DIY How To

DIY Essentials: Your Complete Guide to Finding Hidden Water/Gas Pipes & Valves

Somethings in life are worth finding out about before it's too late, the locations of your water and gas shutoff valves being one of them. As a homeowner, it is essential for you to know exactly where your gas and water shutoff valves are located.

The last thing you want is not to know where to turn off the water and gas to your home in the case of an emergency. Learn how to find the gas and water shutoff valves in your home to help you avoid a future disaster.

Locating Your Gas and Water Pipes and Valves

Locating the Gas Shutoff Valve
If your home has natural gas, your main shutoff valve will be located right before the gas meter outside your home. This is usually a rectangular nub and is often called the street-side valve. To open or close this valve, you need a wrench. However, gas companies don't want homeowners to mess with this valve. They'd rather homeowners use the house-side main shutoff valve that can be found after the meter. The house-side valve is usually located where the gas pipe first enters, but can also be located further down the line.

If you have a newer home, there will be a flexible copper pipe that runs from your gas meter outside your house, into your utility room, according to American Home Shield. This indicates that your home has a high-pressure gas system, which means your gas shutoff valve will most likely be located near your furnace or water heater.

Locating the Water Shutoff Valve
Just about every water meter will have one main shutoff valve right before the meter and another one right after it. If you reside in a colder climate, your water meter, and main shutoff valve will be located inside somewhere, to prevent freezing. In milder climates, it will be located next to an exterior wall or in an underground box with a lid. After inspecting your property, if you can't find the main water shutoff valve, then you can look at the property inspection report that was given to you during the final phases of your home's purchase, recommends, Lee Wallender, a writer for The Spruce. The information you need will be located in section 6.1 on most property inspection reports. The part should show you where the valve is located and include a picture of what the valve looks like.

How to Find a Buried Valve and Pipes
If you are trying to find the shutoff valve for your automatic sprinkler system, it may be located underground. Since most valves will have a little bit of metal in them, you can always use a metal detector or transmitter like a Digitrak to located any pipes or valves that are buried in your yard. If you have the original plans for the sprinkler system, they might be useful in finding the valves and pipes. While they may not be placed exactly where they show on the plans, it will provide you with a good idea of where to start your search.

Knowing how to locate the shutoff valves for your gas and water system are extremely important for keeping your family safe in case of an emergency. It is important that when dealing with any water or gas problem that you take the proper safety precautions before, during, and after the necessary work.

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