Make It Stop!

You have things in your home that make it comfortable, habitable and dangerous if they should get loose. Even if you don’t own the place you live in, you should know where the emergency shut-offs are for water, gas, heat and electricity. You should also make sure the shut-offs are readily accessible- no junk parked in front. These important, possibly life saving devices should be as accessible as your refrigerator. Keep that in mind when deciding where to store your snow tires.

Here is some information to help you identify your shut-offs;

1.water main

Click for larger image

Water main. There is a valve on the street side of your water meter, and there should be one on the house side as well. If you only have one valve, and it’s older than dirt, what are the chances it will work the next time you want it to? This picture shows a nice modern valve on the house side of the meter, as well as a drain which will allow you to let pressure out of the main quickly. We can add a house side shut off to your main if you need one.

 

2.gas meter

Click for larger image

Gas meter. There is a square headed valve with a loop on it just above the meter. You will need a wrench to turn the square so that the loop matches the one behind it. (The gas company uses the loops to lock the meter). Each of your gas appliances has a shut off with a square head, or a bow tie shaped handle.

 

3.fill and backflow

Click for larger image

Water to the heating system. If you have a leak in your hot water heating system, you should use the valve located on either side of this device to shut off the flow to the boiler.

Power to the heating system. There is an electric disconnect switch either at the top of the basement stairs, for oil burning equipment, or on or near the boiler itself for gas equipment. You may have to use the circuit breaker, if the gas boiler is close to the breaker box and the installer cheaped out on you. Find the breaker and mark it.

Hot water. If the water heater is leaking, you should be able to shut off the water supply to the heater on the piping above it. If that valve doesn’t work, you can use the house main. To disable the gas, you can use the manual valve on the gas piping, or you can turn the knob on top of the heater’s gas valve to the off position.