Water Shut-Off and Safety

Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all learn how to shut off the water at the main valve.

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  1. Cracked lines may pollute the water supply. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.
  2. The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it by shutting off the main house valve (not the street valve in the cement box at the curb—this valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool).
  3. Locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your building.
  4. Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open, or it may only partially close. Replace it if necessary.
  5. Label this valve with a tag for easy identification, and make sure everyone know where it is located.