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How to Shut off Your Gas, Water or Hot Water in an Emergency

November 6, 2013 | Blog

Dallas – Plumbing Professionals • Repair Services

While most hot water heaters, broilers, and gas Water Valve stoves have safety features that reduce risks associated with the use of gas, leaks pose risks to health and property for all concerned. Consequently, it’s important for homeowners to know what to do in case an emergency requires that the gas, water, or hot water be turned off immediately. While it’s always best to not turn on an appliance, light, or use the phone if you enter your home and smell gas, circumstances may require that you turn of the gas on your own before the utility company arrives. And, for the future, make sure everyone in your family knows where the gas and water mains are and what needs to be done to shut them off in case of an emergency.

Turning off Your Gas

First, it’s important to realize that different gas meters and configurations require different procedures to properly turn them off. As such, you should contact your local gas company for information on the proper procedures to use in your home. Having said as much, there are a few general facts that should be kept in mind.

In most homes, there is more than one location where gas can be shut off. The best place, however, is at the site of the gas meter. In most homes, the gas meter is located on an exterior wall close to the street. On the side of the meter is a shutoff valve. To turn off the gas, turn the lug on valve that is perpendicular to the pipe. An adjustable wrench is typically the best tool to use since it can be adjusted and won’t require a search for a properly fitted tool.

After you have turned off the gas, don’t turn it on or anything else in the house. Use a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone to call the utility company. It’s important to remember that gas will still be present in the pipe and could pose a threat if any appliances are used before the pipe can be properly bled.

Turning off the Water

Depending on your home, there may be more than one location for shutting off the water supply. First, there is the water main itself, easily recognized as a large valve with a numeric gauge attached to it. In some homes, the water meter is housed in concrete box with a metal lid placed near the sidewalk or street; in other homes, the water meter may be located along an exterior wall. A wrench can be used to turn of the water supply, though you may need a special “T” wrench to exert the force needed to move the lug nut.

Another location for turning of the water supply is the main water shutoff valve. In most homes, the main water shutoff valve can be found where the water main enters a home. This valve is typically located in the basement (if you have a basement) or on the outside wall of your home. Unless the valve is old or corroded, you won’t need a tool but you’ll need to turn it clockwise several times to close it.

If you have a water leak at the sight of a sink or appliance, you can also turn off the water supply by closing the valves at the site in question. This will allow water to reach other areas of your house, though if there are issues associated with the hoses or lines that carry water to an appliance, you may want to turn of the main water supply in any case.

Contact Public Service Plumbers – Dallas Metro Area Plumbing Specialists

If you have concerns regarding your gas or water lines, we can help – give our certified, bonded and insured plumbers a call at (214) 753-4633. We can evaluate your situation and determine if repairs need to be made and how you can avoid problems in the future. Contact Public Service Plumbers today to find out more about how we can help you.

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