Homeowners don’t need to know every detail about the complexities of plumbing, but it’s vital to understand the basics. For instance, everyone should learn how to find and use shut-off valves.
When and Why?
You’ll benefit from turning this valve off when a significant leak occurs and you can’t easily collect the water in a container. Some people also turn off the water in vacant homes as a precaution.
Shut-off valves hold great importance because they can reduce the size of leaks. This prevents damage, mold growth and massive water bills.
You can turn the water back on after you return home from a long trip or your plumbing repair has been completed. Wait for the plumber to tell you that it’s safe to restore the flow of water.
Shut-off units come in several varieties, such as gate, needle and globe. Many buildings contain ball valves that turn off the entire plumbing system. They’re made of metal and have lever-style handles.
You may find needle, straight or angled valves that interrupt the flow of water to specific fixtures. When leaks occur in faucets or appliances, you can use them rather than disrupting your entire water supply.
Where Are They?
The whole-house valve is normally located on the first floor or underground. You’ll probably find it along one side of your home near the water-main connection (it may have an access panel). A home inspector’s report usually reveals the exact location, such as:
- Front basement wall
- Next to a water heater
- Near the basement ceiling
- In the crawl space
After you find it, turn its lever so that the pipe isn’t aligned with the handle. If the valve has a wheel, twist it clockwise. Use faucets to completely drain the remaining water.
You can locate fixture-specific valves more easily. Look for them near toilets, behind appliances and under sinks. Engage the main shut-off if one of these units doesn’t work correctly.
Like any moving part, a valve can deteriorate over time. It may need tightening or replacement if it leaks. When the handle won’t budge, you might benefit from warming or lubricating it.
We don’t recommend trying to fix troublesome valves or other problems on your own. Please contact Knight’s Mechanical for professional plumbing repair and preventive maintenance services that will keep your equipment running smoothly. You can reach us at 270-765-4141.