You might be thinking, “Why would I ever want to turn off my water or gas?” However, there are several situations where you could find yourself needing to turn off the water and/or gas in your home:
- A weather emergency or other natural disaster, like the tornadoes
- A plumbing leak or repair
- Or installation of a new appliance.
For your family’s safety and peace of mind, you need to know how to locate and operate both the main and supply shut-off valves for gas and water. It’s a 1 step super simple secret, that we’re going to share with you, just read to find out more!
Main Water and Gas Shut-Off Valves
These valves turn off the gas or water to your whole home.
Main Gas Shutoff Valves
If your home has natural gas, there are actually two main shutoff valves: a “street-side” and a “house side.” The street side valve is located outside your house, near the gas meter. That’s for the professionals. (gas company, HVAC/plumbing contractors, and the fire department to use). This means, you don’t have to worry too much about it, however if your home doesn’t have an inside main shutoff, it may be a good idea to buy a gas meter shut off wrench.
To shut off the gas supply to your entire home, use the house-side main valve. It’s usually where the gas line enters the house, and you may see a black iron pipe leading to it. In newer homes, the valve may have a bright yellow handle. Turn the handle to the to the right or perpendicular to the pipe to shut off the gas, and left or parallel to the pipe to turn the gas back on.
[su_spoiler title=”Does your home use propane or liquid petroleum gas?” icon=”arrow-circle-1″]Some newer homes have a high pressure gas system. In this case, your gas supply line would be a flexible copper pipe instead of black iron. In a high-pressure system, the indoor main shutoff is located just before a device called a pressure regulator, which can usually be found near the furnace or water heater. There are two main shutoff valves: One on the propane or petroleum tank, and the other on the gas line before it connects to the first appliance. [/su_spoiler]
Main Water Shutoff Valves
Just like with gas, most water meters have two main shutoff valves: One before the meter and one after. If you live in a cold climate region, the meter and shutoff valves will be inside your home to prevent freezing. In areas with a milder climate, the meter and valves will be found outside your home.
To turn off the water supply to your home, use the main shutoff valve that’s located after the meter, on the “house side”. It may be a round handle, similar to the one on an outdoor water spigot, or it could be a lever handle.
If it’s a lever, turn it perpendicular or the “right” to the supply line to stop the water, and parallel or “left” to turn the water back on. If it’s a round handle, it will take several clockwise turns to shut off the water
How to Locate the Supply Water and Gas Shut-Off Valves
Also known as individual shutoff, this valve stops the gas or water directly to fixtures or appliances.
Gas Supply Shut-Off Valves
Each gas appliance in your home should have a supply or service shutoff valve located within six feet of the appliance and in the same room as the appliance. This allows you to turn off the gas to that one appliance so you can repair or install another without turning off the gas to the whole home. As you probably guessed by now, it’s a lever that you turn to shut off the gas: If it’s to the left, then it means the valve is open, when it’s turned to the right it means it’s closed and the gas is cut off.
The supply valve is usually attached to an appliance connector. You’ll have to move appliances like stoves and dryers away from the wall to get to the shutoff valve.
Water Supply Shut-Off Valves
All homes should have shutoff valves or “fixture supply stops” on the supply lines for every faucet which includes refrigerator water line, toilets, dishwashers, faucets, washing machines, water heaters, and water softeners.
Unlike the supply gas line, there’s a knob (not lever) that’ll let you turn off the water to that one appliance. As you might have predicted, turn it to the right to close the valve and turn the valve to the left to close it. (Are you seeing a pattern here?) The shutoffs at appliances and each faucet are great so that you’re not cutting off the supply for the whole home when working on something.
This 1 step super simple secret for knowing how to turn off both the main and supply water and gas lines can be vital for the safety of your home and family. So have you guessed it? If you need to turn off your gas or water, remember righty tighty lefty loosey!
[su_tooltip style=”tipsy” position=”west” shadow=”yes” rounded=”yes” size=”6″ title=”One Last Tip” content=”Each utility has its own color. Water is blue and gas is yellow. When replacing shutoff valves, use the right devices for correct application!” behavior=”always” close=”yes”]One last tip, each utility has its own color. Water is blue and gas is yellow. When replacing shutoff valves, use the right devices for correct application![/su_tooltip]