Plumbing Tips – Water Shut-Off

January 23, 2023

It’s common for homeowners to overlook the plumbing system in their home. Most people don’t take note of their water supply until plumbing repairs are needed. The last thing you want to happen when you are experiencing a plumbing issue is to have water damage take place. You can quickly prevent this problem by knowing how to shut off the water that’s being fed to that specific area. This is something you should learn about ahead of time, so you know how to spring into action when something happens. Let’s talk a bit more about the different supply lines that are in your home, and why you may need to shut them off at one time or another.

Pensive brunette girl sitting on floor with umbrella because she has a water leak

Reasons to Shut Off Your Water

There are a few different ways that you can shut off your water. Water is fed into your home by way of a water line that comes from the street. You have the option of turning the water off completely at this point of entry, and this would result in there no longer being water fed through any of the pipes in your home. You can also turn the water off in different locations of the home, so only certain plumbing fixtures are cut off. Some of the reasons why you might want to turn off your water include:

Going on Vacation
If you’re planning to go on vacation during the winter months, you’re probably considering turning down the thermostat in your home so you’re not unnecessarily paying to heat your home while you’re away. This is common and makes a lot of sense when it comes to your utility bills, but a lot of people don’t take into account the risk that exists when temperatures get too low in your home, and you have water sitting in your pipes. This water could end up freezing and bursting the pipes, resulting in a very damaging mess that you don’t find until you arrive home. Avoid this headache by lowering, but not turning off, your heat and shutting off the water to your house before you leave.

The Need for Plumbing Repairs
If you need to have work completed on your plumbing system, it’s a lot easier to do the work when there isn’t water in the pipes. You can have a professional cut into the pipes and replace or install whatever is necessary, have everything sealed up, and the water can usually be turned on again in just a few hours. A lot of the products that professional plumbers use to seal different joints between pipes need time to cure and leaving the water off allows this to happen.

Plumbing Issues
If you find that a pipe is leaking pretty substantially and to the point that you need to call in a professional, it’s a good idea to turn off the water for the time being. This may mean you only have to shut off the water in a small area of the home, but there may be a bigger issue that requires you to turn the water off throughout the home from the street hookup. This process will prevent you from experiencing water damage that can be very costly to fix.

Couch, chair, laptop and soccer ball in a foot of water damage due to flooding in the house

How to Find Your Water Shut Off Locations

Figuring out how to shut off your water isn’t too difficult. If you want to shut off the water coming into the home from the street, locate your main water line that’s in your basement, slab, or crawlspace. It will usually be situated along the perimeter of your home, or near your sump pump or a corner of your basement. Turn the valve clockwise, and this should stop the feed of water coming into your home.

If you simply want to turn off water to a certain sink or tub, you’ll need to find the valve that is located near that fixture. For sinks, it’s usually located underneath the sink bowl inside of a vanity or cabinet. Something like a shower or tub will require you to go downstairs where you can gain access underneath these units, or through an access door in the wall behind the tub or shower faucet. Turn the lever clockwise to turn the water off and turn it the opposite way to turn it back on. Just make sure that you remember to open up a few of the valves throughout the home to prevent a backup of pressure while the water is off and then when it’s turned back on again.

Pipe burst causing a lot of water to spray out everywhere

For over four decades, KELLEHER has been building a reputation in the Richmond area for installing and maintaining high-quality home comfort systems. We encourage you to let our family help your family with all of your home comfort needs. We’re just a phone call away.