If you own a home, you don’t have to be Handy Andy, capable of fixing every leak, creak, and clog that disrupts your household. But there are a handful of homeowner hacks you absolutely need to know about to protect your home from a serious emergency situation.

Today, we’ll teach you one of the most important homeowner hacks everyone should know: How to shut off the main water supply to your home!

Why should every homeowner (and renters, too!) know how to shut off their home’s water supply?

To stop a serious leak from turning your home into a swamp!

Not only can this hack save your floors in the event of a pipe predicament, if you’re planning on taking a long vacation this winter, shutting off your water can prevent even a small leak from becoming a big problem in your absence.

This is one simple homeowner hack you won’t need to use often, but when you do need it, you’ll be glad you took the time to learn it!

But first, where is your water shut off valve?

There are actually two main locations where you can shut off your water. Usually, one is in your yard, close to the street, and the other is typically in your basement. If you don’t have a basement, it’s likely in or near your crawl-space, or by your water heater or kitchen sink.

For the purposes of this homeowner hack, just focus on the water valves at your home. To shut off the water using the valve in your yard, called the Stop Box, you’ll need to call a Burton plumber.

Now that you’ve found the appropriate shutoff valves, are you ready for your Homeowner Hack of the day? Let’s begin!

How to shut off your home’s water supply in just two easy steps:

     1. At your basement water shutoff, start by turning off the first water supply valve— the one just before your water meter

This is the step that gets homeowners confused. When you look at your water meter, you’ll find two different shut off valves. One comes before the water meter, and one after. And for good measure, you’ll want to turn both off.

Why two valves? Because building code requires there be a valve on both sides of the meter. That allows the city to shut off both sides of the water supply, perform work on the meter, make repairs, or update the system, then resume the flow of water, without having to drain your home.

To start turning off your water supply, simply turn the handle of the first water valve, the one before your meter, 90 degrees. As long as that valve is functioning properly, that will completely stop the flow of water into your home and your main leak should stop within a few minutes.

     2. Next, turn off the second water supply valve

On the other side of your water meter, find the second supply valve. Turn this handle 90 degrees to shut off that backup valve.

You may have additional shut off levers nearby, but those can remain on. Those levers likely control your sprinkler system or other home systems.

Once you have both shut off valves turned, no water should be entering your home and the main leak should stop as soon as your pipes finish draining.

If you notice water still leaking several minutes after you’ve shut off these valves, you may have a malfunctioning shut off on your hands. In that case, it’s a good idea to get your plumber out ASAP to replace the bad valve and fix your main leak.

When should you use this handy Homeowner Hack?

  • If the supply line behind your washing machine springs a leak and the water shut off valve behind your machine can’t stop the flow
  • As an added precaution when the supply hose to your toilet needs to be replaced
  • Anytime your plumber replaces a home appliance that requires water (your Burton home plumber will handle this step for you!)
  • If your pipes freeze and burst in winter
  • When you head out of town for more than a few days. Just shut off the valves, turn on a faucet upstairs and downstairs, let the water run until the pipes drain out, then turn the faucets off. That ensures no water is left in the pipes to leak or freeze!

When plumbing emergencies strike, Just Call Burton!

Our team of expert home plumbers are on call 24/7, ready to respond to your leaky pipe, faulty valve, or stubborn drain, fast.

We give every customer multiple options to fit every need and budget. And every repair and replacement is backed by our industry-leading warranty! To schedule service or ask a question, Just Call Burton at (402) 343-0011.