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How to Shut off Your Water Supply in an Emergency

Knowing how to shut off  the water to your home is an important part of protecting your home in emergency situations.

When natural disasters or plumbing emergency strike. Being able to quickly shut off your homes water supply can save it from further damage.

Follow along as Fox Plumbing and Heating's team member John walks Seattle area home owners through the steps of locating and shutting off a homes water supply.

If  you find yourself in a situation where you can not shut off water or locate your water shut off valve please feel free to contact us.


Seattle Plumber John: So here we are out at the meter.

The meter is usually in little box (meter box).

Some times it has a metal lid, sometimes it has a concrete lid.

When you come out to it.

There is going to be a little shut off valve right here.

The all basically look the same.

Now when you line these two holes up, that’s when it’s off.

So you are going to turn it clockwise until the two holes line up and that will shut it off.

Now a couple little facts about the meter.

You come here (to the meter).

And if this little black dial is spinning.

That means you have water being used.

A good way to check if you have a leek in your water service.

Which is the line from the meter up to the valve.

Is to turn off that ball valve ( main water shut off in home see video: )

Ok so somebody just turned water on in the house so you can see what it looks like when you are using water. (water meters flow meter is turning)

Know if it is really spinning.

Your using a lot of water.

So to turn this off there are a couple good ways to do it.

The easiest way is with a “meter key”

You can buy these at any hardware store.

It has a little slot on it that fits the valve just perfectly.

You just set it right on there and it has a nice little t-handle that makes it easy to turn.

You turn it until the two holes line up.

And you have it turned off.

Now the same with the inside ball valve.

Your going to want turn off hot water heaters, turn of the water to them, and open up spigots to relieve pressure in the house

Now if you don’t happen to have one of these t-handles (meter keys).

You can also use a crescent wrench.

Which most people have in the house.

Then just set the crescent wrench (vertically) then just get anything (tool for leverage) I’m using a pair of channel locks to go through the hole (in the end of the crescent wrench).

And make your own t-handle.

And turn it off that way.

So now that you know how to turn of the shut off at the meter and shut at the main inside.

You can see how important it is to be able to shut off your main water to prevent water damage.