A water leak in your home can quickly go from an annoyance to an all-out catastrophe. As a broken toilet or dishwasher supply line spews water, the gallons quickly add up and damage to your home mounts.

You may not be a plumber or even a handyman, but there is one thing you should be able to do: QUICKLY TURN YOUR WATER OFF!

Being able to stop the flow of water into your home is the single best thing you can do to minimize damage, and it is easier than you might think.

Step 1: Determine if you are supplied by municipal water or a well.

This one is easy… if you pay a water bill you are on a municipal supply.

Step 2: Find Your Shutoff

If you have a well, you can simply go to your pressure tank and find the shutoff valve. Close the valve and the water should stop.

If you are supplied by municipal water, head to the street and look for the water meter box in the ground. It’s probably a few feet off the street somewhere along your property line.

When you lift the lid off the box, you should be able to see your water meter. It is a dial with numbers that show the amount of water you have used. Next to the water meter is your water valve. There is a good chance you will have to dig some dirt out of the box to find the valve. Once the valve is clear, use a pair of pliers to turn it back and forth a few times. It probably will only take 1/4 of a turn fully close.

That is it! Now you know how to shut your water off in an emergency.

Step 3: Be Proactive

We get frequent calls from people returning home from vacation to find their homes flooded. One of our own team members had a mouse chew through his dishwater supply line while he was out of town! These unexpected leaks can lead to massive damage. Taking the simple step of shutting off your water when you will be away for a few days can save you from big repairs.