Home inspectors will walk you through the home, show you where to locate the main water shut off valve and what to do in an emergency.
Ensuring that everyone in your household knows the location of the main water shut-off valve and how to operate it is crucial. Water leaks can happen at any time, and there have been instances when parents are away from home during such emergencies. To prevent extensive water damage, it's essential to show your teenagers, babysitters, and house sitters the location of the main water shut-off valve.
The main water shut-off valve inside your home is connected to the water line that goes into the water meter. It's the first thing to turn off in case of a water leak, repair, or renovation that requires new plumbing fittings. However, over time, mineral deposits and grit can deteriorate the main shut-off valve, making it difficult to turn off. Additionally, age-related brittleness can affect old-style valves with round handles.
If the main shut-off valve stops working, the only option to turn off the water supply to your home is to call the city or utility company to shut off your water connection from the outside shut-off near the lot line. However, this process can be time-consuming, even in emergencies.
To improve shut-off options, consider adding a second shut-off valve. You can install a lever handle type of ball-valve shut-off on the main line after the existing shut-off, and use the new valve to quickly shut off the water with a 1/4 turn. Installing a second shut-off valve while the original shut-off is still operational is a relatively inexpensive solution compared to replacing the main water shut-off valve, which requires professional plumbing assistance and involvement from the city or utility company.