One of the first things to learn when you move into a new home, is where your main water shut off valve is located. The main water shut off valve controls the water supply to your entire property along the main water supply line from the municipality to your home. With one good turn clockwise, no water will be flowing into your home, allowing you to take care of any plumbing repairs or installations.
It is not that common that you would need to use your main water shut off valve, but it is crucial to know where it is and how to operate it in the event of a plumbing emergency. Shutting off the valve immediately, even before the plumbers arrive is a good way to prevent water damage to your walls, floors, and belongings.
On that note, when would be a good time to turn off the main water shut off valve?
Use your main water shut off valve during plumbing emergencies -
Backed up sewer drain? Burst pipe? Storm water flooding? If water threatens to enter your living space, it's time to close your main water shut off valve and call a professional Toronto plumber for plumbing repairs.
Use your main water shut off valve when you're doing renovations -
Doing home renovations? If you're replacing or moving pipes, it's crucial to first use the main water shut off, particularly if the work is quite extensive. If you're only doing repairs or installations on a specific appliance or in a small area, you can use the isolation valve to shut off water. That way, you don't have to render the entire property without water for the duration of the repair by using the main water shut off valve.
Use your main water shut off valve when you go on vacation -
Leaving your house unoccupied for a week or more? Then it's a good time to shut off the main valve. Not only will it save water, but it will also help prevent damage if there's a leak. When nobody's home, there's nobody to notice when a leak is sprung. The last thing you want is to come home to a huge mess and costly damage.
Where to Find Your Water Main Shut Off Valve
Finding your water main shut off valve in a plumbing emergency is often quite challenging, which is why you should find it as soon as you move into your home. In Canada's colder climate, most main water shut off valves are located inside the home, but it may also be outside. Simply move towards the street along the main water pipe that runs from your home to the street, where water enters from the municipal supply.
The main water shut off will usually have a bright red handle to make it easy to identify. Shut it off with a strong clockwise turn. While it may seem paranoid, it is a good idea to show all your family members where the main water shut off is located, in the event of an emergency when you are not at home.