Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Turn Off Your Water Main Supply

Fig.1 Street meter
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Gas/water shutoff tools
Crescent wrench

How do you turn off the water in your home, if the house valve does not work? 

This post is going to show different problems on how to turn off the water in your home.  Follow the steps below to learn how to turn off the house water using the house valve, and the main water valve at the street. 

The problem:
An restate inspector is visiting your home for a potential sale and after the inspection has been done for the entire home, the inspector has found a small drip in the kitchen sink area.

The action:
The client has hired a handyman and he looks underneath the sink and has found a damaged stop valve. The stop valve is the valve that allows water to the kitchen faucet.  

The Solution: 
In this example turning off the stop valve underneath the sink will not solve the problem. The reason is that if the stop valve is turned off, the faucet will have no water.

Step 1: Go to the house and turn off the water at the house main. Look at fig.2 shows the ball valve has been turned off. These valves are push up to turn off the water. Some valves have to be turned around in a circle called gate valves which will also turn off the water to the house.

Fig.2 Water main

Step 2: The water has been turned off and now the handyman can do the repair work.

The problem:
This is a continuation from the problem above.

The action:
The handyman can not use the house main valve because water is leaking past it. 

The Solution: 
At this point the only solution is to turn off the water at the street.

Step 3: Fig.3 shows the handyman using a water shutoff tool to remove the street cover to get to the water main.
Fig.3 Street water main

Step 4: Fig.4 shows the cement cover has been removed and the water gauge cover has been folded back. The number will move if the water is in use.
Fig.4 Street main meter
Step 5: Fig.5 shows the tool is placed in the water valve turn on/off knob and by twisting the tool the water can be turned off. Very rare does the water valve have an handle to turn off the water manually. This is done to stop unauthorized people from turning off the house water.  The tool give the handyman the leverage to turn the valve above ground without damaging the water main valve. If you look at fig.1 the on/off valve looks like a minus sign, a narrow bar, that controls the flow of water into the home.
Fig.5 Moving valve to on
Step 6: Fig.6 shows the water is turned off and the handyman can do the repairs.
Fig.6 Meter moving job done

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Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

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