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Do you know “Howe” to shut off the water to your home in case of emergency?
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Plumbing 05/28/14

Do you know “Howe” to shut off the water to your home in case of emergency?

Many plumbing jobs require water shut off at the source, for the entire house, and sometimes from the city meter. In the event you have a leak turning into a flood, knowing how to and where to cut your water supply can be the difference between minor and major damage. For over 34 years, the San Diego plumbers at Bill Howe have encountered many frantic calls asking for help in turning off water to the home.

In the event you are making a plumbing repair inside of the home and do not need the assistance of your local San Diego plumbing company, or you have woken to a leak inside of the home, shutting down the water at the home’s inlet might be sufficient.

  • Identify water shut off. Usually, it will be a brass valve located near the point water entry into the home. If you are unsure, your local San Diego plumbers can easily walk you through over the phone.
  • Twist knob to the right to completely shut off water supply entering the home. Remember: “righty tighty, lefty loosey!”
  • In the event you are shutting down the water to make a repair, turn on all of your home’s taps to empty any remaining water from the pipes.

If you need to turn the water off from the street due to an exterior leak or a burst pipe leading into the home, such as a riser or hose bib past the entry point, you will need to shut the water off at the meter.

  • Locate the main water supply shut off; usually, it is located with the city meter in a recessed meter box near the street in front of the home. Sometimes, it even has a “W” imprinted so you know it’s water.
  • Lift the cover from the meter box and look for a handle, or maybe even a valve with a metal flange covering.
    • If it is a handle, simply turn it as far as it will go using light pressure, so as not to break it.
    • If it is a valve, you will need a meter wrench to make a quarter turn.
  • If you are making a repair, again check all of the taps to ensure remaining water is emptied.

*If you suspect a leak, but see no signs of water, then turning off your water at the house and watching for movement of the meter will help determine if you need to call your local San Diego plumbing company for further evaluation.

*If you are making a repair or need to shut off an individual water supply, knowing how to turn off your home water is helpful in the event the local shut off breaks.

For advice or to schedule an appointment with one of Bill Howe Plumbing’s San Diego plumbers, please contact us at 1-800 Bill Howe (1-800-245-5469).



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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for pointing out that having an emergency water shut-off valve can help you save your home from a lot of damage. You also mention also emptying your home’s taps when shutting off the water supply if you need to make repairs. I think it’s important to have a water shut-off valve so that if you are going on a vacation, you can shut off the water to protect your home while you’re away.

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