If you had a pipe suddenly spring a leak, do you know what to do? Or what if an overhead sprinkler system accidentally goes off? Obviously, calling a plumber is on the list of things to do, but the very first thing you should do is shut off your home’s main water valve immediately. But you can’t do that if you don’t know where it is. Every member of your family should know where the main shut-off valve is, and how to turn it off. You never know who is going to discover a major leak.

Every home that’s connected to a municipal water source has a main shut-off valve that can stop the flow of water into your pipes, fixtures and appliances. In many cases, the valve is located in the basement, near the water meter. If you have an unfinished basement, it should be easy to find. Just look for the handle on the water pipes coming into your home near the water meter. If you have a finished basement, the shut off valve and water meter may be hidden behind a removable panel, a door with a knob, or even hidden behind a piece of furniture. It may take a little sleuthing to find it.

But the location of your water meter isn’t always obvious. Sometimes it’s on the side of the house, or attached to a short, above-ground post, but sometimes it’s hidden underground. Look around your yard close to the edge of your property for a small metal cover marked “water”. Some water companies even spray the lid blue to make it easy to find.

Once you’ve found the location of the outside water meter, you should be able to locate the valve to turn off the water to your house. It will be located on the same wall as the water meter, because that is where the water main will enter your home. If you ever have to shut off the water in an emergency, turning the handle clockwise will turn the water supply off.

If you still can’t find the main water shut off valve, call your water company, or have your plumber show you where it is.

Call Five Star Plumbing today at 410-836-0118 to schedule plumbing repairs or get a quote on a new installation. And remember, if you have several plumbing issues you’d like us to address, tell us when you call, so we can do everything during one service call.