• How to Shut Off Plumbing in Preparation for Repairs and Maintenance

    When something in the house’s plumbing needs to be fixed, the plumbing company you call will always tell you to shut-off the flow of water to your home or commercial property. Although numerous properties have inline shut-off valves, other properties require shut off to happen at the primary water valve. To turn off the flow of water in the event of an emergency, you only need to follow the steps highlighted below.

    • Find the water meter of the property. It usually accompanies the primary shutoff and mounts atop a valve which looks like a bell or fat disk. It has a dial marked with numbers zero to ten, and a needle points to any of those numbers and any markings in between. In the middle of the dial is something which looks similar to the odometer of a car.
    • Use characteristics of your locality to find the water meter. Local conventions and climate dictate where the water meter needs to be. In places with a warm climate, these can be found by curbs, in round or rectangular containers at the front yard, or against a side wall. In places with cooler climates, on the other hand, these can be found in hall closets and basements.
    • Once you have found the meter, find the shutoff valve for the house side. This is usually located after the meter. The supply-side valve is located before the meter, and only a qualified professional should handle it. If unsure of which valve is which, get help from a plumbing professional.
    • The house-side valve should then be closed. If this valve is a bibb-style, conventional valve, turn it clockwise to tighten it until it closes. You may wrap the valve with a rag so you can grip it properly.

    If, however, the valve is a quarter-turn valve, you simply need to turn it to “off” position. A quarter-turn valve features a straight handle. It is “on” if it is parallel with the supply pipes, and it is “off” if it is perpendicular to the pipes.

    • Open a tap to see if the water was indeed shut off. You must then call a plumbing company to help you out immediately afterward.

    The first thing to remember when hiring a plumbing company is to look beyond the Internet for names of companies worth considering. Talk to people in construction and real estate, as well, since they work with plumbing companies on a regular basis.

    Once you have gathered a few names, give them a call and see how they handle your inquiries and concerns. Then ask if they have licenses and insurance and if they have state-of-the-art tools. Do not consider hiring the services of companies that do not have licenses and insurance, as you may end up in bigger trouble if they fail to do their work right at any point in time.

    As for pricing, remember that it does not really matter much. What matters more is the quality of the work. A job that touts itself as affordable may cost you later on if it was done poorly.