Where to Find Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

Dear Home-ec 101:

My son’s school had an earthquake drill; they sent him home with a worksheet to fill out.  We need to locate the main shut off valve for our home’s water supply.

Can you help?

Shakin’ in Shelbyville

Heather says:

Excellent question, your main shut off valve is the knob on the house side of your water meter.  In this house, our water meter is near the street, but in our last home it was located in the basement.    It’s rare that you would need this valve as there are other valves thoughout a home: before the hot water heater, under sinks, behind toilets, and behind the washing machine.  If possible, try to shut off the valve closest to the leak, after an earthquake being an exception.

While we’re discussing being prepared, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead tonight and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors while you’re at it.



3 Comments

  1. @Aldodecor on April 9, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Further update on main water shut off valve. here in the uk it is called a stop tap and is located typically underneath the sink in most new property’s and in older property’s it can be absolutely anywhere around the home e.g. on walls high and low, under stairwells, cupboards, basements.etc

  2. HeatherSolos on March 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Perhaps the problem is too many things are expected to be common knowledge. My observations are leading me to believe that a lot of people just wander through life until there is a problem. It's the whole, I don't need to read the instruction manual, even with major investments. It's kind of scary.

  3. caroline on March 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    The April 2010 edition of Readers Digest has a '13 things your plumber won't tell you' article and one of the things it to know where your main water shut of is. Because plumbers often get hysterical phone calls 'my house is flooding and i dont know what to do!'

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