If a water line suddenly ruptured right now, under your sink or behind a wall, and was doing serious damage to your home...What would you do? The logical answer is to turn the water off. But where? Do you know where your main water valve is located?
If you don't know, now is an excellent time to find it, before an emergency situation occurs. Being able to quickly turn your water off in an emergency will save money and minimize damage. It's the smart thing to do.
Where is it? If your home has a basement, your main water line most likely comes in through your basement wall, with your main valve located close to where the line enters the wall. If you do not have a basement, the meter should be located in a utility room, bathroom or kitchen, most commonly next to a water heater or furnace.
A shutoff valve is required on both sides of the meter, and while the main valve is the one between the meter and where the line comes through the wall, either valve should work to turn off water for the rest of the house, unless the leak is at the meter.
Once you locate your main valve, paint it a bright color or tag it so you and others can locate it quickly and easily in an emergency. Next, you should test it by turning the handle clockwise, then opening a faucet to see if is the correct valve, and if it stops the flow of water.
Finally, show other family members where this important valve is and how to turn it off, because any family member could be home alone one day when a water emergency occurs.