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Plumbing tips from F.H. Furr: How to find your home's main water shutoff valve

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Do{ } you know where to find your home's main water shut-off valve?

A trainer from F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electrical recently joined ABC 7 to answer an interesting question from one of their customers: How do I find my home's main water shutoff valve?

It's essential to know where this key component of your plumbing system is located because if there's a water leak or a burst pipe, you can stop the flow of water by turning off that main shutoff valve. This knowledge can help you prevent serious damage or flooding.

The shut-off valve is usually located at the point where water comes into the plumbing system of your home. If you have a public water source, you can look in your basement on the wall that faces the street. Most likely, that's where your water is connected to the city water. The valve is typically within three to five feet of where the main water enters your home. If you're on a private well, you're going to look for your well cap in your yard, and most likely, it'll be on the wall that faces that direction.

There are several valve types, but the most common is a wheel (or gate) valve, which can be turned. The round wheel handle valves will turn-off by turning the handle to the right (clockwise). It may take two or more complete rotations.

Another popular type of valve is a ball valve or a quarter turn. To shut off a ball valve, slowly rotate the lever turn until the handle is not parallel with the pipe. It should stop at a turn.

Suppose you cannot find the main water cut-off valve after physically searching for it. In that case, one alternative is to check the property inspection report that was completed for you when you were in the final phases of purchasing your home. Look in the plumbing section of the report. This section should state the location of the shut-off valve and have a photo as well. If you're not one to hold onto property reports, have a trusted plumber come to your home to show you where your main water valve is located. This will eliminate any questions you might have about where it is, and how it's used.

For more plumbing tips, be sure to check out the F.H. Furr Blog at