When water damage strikes your home, it becomes of the utmost importance to stabilize the situation as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage. If possible, you want to prevent any more water from getting into your property. This is done by simply shutting off the flow of water into the home through pipes and supply lines. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how this is done. And the time of the damage being inflicted is not when you want to have to learn.
Almost every water line in your home is going to have a shutoff valve, which means you can shut the water off to say, the upstairs bathroom, while the rest of the bathrooms and kitchen will still have a functional water supply. These valves are located near the end of the pipe that services that particular room, and the water may be shut off by rotating the valve counter clockwise until it stops.
Main water valves are located in three different areas, namely the point where the main water line enters the home, near the water meter outside, and in a box buried in your yard somewhere near the street (easily accessible through a removable hatch). The latter two may require special tools or keys to successfully operate, but the first one, located where the water line enters the home, is easily accessible and may be turned off by hand, again, rotating counterclockwise. This valve will either be in the basement or in the garage near the water heater, depending on whether your home has a basement or a slab.
If it is very apparent what fixture is causing the water problems, then you can easily shut off the water to that one area of the home by using one of the individual valves. Some homes are not equipped with these valves, however, they may be installed after the fact and work just as well as valves that were installed when the home was built.
These valves may prove indispensible when it comes to preventing or reducing the level of water damage affecting your home. Valves should be inspected annually, making sure they function properly, and damaged or malfunctioning valves should be immediately replaced.
Make sure that each member of your family is aware of the location of all water valves, and that they know how to operate them in the event of an emergency. It could make thousands of dollars of difference when it comes to the level of damage inflicted on your home.