When it comes to water flooding your home, a quick lesson like, “Where is my emergency water shut-off valve?” is best learnt ahead of time. Of course as lessons go, this one is a bit of a trick. Your home should have a main or master shut-off valve near your water metre, but it should also have many individual or supply shut-off valves for specific appliances and fixtures. It’s a good idea to know both where the main shut-off valve is and where the individual valves are. That way, when possible, you can stop the leak without turning off water to your entire home.
Your toilet’s individual valve is likely low to the ground. Maybe about a foot from the floor. It’s typically behind the bowl and attached to the wall. Twist the valve counterclockwise to turn it off. Don’t force it to move if it won’t.
Sinks throughout your home should have their individual valve located beneath the basin. Open the cabinet, and you should find two sets of flexible metal tubing. Turn clockwise to shut-off the valve. If you have a dishwasher, see if you can locate its valve as well. It’s often connected to the nearest sink.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find two valves for your clothes washer clearly exposed above or behind the machine. You can turn them off by twisting both valves clockwise. If you don’t see them, try pulling your machine away from the wall.
Bathtubs and Showers are a bit trickier. Sometimes the plumbing is exposed for these fixtures, but often times it isn’t. Take a look and see if you can find the two valves. If you can, great. You’ll need to turn them both clockwise.
Main Shut-Off Valve.
If turning off an individual valve near the leaky fixture isn’t an option, you’ll need to locate your main shut-off valve. In Canada, your main shut-off valve should be located inside your home. The harder question to answer is: where in the house is it? A good place to start is locating your water metre outside of the house. Your interior shut-off valve will likely be located close by (but inside your home). Once you have a good idea of what area of which room the water metre is attached to, go back inside and try to find it. It’s probably not under a sink, and don’t mistake your hot water heater’s valve for your home’s main shut-off valve. If you’re having absolutely no luck, see if you can find an old property inspection report. It may note the location.
Outside Main Shut-Off Valve.
During an emergency, your final option is to turn off the city’s water line into your home. This is your last-resort, all else has failed option. It’ll cut off water to your entire house, and it will likely involve some digging. We highly, highly recommend that you call your local, Calgary plumber or your municipality instead of fussing with the outside main shut-off. It can be a good idea to keep the phone number of your favourite Calgary plumber in your phone or on your fridge, so you don’t need to look for it when an emergency strikes.
There’s never a good time for a plumbing emergency. But with a little effort now, you can identify where your shut-off valves are and reduce potential water damage later. It can be a good idea to even try turning every valve. Shut off the water to every fixture to ensure each valve is working correctly. Once you’ve finished with the individual valves, try turning of the main shut-off valve. If any of these valves aren’t working correctly or can’t be turned, it’s time to contact your trusted Calgary plumber.
Remember that the advice we’re offering is always for valves in general. Your house may be built slightly different and require you to turn clockwise instead of counterclockwise, or vice versa. We always recommend learning how your valves work in your home before there is an emergency.
You need shut-off valves you can depend on and locate easily. We’re here to help! Call the friendly Calgary plumbers at Plumbing Paramedics today if you have any questions about your home’s plumbing or how to react during a plumbing emergency.