22 Sep Where Are My Water & Gas Shut-Off Valves?
There are two very important pipes running fluids into your home: your water line, and your gas service line. There are a wide array of reasons why you might need to shut either of lines off to stop the flow of gas or water – water shut-off is, of course, much more common than shutting off the gas. This brief guide will explain how to locate the shut-offs for each; it’s a good idea to label them once you’ve found them. You should also take a picture of them so you know where to find them in the future:
First things first – if you think there’s a natural gas leak in or around your home, don’t spend time trying to find the shut-off valve. Get out of your house, walk upwind of the leak, and call 911 – follow the link above for more information.
There are two types of gas shut-off valves for residences: street-side and house-side. The street-side valve is typically located right before your gas meter. You shouldn’t touch this valve; it’s for Manitoba Hydro’s use, and they don’t like it very much when you tinker with it.
Your house-side valve is usually located near where the natural gas line first enters the house. Follow that line; the first valve you see will be the shut-off valve, while subsequent valves provide shut-offs for appliances like your furnace.
Depending on what type of system you have, you may see the gas line run into a circular or cylindrical device called a pressure regulator. This indicates that you have a high-pressure gas system. You’ll almost always find this device near a natural gas appliance like a water heater, and the house-side shut-off valve will be located before the pressure regulator.
The process for finding your main water shut-off is very similar; find where the water line enters into your home, and follow it. The main shut-off is typically located right after your water meter. You might also see a shut-off before the water meter; that is the City’s shut-off valve, and you shouldn’t use it.
You should know that for a lot of simple DIY plumbing, you won’t need to shut off your main valve. Instead, you can shut off the supply valves leading to the fixture you’re working on. For example, if you’re replacing the cartridge in a kitchen faucet’s handle, you only need to shut off the water to the kitchen sink.
When there’s a plumbing emergency, it’s important to know where the main water shut-off is; these situations are less life-threatening than gas leaks, so shutting off the water is in your best interests. Label the main shut-off, and take a picture for reference. Once the water is shut off, give us a call: we offer emergency plumbing in Winnipeg 24/7.