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Step One After a Plumbing Failure: Turn Off the Water

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turn off the water You think you hear dripping in the bathroom, so you go in to investigate — only to find a small pool forming around your tub and sink. You have the beginning stages of a flood, and you need to move quickly before you find yourself in the middle of a lot more damage. But in the midst of this catastrophe, do you know what needs to be done? First, before even making a phone call for help, you need to stop the flow. You need to turn off the water.

If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of your very own personal lake, panic is the first thing to kick in. So way before those first drops begin their dripping, you should take a look around your home and identify exactly where your water line on-off switch is. That way, when you’re panicking, you’ll know what happens next.

Identify the Location of the Water Line

If you live in a home in a subdivision and get your water from the local municipality, you’ll have a direct water line to your home. Sometimes, it is located near the water meter itself, making it easier to find, but that is not always the case. Take a walk around your home to find where your water line is. Typically, it will be covered with a case so that not everyone can turn it on or off, and some homes may have more than one, either for incoming and outgoing water or for inside and outside (irrigation) water. Remember the righty-tighty and lefty-loosy and turn off the water outside and test inside to see which switch is which. You may choose to label the water line in case a significant other or child needs to respond to the water crisis. Of course, after running your test, be sure to turn the water back on or your family will be calling for help when they go to wash their hands.

Find the Direct Pipeline

If the leak is localized (or if you live in an apartment without ready access to the main water line), it may make more sense to turn off the water right at the source. Each faucet or toilet will have a local stopcock so that you can cut the water at the point of the leak. The one behind the toilet is easily located, as are those under your sinks. It’s a good idea to keep a clear area under the sink so you can reach the valves easily and aren’t pulling everything out from under the sink to even see the switches. Again, remember that the valves are turned off by turning them clockwise. Obviously, if you’re at the source of the leak, you’ll be able to see what’s happening immediately and can change the way you’re turning if you’re going in the wrong the direction.

Call for Help

Once you have the water turned off, it is time to call for help. Use towels to soak up as much water as possible and then call Rocky Mountain Restoration, your Phoenix-area water damage specialists, at 480-309-2524. We’re available 24/7 to help with any and all emergency leaks you encounter.

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