General Question

LuckyGuy's avatar

Do you know how to shut the water off to your home or apartment?

Asked by LuckyGuy (40734points) February 21st, 2021

Imagine a pipe burst right now. Could you shut the water off so it does not continue to do damage? Do you even know where the valve is?

I have seen some of the videos of water damage in Texas. They show water from burst pipes flowing down the stairs while the homeowner stands there taking videos. Do they not know how to shut the water off?

My house has s shutoff under every sink and toilet and a main shut off after the water meter in the basement. Where is yours?
Also, my neighbor and I went in 50–50 and bought the tool so we could shut off water at the main in the unlikely case that anyone on our road had a disaster. It hangs in a prominent place in his garage. (Maybe this is being overprepared.)

Right now. Could you shut off your water?

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30 Answers

gondwanalon's avatar

I know where the main water shot off valve is at our house. It’s located at near the front of our driveway. I can turn off the water with a large crescent wrench.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Every thing except the Bath tub and the main shut off value.

canidmajor's avatar

When I buy a house, one of the deciders is ease of access to these various things.

cookieman's avatar

I have the same options you do and know where they all are. I’ve also tested them all to make sure the valves work and can close.

It amazes me how many people own homes and cars and do not know the basics.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m hoping this question will encourage a few people to look – and even try it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’m not really sure where the main is, but I rent, I don’t own, and the main is somewhere on the landlord’s portion of the property. I do know where each valve inside my home is however.

janbb's avatar

Good reminder that I need a refresher course!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I know where the main is and have a meter key to go down into the covered pit in the front of the house

chyna's avatar

Yes, and I just confirmed it with my brother.
Thanks for the reminder.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Our shutoff valve is a wheel on the main pipe immediately at the point where it intrudes the basement. I installed the wheel and a pressure gauge when we bought the house. In addition, there is a levered valve for each and every branch of copper line throughout the house. I too have the tool to lift the water department grate in the street and lever the valve from the main line to the house. The wife gets annoyed when I quiz her on the valves every few years. I’m a fanatic about valves and fire extinguishers.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, but it’s not easy to get to in my current home.

When I built my own home I had them put in a simple loop with a lever in my garage wall.

Next question, if you are on sewer lines do you know how to open the line so a back-up goes onto your lawn and not into your house? That’s something we worry about when there are massive power outages and the lift station is out of commission.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie That was a lesson I learned before buying a house here. You don’t want to buy in the valleys or lowlands between the hills of this town. Several of the prominent streets here were former stream and creek beds, and there are infrequent but devastating rainfall events that overwhelm the capacity of the city’s drainage infrastructure. Those former waterways can wake up in a hurry with dire consequences for the real estate indifferent to them.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, dear, no, I don’t. Haven’t got to that yet, but it’s on my to-do list.

raum's avatar

I know how to shut the water off—but I couldn’t shut the water off right now. Need one of those metal bar/key thingamajiggers. On my to do list to get one!

Meter key! That’s what they’re called. Thanks @Tropical_Willie.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The pit where the valve is has black widows and other biting bugs.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I hope this inspires some of you to actually try it.

And while we’re at it, you should also know how to shut off the gas – if you have gas service.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Yep know where gas and power are, they are about 8 feet away from the water shutoff.

cookieman's avatar

Or, if you have oil, the emergency shut off switch for the oil burner.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yeah,haven’t had to use it but I know where it is.

Caravanfan's avatar

Yes. There are actually two access points for shut off. One at the street and one by the house.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Ditto @Caravanfan. Same two areas at my house.

LuckyGuy's avatar

We live in a cold climate where the frost line is 48–54 inches below the surface. Water lines from the road and into our homes are installed below that. Since it is so far down, the shut off at the road requires a long tool to reach the valve. That is why my neighbor and I bought one.
Better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Nope. I am temporarily living in a motel-like extended-stay place. I let them take care of everything. It has worked out so far.

But next week I move to an apartment with shared hot water heat and a shared basement. I will be poking around and soon will know much about the gas and water service and the boiler.

janbb's avatar

Went over it with my handyman today. Also, the electric.

cookieman's avatar

“Went over it with my handyman today. Also, the electric.”

Why does this sound dirty out of context?

janbb's avatar

Ooh, you dirty minded little cookie!

canidmajor's avatar

Because, @cookieman, our Little Penguin has a rich and interesting life beyond Fluther that some of us can only dream about. <sighs with envy>

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