Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by Alexander A. Smith
All the homes have a water shut-off valve that works as the main shutdown valve for the water flow. For many scenarios, we need to locate and turn off or work with that shut-off valve. There is an underground water shut-off valve when it comes to placement, which stops all the water flow to the house.
Underground shut-off valves are not so easy to access, turn off or on, or replace. But, when you have any emergency or need to do any repair job on the house’s water lines, you need to locate and turn it off. Today, we will discuss the ways you will locate, turn off, and how to install an underground water shut-off valve.
How to Locate The Water Shut Off Valve
To work on the water shut-off valve, you first need to locate it. Follow the steps below to locate the underground water shut-off valve.
Step 1: Find The Meter Box
Usually, the water supply meter box is found along the curb in front of your house. It usually sits between the curb and the sidewalk, and you need to search within your property line. Sometimes there are paint markings to indicate the meter box.
Usually, if you follow the paint mark towards your house, you will find the meter box under a slab or cover.
Step 2: Open The Meter Box
Not all the meter boxes look the same, and some have a secondary valve. When you find the meter box, remove the cover, and you will see the water meter and the main water shut-off valve alongside it.
How to Turn Off Water Shut Off Valves
To turn off your water shut-off valves, you need some tools.
- Meter key
Step 1- Uncover the meter
Lift the cover above the meter. It would be best if you were very careful in this step, as there could be wires and you don’t want to damage them.
Step 2- Locate the valve.
Locate the valve. It will be between the meter face and the curb. It will have an arrow on the top. This arrow indicates the direction of the flow of water.
Step 3- Use the meter key
There will be two rings on the water shut-off valve. When the valve is turned off, these two rings will be together. Put the meter key over the top of the valve, and twist it clockwise.
Step 4- Make sure both rings come together
You need to turn the valve clockwise till both the rings come on top of each other. The valve will be tight, and no water will be able to pass through that.
When you are done with the repair or fixing the leakage on your house, follow similar steps and rotate the valve anti-clockwise to let the water flow again. When doing that, make sure you are turning it slowly, so the water can slowly enter the house’s water lines.
Turn off the main water shut-off valve without Meter Key
A meter key is an effortless yet valuable piece of equipment; if you use other tools to twist the valve, it may get damaged. So, you can buy a meter key or make your own with proper knowledge.
But, how to shut off the underground water shut-off valve without the meter key? You can use a wrench for the closest alternative. If the valve is accessible by hand, use the wrench to twist the valve carefully.
How to install an underground water shut-off valve
The main underground shut-off valve is connected to the meter, and it is tough to replace or install a new one when it goes faulty. You can install a secondary valve, which is easily accessible and can shut off the water flow at an instance. This secondary valve will save you from the hassle of going to the outside underground shut-off valve to turn off the main water line.
Step 1: Turn off the main valve
Locate the primary underground water shut-off valve, and turn off the valve with the steps mentioned before.
Step 2: Locate the connection.
Find out through where the main shut-off valve is sending the water flow to the house. Usually, it is in the basement, under the kitchen sink, or the living room.
Step 3: Remove the waters
After you find the connection, open up a pipe to get rid of all the water stored in the line.
Step 4: Cut the pipe
Locate a suitable spot where you want to put the secondary valve. Then, measure your valve against the pipe, and make a start and stop marking. Now, clean the pipe between those marks for a good solder.
After you have cleaned that area of the pipe, cut one end of the pipe and then cut the other end to make a good gap for soldering the valve.
Step 5: Set the valve
When cutting the pipe according to the valve, make sure you make a gap smaller than the valve’s actual length. Both ends of the pipe need to get inside the valve and get soldered on, so a gap smaller than the valve length will accommodate both ends of the pipe.
Ensure you get a ball valve, as they are straightforward to shut off and open again with only one hand. Clean the pipe and the inside of the fitting properly, and apply flux to all those surfaces.
Step 6: Solder The Valve
After you have put flux to the pipe ends & the valve fittings and set them together, apply heat to solder the connection. Apply heat till the solder bubbles, and then move around in the connection area until they are stuck together with soldering.
Step 7: Open the main valve, and test the secondary valve
When the solder is done, let the valve fittings cool down, and then open the underground main valve again. Check the newly installed secondary valve.
You now have a newly installed shut-off valve that gives you the facility to shut-off the water without any tools or reaching the main water shut-off valve underground.
We can face many problems in our daily life regarding our water lines and plumbing. Having proper or even basic knowledge about underground water shut-off valves can save so much of our time. Also, this knowledge is beneficial when you have any leakage or flood, and using this knowledge to shut off the water line will prevent your house from becoming ruined and flooded.