1. Knowledge Hub
  2. Maintenance & Repair

How do I shutoff water during an emergency?



Whether you have a water leak or you're headed on vacation, it is very important to know where the main water shut off valve is located in your home. If you have a water leak, the first step is to see if you can solve the problem locally. Whether it be at a sink, a toilet, the washing machine—all these fixtures have their own valves. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the local valves around your home so you can act quickly in the event of an emergency. Know how to turn off each of these different valves. The next step is to understand the main shut off valve. If you can't detect or pinpoint the location of the leak—for example, you're standing in your kitchen and all of a sudden water starts coming from the ceiling, so you go upstairs and you don't see any water in the bathroom—that would be when you turn off the main water shut off valve.

If you need to turn the water off, it's very simple. Just turn the handle entirely perpendicular to the waterline; this action turns off the water pressure to the entire home. Please note, this doesn't necessarily mean the leak will stop immediately,  but it will stop any further water from entering the lines and creating further damage. One reason you would want to turn your main water line off would be leaving your home for a prolonged period of time. If you plan on being gone for at least a week, we recommend turning it off. This limits any potential incidents or accidents while you are gone and could prevent substantial damage.

While the water valve is shut off, the pressure in the plumbing lines dies down. This means there is an immense amount of pressure coming through this valve when you go to turn it back on. Just like your hose bibs, you'll want to ease into turning the water line back on. It may be a little tough when turning it back on due to the pressure of the water trying to release from below. Once the water is flowing, it is best to check each room, including bathrooms, the kitchen, and the washing machine. Be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary and be prepared to take action. If you still have a problem, call Van Metre if you're under warranty or a plumber if your warranty has expired.