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Know the Location of Your Plumbing Shut-Off Valves


In a state known for its hurricanes, disaster preparedness is an important part of owning a home. You have to know how to fortify parts of your home and your roof to prevent major flooding. You must be able to identify safety risks quickly. You need a plan to evacuate your family should a major emergency threaten your home. In all the planning, it’s easy to forget the little things, but our plumbers are here to remind you.

Knowing the location of your plumbing shutoff valves can help to reduce a lot of stress in an emergency, whether or not it’s related to a natural disaster. Today, we want to help you understand the importance of this, where to find the shutoff valves, and how to make a plan for your entire family in case of a plumbing emergency.

When Does a Water Shut-Off Valve Come in Handy?

Water shut-off valves are important in plumbing repair because you must shutoff the water before working on a plumbing supply pipe or fixture. However, today we’re more focused on emergency situations.

In terms of disaster preparedness, it’s a good idea to shut off the water to the home before you evacuate. Sometimes, a home does not flood directly from the storm waters, but rather because a storm caused a pipe in the home to burst. Shutting off the water and draining the pipes ahead of time can prevent a home from flooding.

In a plumbing emergency, you’ll want to know the location of your shutoff valves so that the situation isn’t as dire. Most plumbers have shown up to a home with panicky residents filling buckets and soaking towels, when they could have shut off the water as soon as they noticed a leak.

What about the Gas Shut-Off Valves?

Of course, it’s important to know the location of your gas shutoff valves as well. If you smell a possible gas leak, you may be near enough to shut off the gas in time. Or, if you know of a storm headed your way, it’s a good idea to turn off the gas to the home so that you do not return to a fuel or carbon monoxide leak.

Where Are the Valves Located?

For many people who know they need to shut off the water, the most difficult part is actually finding the valves in the first place.

  • Toilets, sinks, and other home fixtures usually have their own shutoff valves located directly in the area.
  • In warmer climates, the main water shutoff valve may be at the meter, underneath a ground-level grate marked “water.” It may also be in a curbside box or along an exterior wall.
  • In colder climates, the main water shutoff valve is probably indoors, like in a basement.
  • A gas shutoff valve may also be street-side or at the side of the house.

Typically, you turn the valve counter-clockwise to shut off the water or gas. Sometimes, this requires a wrench.

How Can I Plan for a Plumbing or Gas Emergency?

There are some things you should do to make sure your home is prepared for a disaster or that people in the home know how to react in case of a plumbing emergency.

  • If you smell gas or have a carbon monoxide emergency, leave the home immediately and call the utility company.
  • Shut off the water and gas before you evacuate the home. (Note: only shut off the gas if you are certain it is necessary, as the utility company will have to turn it back on.)
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the location of valves.
  • If a valve requires a wrench to use, keep a wrench located in the meter box or directly nearby.

For more information, call a qualified plumber in New Port Richey, FL. Contact Continental Plumbing Services, LLC.