world who only find out the location of the water mains isolation valve when a plumbing emergency like a burst pipe takes place. It is likely that by the time you locate the water mains shut-off valve, your home will already have suffered a fair amount of water damage due to flooding.
Needless to say, it is extremely important for you to learn where turn off your home’s main water supply before anything like this ever happens. The water shut off valve is your only means of cutting off water supply to your house, especially in plumbing emergency cases. Here are some tips for finding your home’s water mains tap or shut-off valve.
The water shutoff valve is usually hidden
More often than not, a water isolation valve is hidden in some dark corner of the house. While some water shutoff valves can be found on an outside wall in the utility area, most homes have their water shutoff valves located in the basement or in the garage.
The climate matters
In Australia, the water shutoff valve can be typically found right beside the water meter, as there is no danger of it freezing. In contrast, people who live in colder areas often have their water shutoff valve inside the house — a basement, usually — to prevent them from freezing. In milder climates, it is not uncommon for a water shutoff valve to be installed in an underground box or to an exterior wall.
If you don’t know the location of your mains water shutoff valve, much less turned it on and off since you moved into your current home, it is imperative that you make up for it straight away. That cliché about an ounce of prevention being better than a ton of cure certainly applies to this. Do not wait for a plumbing emergency to occur before looking for how to turn off your main water supply.