Your home or business is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Maintaining your property and keeping it safe from water, fire, mold, or storm damage is priority one. While a simple water shutoff valve is typically installed close to most common indoor plumbing areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, knowing where the main water shutoff valve for your property is located could provide additional water damage protection for you in an emergency. Knowing what to do when you have a water leak can help prevent water damage to your property and any major building construction from the damage. Remember, if you need building construction or water damage services, you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO®.
Property Water Basics
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) says every home or business is supplied by water from a city supply line, and benefits from the pressure supplied by these lines. However, this same supply also has the potential to spring a leak and cause water damage to your home or business. Forbes lists the two most common types of water shutoff valves as a single-location shutoff valve and a whole house shutoff valve.
Single-Location Shutoff Valve
Most indoor plumbing areas include what is called a single-location water shutoff valve. Things like a refrigerator, toilet, water heater, washing machine, and sink have a dedicated, individual shutoff valve. This shutoff valve allows the dedicated water supply for that area to be shut off so that work or installation/removal can be done without disrupting the water supply to the rest of the property. In an emergency leak situation, it is easy to manually shut the water supply off at these individual locations.
Whole House Shutoff Valve
The whole house or main shutoff valve can be difficult to locate because the valve can be in different places. It all depends on how your property was constructed. According to Forbes, there are a limited number of places where the whole house shutoff valve can be located, including the following.
- Basement. If you have a basement, this is the most likely place to find the main water shutoff valve. It is usually located just a few feet from where the main water line comes in.
- Crawlspace. If you have a crawlspace, the main water shutoff valve can be located underneath your property. In some cases, the main water line may run through the crawlspace before it enters your home. A second shutoff valve located aboveground inside a garage is recommended.
- Mechanical Room. Homes or businesses that are constructed on a slab do not have underground access. The main water shutoff valve can usually be found in a mechanical room where the water heater is located, or under the kitchen sink.
- Exterior Wall. In the warmer regions of the United States, the main shutoff valve is set into an exterior wall. Unlike cold weather regions, warmer climates do not need to bury water lines underground or below the frostline. The exterior main shutoff valve will usually be installed close to an outdoor faucet. Your property will not have an exterior main shutoff valve if you live in an area where the temperature drops below freezing.
- The Yard. In neighborhoods, there is a main shutoff valve installed in each yard. This is covered by an access panel that can be easily lifted off, but it takes a special type of key to turn the water off. This valve can only be operated by professionals and with permission from the local utility company. This access usually houses the curb stop valve.
SERVPRO is Here to Help®
Water is one of the most destructive forces of nature. Severe water damage can lead to mold damage on your property. Even the smallest water leak can damage floors, interior walls, or attic spaces, which could involve construction to fix the problem. When you suffer water damage to your home, call the professionals at any of our 2210 SERVPRO locations in the United States and Canada.
We are available 24/7, all year long, including weekends and holidays, to answer your call for help. Our uniquely trained technicians arrive ready to assess the damage and help you during an emergency. Beyond water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation services, SERVPRO professionals also offer roof tarping, board up, and construction services, and will even work with your insurance company to make the process easier for you. At SERVPRO, we work hard to make it “Like it never even happened.”For more information, please visit our FAQ and Glossary.