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By Platinum Team August 30, 2017

Plumbing Valve Basics

It’s a good idea to get familiar with the shutoff valves for your plumbing fixtures. You may want to periodically check the shutoff valve at each plumbing fixture to make sure it functions properly. When you open any valve, open it all the way then turn it back the other direction slightly. This will help prevent it from sticking in the open position.

Bathroom Sink Shutoff Valves

Bathroom valves usually are below the fixture for easy access. Using a wrench, turn this valve clockwise until it stops for complete shutoff.

Kitchen Sink Shutoff Valves

Below your kitchen sink you will probably find shutoff valves for both the hot and cold water. In some cases, the valves will be below the kitchen in the basement. Sometimes valves are installed both below the sink and also in the basement.

Main Water Shutoff Valves

The main water line coming in from the street is often connected to the water meter followed by a master shutoff valve for the entire home. When you close this single valve, you shut off water throughout the house. It’s instant action for serious emergencies. If you need to shut off the water at the main valve, make sure the hot water tank is turned down to pilot. Electric hot water tanks require special attention, and it is best to enlist the aid of a plumbing and heating professional. However, if the emergency calls for the main water system to be shut off, the electric water system must also be shut off. The electric can be shut off at the main electrical fuse box by either removing the fuse from the box or switching the breaker to an “off “position. (Check and see if your breakers are labeled.) The electricity to the hot water tank should not be turned on until the water tank has been refilled with water–see the owner’s manual that comes with the electric hot water heater. To turn off this valve, turn the handle clockwise until it stops.

Toilet Shutoff Valves

Your toilet shutoff valve is commonly located on the back wall, approximately 6” above the ground, on the left side as you face the toilet. To turn off this valve in the event of a leak or repair, turn the valve clockwise until it stops.