Remodeling Tips and Reviews

How to cut off the water in your home

How to cut off the water in your home

Sep 10, 2011

I have been getting this question a lot lately and thought I would take a minute to address some of the most common ways to cut of the water to your home. If you have a new home there will be a valve box outside in the ground between the city’s meter and your home. This will usually be around 12×12 located in the ground and will have a cut off valve for your entire home in it. The city’s meter, in case you are don’t know, is where the city takes your water usage reading every month. It is typically a large 16″, metal circular cover in the ground that will have the meter inside it.

If you have an older home there is a decent chance you don’t have a water cut off or it may be frozen up. This is when you would need a meter key to open the city’s meter and turn the water off there.  Most meters have a large dial face on them with a small valve cut off on the city’s side usually located after the elbow closer to the ground. It will look like a metal stove knob and rotates a quarter turn clockwise. It is a good idea to know where your meter is and have the key handy for emergencies.

Inside the home there are 2 other valves all home owners should know about. The hot water heater has a valve that can be cut off that feeds it. This is usually located near the top of the hot water heater and should be on the supply side.

Under the sinks and near the toilets are the small, chrome valve cut offs. They will be located in the cabinet below the sink or behind the pedestal of most kitchens and bathrooms. These frequently freeze up over time and have to be replaced.

Common reasons you would need to cut off your water include:

  • busted pipes from a freeze
  • broken hose from age and use
  • hot water heater replacement
  • remodel bathroom or kitchen

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