Every homeowner, and even renters, should know where the utilities shut off are located for their residence. In the event of an emergency, shutting off sources can reduce the damage to your home and personal property. Trying to locate these safety devices in a panic does not usually turn out well.
When a plumbing fixture suddenly begins leaking, you need to shut off the water supply before significant damage occurs. You can shut the water off at the main valve or sometimes the fixture itself. Get to know where these valves are and how they work.
The main water shut off valve should be located at your water meter or where the pipe enters your home. Normally, this valve will use a round handle, much like an outdoor faucet. Some systems use a lever. Turn the handle clockwise. Use your hands; do not apply extreme pressure. If the shut off is a lever, turn it 90 degrees. The arrow should be perpendicular to the pipe.
For the best results, operate the main valve about once a year. It can rust, making it difficult to operate. You can use a light spray of WD-40 or similar lubricant to loosen the valve.
Many fixtures also have individual shut offs located close to the fixture. Look under your kitchen or bathroom sink to see if valves are installed. Your toilet should have a shut off located near the base. These devices will be oval handles or levers and operate in the manner described above.
You need to know where your electric panel is located. Panels areoften located in basements or utility closets. The panel should have a door that opens easily with a small handle. Do not remove the cover that is held in place with screws. With the door open, you will see a pull handle switch at the top of the panel. This should be marked Main. Move the handle to the opposite position to shut off the power.
Individual circuits will have small switches located in two columns. These should be marked with the circuit or appliance they are powering. You can flip individual switches to turn the power off. If you have a fuse box, fuses must be removed individually. Fuses unscrew counterclockwise. Do use caution; the sockets will have live power.
The main shut off for your gas will be located where the pipe enters your home. The gas meter may or may not be in the same location. Gas shut offs normally use a lever with an arrow. If the arrow points in the direction of the line, the gas is on. To shut off the gas, turn the lever until it is perpendicular to the pipe.
However, if you suspect a gas leak, leave your residence immediately. Call your local fire department or utility company from a phone outside of your home. Do not re-enter the premises until you are told it is safe to do so.
Remember these key areas in your home to save you time and money. Make sure every adult in your home know these key utility shut offs and how they work. Older children may be able to help in an emergency, but do ensure that they are capable of handling the situation. If you are unable to find the valves for these utilities, contact your utility provider. They should assist you at no charge.
Remember that the more quickly you can shut off a water supply, the less damage you will have. If you experience flooding or other problems, choose Professional Restoration for a quick response for all your repairs. Professional Restoration will provide you with the quality and safety you need, 24 hours a day. Call on our experienced team 303-922-4001 to assist you immediately with water damage. Professional Restoration offers free estimates, and is certified to help with all property damage repairs.