In Phoenix, we are not typically prone to frozen pipes, but we have plumbing leaks and plumbing emergencies in Phoenix just like the rest of the country. Do you know how to shut off the water to your home?  If not, Robin’s Plumbing, Inc. is happy to help!  Do you know how to shut off the water to an individual sink or toilet?  We’ve got your back on that too!  Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how to shut off your water, believe it or not, you’re not alone.  We help hundreds of clients a year, over the phone to shut off their water when they call panicking with a plumbing emergency.  Please share this post so your friends and family also know how to shut off their water in case of a plumbing emergency.

How to shut off the water to your home

If you have a plumbing leak it is important to know how to shut off your water.  I would encourage you to know this information BEFORE you have a plumbing emergency so that you’re prepared.  This is great information to know if you’re going on vacation as well, you may be able to escape the Phoenix heat but your plumbing cannot.  If you live in a home here in Phoenix, you should have a main shut off valve that will shut off the water to your entire house.  This valve is usually located at the front of your house where your hose connects to the hose bib, or also known by some homeowners as the outdoor faucet.  Below that hose bib/outdoor faucet is a valve that either has a lever handle on it or a circular handle.  If you have a lever style shut off valve, this is known as a ball valve.  This handle should be in line with your water pipe while in the on position.  The handle can only be turned 90 degrees and when it is off you will see that the handle is then perpendicular with the water line.

If you have a valve with a circular handle, it is known as a gate valve.  The circular handle will need to be rotated clockwise to turn your water off.  Gate valves are notorious for failing over time.  If you find that the gate valve handle just turns and turns it is likely that the gate inside the valve body has become disconnected from the threads in the handle that lower and lift the gate and your valve will need to be replaced.  The gate valve may have closed for you and shut off your water, but it will not turn back on if the gate has dropped inside the valve.  If this is the case, Robins Plumbing, Inc. is happy to help, just give our office a call and one of our amazing technicians will come out and replace your gate valve with a more reliable ball valve.

How to shut off the water to your faucet, toilet or bidet

Sometimes it isn’t necessary to shut off the water to your entire home, there are occasions when a leak can be shut off at the source.  If your kitchen faucet is leaking, your bathroom faucet is leaking or your toilet is running you can shut off the water at the source.  Shutting off the water at the faucet or at the toilet allows the water to remain on for the rest of your home while stopping the leak at the plumbing fixture itself.  Underneath your sink and behind your toilet are small shut off valves, these are known in the plumbing profession as angle stops.  Your faucet will have two angle stops, one is for the hot water and one is for the cold water.  Your toilet will have one angle stop since it has only cold water going to it.  If you have a bidet, it is like your faucet, it will have two angle stops one for hot and one for cold.

Your angle stops can easily be turned off by turning the handle clockwise.  If you have not used your angle stops in a while you may see some hard water corrosion around them, this is a sign that there is a small leak and that the angle stops should immediately be replaced.  If there is a lot of corrosion, it is my professional recommendation that you not attempt shutting it off, the likelihood of the angle stop immediately springing a leak once you break the seal that the hard water corrosion has made is very high.

How to shut off the water to your hot water heater

If you find yourself with a leaking water heater, you don’t have to shut off the water to your whole house, you should have a shutoff valve right at your water heater.  This valve is usually located just above your water heater and it has either a lever handle or a circular handle like the shut off valve to your home.  Whether you have a ball valve or a gate valve at your water heater, the valve shuts off by turning clockwise.  Shutting off this valve will stop your water heater from replenishing water, but keep in mind, your water heater still has on average 40-50 gallons of water still inside the tank that will seep out so call us right away to get your water heater replaced if it is leaking.

How to shut off the water to your washing machine

If your washing machine is leaking or the hoses to the washing machine are leaking you can find the hot and cold isolation valves behind your washer.  They look a lot like the hose bibb you connect your garden hose to.  Turn these valves clockwise to shut off the washing machine.  These valves are recommended by the manufacturer to be replaced every five years when was the last time you replaced your washing machine shut off valves?

How to shut off the water to your refrigerator

Most newer homes have an isolation valve behind the refrigerator, hopefully, your refrigerator is on wheels and is maneuverable enough to pull out to access this valve.  The valve is usually located near the floor inside the wall, turn this valve to the right to shut off the water to your refrigerator.  If the valve is not behind the refrigerator you should have an isolation valve under your kitchen sink.  There will either be a valve just for the water line going to your refrigerator or you may have a two-way angle stop for your cold line, one way feeding the faucet and the other side feeding the water line to the fridge.

I hope that you found these plumbing tips helpful, please remember to share this post so others can benefit from them as well.