How To Prepare for a Water or Gas Emergency in Your Home

Preparing for Water Emergency's -- how and where to shut-off the water and gas.

Knowing the basics of how things work around your home makes dealing with an emergency much easier and less stressful.

If you're like most homeowners, you may not know where all the water and gas shut-off valves are located in your home, so take a few minutes to educate yourself and avoid the panic that come with an emergency.

How To Find Water Shut-off Valves

There are usually two main water shut-offs for most homes. One inside the house and one outside the house.

The water shut-off valve inside the house is usually located near your water heater, probably on top of the water heater. The outside water shut-off valve is usually located below the hose bib on the front of the house. If it's not located there, your only outside shut off could be inside the water meter box on the street side of the house.

Water Meter Box

Water Meter Shut-Off

To shut off the water at the meter, you will need either a crescent wrench or a 4 in 1 tool.

Make sure you keep the shut-off tool where you can get to it quickly. Also, a water meter shut-off valve usually only requires a half turn to shut off the water.

Once you have found these shut-offs you’ll know right where to go if you have an emergency. You might even tag your shut-offs, since you typically don't use them except in an emergency.

Most homes also have individual shut-offs under each sink and toilet too. Make sure they work. And don't forget to make sure everyone in the house knows where the shut-off are and how to use them.

DIY Tip: Place a crescent wrench, or an emergency 4 in 1 tool in your water meter box and no more searching for the right tool!

While we're on the subject on shut-off vales, another shut-off I'd like to talk about is your gas shut-off valve.

How To Find Gas Shut-off Valves

If you have natural gas or propane piped into your home you must know where the gas shut-off valve is located.

If you have natural gas, the shut-off is located on your gas meter, usually on the side or your house. It requires a crescent wrench or a 4 in one tool to operate the shut-off, and usually only takes one half-turn to close the valve.

Gas Meter Diagram

Gas Meter Shut-Off

If you have propane, your shut-off valve is on the tank.

Propane Shut-Off

Also, any gas appliances will have a shut-off valve on the gas line where it is connected to the appliance (or it should!). Knowing this information is critical in an emergency.

DIY Tip: Picking up a second crescent wrench or emergency 4-in-1 tool to hook on your gas meter is an easy way to save yourself some time and money.

Taking these few minutes to educate yourself will help protect you and give you piece of mind.

DIY Tip: Check out "The Complete Guide to Plumbing"
From repairs to remodels this is the perfect reference guide for all your DIY plumbing projects. Learn More

If you have questions about your DIY projects, just ask your personal DIY consultant. I'm here to help you succeed with speed.