Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Is To Help Avoid Catastrophe!

Your worst nightmare has finally been made real.

You walk into your home after a long, grueling day at the office, and you pick up the peculiar sound of rushing water. But no one else is home…

Racing into the basement you find that your pipes have burst, and water is rushing out of the pipes at an insane speed!

That’s when you have to find you’re main water shutoff valve. Except… well… you don’t even know where it is or what it looks like, let alone how to shut off the water!

Knowing where your main water shutoff valve and how to operate it can help you save thousands of dollars in damage, especially when your pipes burst!

First off, you need to know what a main shutoff valve IS. After water passes through the three city-installed valves, the water comes to what is called the main shutoff valve in your home. This valve is usually located in your basement or on an outside wall in a utility area of your house. The main shutoff valve’s function is to allow a full flow of water through the pipe when it’s open. Turning off this valve will cut off the water supply to the ENTIRE house.

Now that you know what a main shutoff valve is and what it does, you need to know what to do with it once you find it!

The main shutoff valve in your home probably has one of two designs:

Gate Valve: Gate valves are very reliable and last for years to come, but they do become difficult to turn if you don’t turn them for years! If you haven’t closed the main shutoff valve since you moved into your home, it’s best to just do it now. After all, you should try it out to see if it works NOW rather than wait for your pipes to burst and your standing knee-deep in water!

Ball valve: Houses that have plastic or copper main water pipes leading into the house may have a full-flow ball valve. This valve opens when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close it, you’ll need to turn the handle ¼ turn clockwise so that it’s perpendicular to the pipe.

As soon as you’ve located your main shutoff valve, be sure that everyone in the household knows where it’s located and knows how to turn it off. Keep in mind that turning the handle clockwise closes the valve! Helpful hint: If you need to have a cheat sheet to remind you which way to turn the control to shut it off, use a label with a simple reminder such as “Right off” with an arrow pointing right!

Having a yearly inspection of your main shutoff valve is also a very smart idea to do to make sure that your valve turns smoothly in case an emergency occurs. We can inspect your valves to make sure that they are in good working condition and even show you how to turn the water off to your home in case of emergency!

Don’t wait until disaster strikes! Call us here at Tiger Plumbing Services at 1-866-TIGER70 or check out our website at


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