How to Turn off the Water for a Plumbing Repair
It’s wise to turn off the water in your home before starting a plumbing repair. Whether you need to fix or replace a leaky pipe, broken water heater, or outdated fixture, you must know how to turn off the water to prevent structural damage. Here are three options available in most homes.
Turn off the Water behind the Plumbing Fixture
If a faucet is dripping, toilet is overflowing, or washing machine is leaking, the first and best choice is to quickly shut off the water locally. This allows you to continue using other fixtures in your home while you conduct the repair.
Local shut-off valves are usually located on the wall behind the fixture or appliance. For dishwashers, check under the kitchen sink cabinet for a shut-off valve. Showers and tubs may have an access panel with a shut-off valve in the bathroom or the ceiling of the floor below.
Turn off the Water at the Water Heater
When a hot water pipe is leaking, you can prevent structural damage by turning off the hot water outlet pipe. This is often coded with a red handle to indicate that it controls hot water. If you need to repair or replace the water heater, turn off the cold water inlet valve, which may be identified by a blue handle.
Turn off the Water to the Whole House
It may be necessary to activate the main water shut-off valve if a pipe is leaking or the fixture you need to repair doesn’t have a local shut-off valve. Follow these steps to locate the main water shut-off valve:
- Check the utility space where the main water line enters the building. This may be on a wall in the basement, crawlspace, or garage located near the front of the house.
- Check on an outside wall near the water meter.
- Look for a round or rectangular metal cover on the ground close to the street labeled “water meter.”
If the main water shut-off valve is located inside your home, you should be able to simply turn it by hand. If it’s located outside, you may need special tools to remove the cover and turn the valve, including a pentagon socket wrench, pliers, and a meter key.
Once the water is off, open a faucet on the lowest and highest levels of your home to drain standing water from the pipes. This allows you to make plumbing repairs without water spilling everywhere.
Get Help from a Plumber
If you discover that the main water shut-off valve is locked up and can’t be turned, call Mike Counsil Plumbing in San Jose. We can help operate a stubborn valve or replace the main shut-off so this problem doesn’t happen again. We can also handle all your plumbing repair needs. Our licensed technicians fix water leaks, install new fixtures, and replace water heaters with expertise and precision.
Give us a call today to request an estimate for plumbing repair in San Jose.