Did you know that there is a 63% chance of a major earthquake occurring in the Bay Area within the next 30 years? After such an event, your water supply might be unavailable for up to 72 hours or more.
During an earthquake, water tanks and appliances connected to your home’s plumbing can shift and cause a leak, leading to flooding or additional damage. You can prepare for an emergency by knowing in advance where your home’s main water supply is and how to shut it off.
Water Shutoff Valves Vary From Home to Home
In some homes, the water supply comes from a cylindrical tank, which may be found in the garage, the basement, or a closet.
The shutoff valve is sometimes painted red. To place the valve in the off position, move it down. If your home has an older-style gate valve, turn the wheel or handle on the valve clockwise until it stops.
In other homes, the water’s main shutoff is found outside. Depending on the home, the shutoff valve may be located high up or far below. It is attached to your local company’s delivery pipe, and it is typically the largest valve coming out of the wall.
Sometimes the water’s main shutoff is located in an underground covered hole in the yard, sealed within a green box or beneath a green lid that typically has the words “water supply” on it. Pliers and a screwdriver are required to remove the lid from its place.
When you lift this lid, you’ll notice that the water meter has a flow indicator on the dial, usually triangular in shape. This will spin whenever water is flowing through the meter to your home. To turn off your water supply, use the pliers to twist the valve into the off position. Your water meter’s flow indicator will no longer be spinning when you have successfully turned it off.
To ensure that you stopped any possible leaks, drain the water supply by going to a sink. Turn the sink’s hot and cold settings on to drain the water and relieve the water pressure in your home.