Where is My Water Shutoff Valve?

Protect Your Home From Winter Flooding

The harsh temperatures of an Alberta winter can really cause havoc to your home if you are not properly prepared. While hindsight is always 20/20 – there are steps you can take to properly protect your home from the cold. Before the colder weather hits, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated. Foam padding sleeves and insulating tape are both available to keep your pipes warm.

However, sometimes plumbing emergencies happen. Whether you are away on holiday and get a call from your house sitter or you wake up to a basement full of water – your house can fill up at an alarming rate. When emergencies happen, the first thing you’ll likely need to do, before calling an expert, is to stop the flow of water. Knowing where your main shutoff valve is located is the first step in accomplishing that. It’s obvious that you need to call a plumber, but what else can you do to try and alleviate some of the damage to your home?

The first thing you should do is look at the water. Take note of what colour it is. If the water is clear, or close to it the source of the water might be from a burst pipe or drain tile. If, however, the water is a little murkier it is most likely a sewage back up. You should be able to tell based just on sight.

If it is clear that the source of the leak is only water, the best course of action is to locate your home’s water shut-off valve and turn off water access to your home.

This is the best step to prevent further flooding. But, what if you don’t know where the shut-off valve is? This is where the preparation comes in play. Most shut-off valves are located where the water line enters the house. This could either be at the front or rear of your house, usually in the mechanical room of your basement. You can also find your gas valve outside and/or near to your gas meter, however the water main valve can vary in location depending on your home, this is another reason to take the time to locate and label it. 

Once you have located the valve, label it for future emergencies. You want to let all your family members and potential house-sitters to be aware of your valve’s location. Being able to quickly shut off access to your home’s water can save you lots of money in costly home restoration costs.

Once the water has been turned off, you should call an expert plumber immediately. The longer the water sits in your home, the more damage it can do to your drywall and flooring.

While a competent professional plumber will know where to look to find a shutoff valve, having it labeled helps a little bit more. If you have any questions on locating your home’s water shut-off valve, or you are currently experiencing a flooding emergency of any kind, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re always here to help, whether it is during the cold winter months or the lazy days of summer.