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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Local & At the Curb Shutoffs are Important

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

A Dripping Pipe Under the Sink with a Shutoff Valve A dripping pipe under a sink, know where your shutoff valve is located!

At SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas, we have happened upon some very interesting scenes when we arrive onsite at a water damage issue.  But even before being onsite, we get very panicked calls about water pouring from kitchen sink pipes, washing machines, toilets or a host of other items throughout the house.  Our first question is usually has the water been stopped.  If not, the water has to be stopped before water mitigation and restoration process can begin.  Stopping the issue can either mean a plumber has already been called and is fixing the issue or the water needs to be shut off locally or at the curb. If the plumber in already involved, he or she has most likely has already taken the step of turning off the water in the home in order to fix the problem.

Turning off the water locally refers to locating what is usually a knob or lever at the area of the issue for example under a sink or a hot water heater and rotating clockwise until water is no longer flowing.  There still may be dripping going on.  Sometimes it is not possible to turn off the water locally as the pipe is broken beyond where the valve is located or there is an issue with the valve itself.  It is usually advisable to turn off water locally when possible as it will still allow use of water throughout all areas of the house except for the area of concern.

The next solution is to turn off the water at the curb.  There are many underground pipes that are hidden from everyday view.  Water flows from a central pipe usually under the street area by the curb through a shutoff point and continues to each home.  The shutoff point is also known as the water box.  This is where home owners and tenants have access to shut off the water to the entire house.  

These days, most of the water shut off boxes are made of plastic and are fairly easily accessible.  The other main water box that you see still are circular, cast iron boxes. These will often need a special key to remove the lid.  Once inside the water box, a water key is needed to turn the water off.  These can be a variety of types and can be found on Amazon.   

It is a good idea to make sure you know where your water box is located.  And the next step would be to make sure you have the appropriate water key on hand.  Additionally, make sure that the water box is cleared of any debris or tree roots.  It is a good idea to check once a year to make sure no new sediment has filled up your water box so you have no obstacles should an emergency arise.  

Should water damage affect your home, please reach out to us, we are more than happy to help mitigate and restore your property.

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