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Turning Off Your Main Water Supply

When dealing with the plumbing in your home, a basic understanding of plumbing knowledge is essential. For example, do you know where your main water supply valve is? Knowing where the main water supply is and how to turn it on and off can save you from a serious crisis.

Before a plumbing project, it is essential to shut off the fixture’s water supply or the house’s primary water line. If you do not shut off your house’s water supply and you start a project, you could cause severe water damage to your home. Sometimes a Do-It-Yourselfer or an inexperienced person disengages the wrong pipe or accidentally breaks a pipe during a plumbing installation. Customers often cause themselves thousands of dollars in damage because they turned a simple project into a disaster.

You might even come home one day and find water leaking throughout your home. If you have an emergency such as a broken pipe, water overflowing, or a stream of water pouring through your house, you need to shut off your main water supply. It is most important that you call 911. Then, call Superior Custom Plumbing: (425) 356-1994

Even if you never need to access your main water valve, it is a good idea for you to know where it is in case of an emergency.

Main Water Valve

Why You Need To Shut Off Your Water in an Emergency.

You need to shut off the water during an emergency because water will cause severe structural damage to your home. If water is pouring through your home, it can seep into the electrical circuitry and cause a fire. If you have a leak, you need to know why and where it has originated. Please call Superior Custom Plumbing if you are experiencing a leak or any other plumbing issues. We can save you tons of money before anything else happens.

Reasons to Shut off the Main Water Valve.

  • Valve gets broken, damaged, or stuck.
  • Pipe bursts
  • Ruptured line

How to Find Your Main Water Supply Valve.

All homes must have a water main shut-off valve on the property. Some houses have the water main shut-off valve inside while others have it outside. For some Snohomish County homes, the valve is usually located inside a pit near the driveway or near the property line.

If the main water shut-off valve is inside the house, it is in the basement, crawl space, garage, or on a wall near the water tank. Sometimes the water main is located under the kitchen sink. Another location might be on a wall closest to the garage or a utility room area. It may have been a while since anyone turned the valves, so turning them may be difficult. Be sure to check the valves so that you are never in a state of emergency and find yourself unable to shut off the water.

There are two main types of shut-off valves. Figure 1.  shows you a ball valve with a lever for turning. 

Figure 2. depicts a gate valve with a wheel for turning.

If the main water supply valve is outside, you need to look for the pit box shown in figure 3. The water gauge will also be inside the pit. You need a special tool (valve control key) to open the box and turn the valve on and off. The valve control key is pictured just below figure 4. The valve control key will also open the pit box.

Figure 3. Pit Box

Figure 4.

Water usage gauge and valve inside the pit.

Place the valve control key in an area that you can reach quickly. They are available at local hardware and department stores if you do not have one. 

Figure 4. Valve Control Key

How to Turn off the Main Water Valve.

  • For the gate wheel, turn the wheel to the right two or three times.
  • For the level handle valve, turn away from the pipe, so it is not parallel to the pipe. It should turn about a quarter of the way away from the pipe. 
  • If you are working on a project, check that the pipes are empty by turning on a sink or faucet. The water will empty completely out of the faucets.

Services and Emergencies

No matter what you are dealing with, if you have a plumbing emergency in Snohomish County, call Superior Custom Plumbing 24/7. We provide both residential and commercial plumbing services.

We diagnose and provide quick and reliable services for all your plumbing emergencies. We manage emergency plumbing services with state-of-the-art equipment. Call us before you have an emergency. We use automatic leak detection and perform drain camera inspections. We are the #1 authority for Snohomish County plumbing services. 

Superior Custom Plumbing is properly licensed and insured in Washington State and has over 25 years of experience. We are available when you need us.

We are also available for non-emergency plumbing services such as:

  • Recirculation Hot Water Systems
  • Remodels and Replacements
  • Hot Water Tank Removal and Replacements
  • Fixture Installations