If you’re having a plumbing issue in your Fairfax home, you’ve probably already made the first step and called your Fairfax Plumberologist. Plumbing service in a home is very important, and it’s also very delicate because it deals almost exclusively with large amounts of water. If you’re dealing with a plumbing service problem while waiting for your Fairfax plumber to arrive, and it turns into an emergency – you should know how to handle it! Do you know how to shut off the water in case of an emergency?
Plumbing Service Emergency: Turning Off the Water
Once you realize you have a problem, the first thing you should do is shut off the water. The longer the water is on the higher the damage potential is. Even a few minutes of water pouring over a toilet can be devastating to your home. Start small and close, and continue out until the water stops flowing and the emergency is under control.
- Local– Try to turn the water off locally first. If it’s a toilet or sinks there are typically valves located right next to them to turn the water off to that particular appliance. The toilet’s valve is typically on the wall behind the toilet and the sink’s valve will be under the sink, they are knobs you simply turn clockwise. If you’re having a washing machine emergency turn both of the valves (hot and cold) behind or above the washing machine to stop the water flow.
- Shut-Off Valve Within the House– If you can’t find the local turn off, or it isn’t working; try finding the shut-off valve inside the house. This will turn off all the water in the house, including your emergency area. These can be tricky to find sometimes but look around. It’s inside the house, but probably somewhere along the perimeter so check the rooms on the outside of the home. It’s at ground level so if you’re in a basement look at eye level or above and if you’re upstairs look down. It probably isn’t under a sink and try not to confuse your main shut-off with your water heater’s shut-off as these are different. You can also look in access panels, shut-off valves aren’t supposed to be behind any walls, but the previous homeowner may not have known better.
- Outside Water Shut-Off- This method is a last resort as it will most likely be hard to access and require some digging and manual labor. Go outside to your water meter, look around for the steel or iron lid, and remove it. You may have to dig around and remove dirt and debris but you should find the meter, your shut-off valve, and the water company’s shut-off valve. Your valve will be on the side closest to the house, turn it clockwise. It may have a valve but often will require a wrench to turn. Once the water is shut off and the emergency is at bay, let your trusted Fairfax plumber handle the rest.