Shutting off your water quickly in an emergency could save you
thousands of dollars.
Depending on a few factors, shutting off your water at the city
meter will range in difficulty.
Essential Tool: Water meter box key like this one.
You might be able to use a wrench like this one to shut the water off. But my connection is older and requires a heavy crescent wrench and A LOT of force.
If the box is old it can be full of dirt and debris and needs to
be cleaned out to access the shut off valve. It’s much easier to
do this in a non-emergency!
Hint: There’s usually a ball valve which will spin continuously.
You have to “find” the off position – which should be 90 degrees from the
starting position. Test this by turning on a water hose outside
and adjusting the valve until the water stops flowing.
There’s also a better solution!
See if you have a secondary water shut off valve. Might be in the
yard or flower bed. Might be full of dirt and debris and needs to
be cleaned out.
These can be a lifesaver if you have an active leak – like from a
broken pipe. You want a quarter turn valve that’s easy to use.
Everyone in the house older than 8 should know where it is and
how to turn it off.
For your Smart Homeowner list
- Buy a water meter box key and appropriate wrench and store in an obvious place.
- Locate your main water valve and practice shutting it off.
- Locate your secondary water valve and practice shutting it off — and show everyone in the house.
- Don’t have a secondary? Call your plumber and get that done.
P.S. Questions and comments are welcome. I read and respond to