In the case of an emergency like a leaking faucet or a bursting pipe in the bathroom or kitchen, you can turn the water valves to stop the flow of water which stops the water from getting all over the house. It is also a good idea to teach children, who are old enough to stay home by themselves, where the valves are located.
Each sink in your house has a water valve. There are water valves for the toilets in your house as well. And your washing machine also has water valves. The question is – do you know where they are located should you need to turn them off in an emergency?
We are showing you the individual water valves for the sinks, toilets and washing machine. There is a main house valve, when you need to turn the water off in the entire house. However, shutting off these valves, directly connected to the fixture will give you time to call a professional plumber and get him to your house to fix the problem.
When turning off these water valves, you want to turn clockwise (or to the right). When turning the valves back on, turn counter clockwise (or to the left). Typically newer valves will require only a ¼ turn to close however some valves will require several turns to close. Unfortunately some of the older valves requiring several turns have a high failure rate and may not actually stop the flow of water. It is recommended that these valves be replaced with a ¼ turn valve.
Under the Kitchen Sink
Here are a couple of photos that show 2 different types of turn-off valves. This will help you recognize them, if you have one or the other. They are easy to locate when you look in the cabinet under the sink.
Under the Bathroom Sink
As with the kitchen sink, they are easy to locate in the bathroom as well. These samples are open, pedestal type sinks but when there is a cabinet in the bathroom the valves are still easily identifiable if you need to turn off the water quickly.
Washing Machine Water Valves
A burst washing machine hose can discharge 500 gallons of water in one hour, which will cause flooding problems quickly. The water valves are easy to locate. It may be behind the washing machine or it can be located above the washer. See the two samples below.
Toilet Water Valves
They are located right behind the toilet. You will have to get down on hands and knees to reach it but it is easy to find.
Hopefully you will not have an emergency with leaking faucets or burst pipes, but if you do, you know where to find the valves to turn off the water.
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