Where to Find the Mains Stop-Valve
Whether you are a plumber or not, it is a very good idea to locate your mains stop-valve and know how to switch it off, should you ever come across a water leak. Most people can find their mains stop-valve under the sink in their kitchens. This is because there has to be at least one tap that comes directly from the mains to supply a house with water for drinking purposes. Normally this is the cold water tap found in the kitchen. In some houses though, there will be a separate tap just for drinking water. However, in older properties the mains stop-valve is not always found underneath the kitchen sink but can be found underneath a floorboard by the front door or possibly in a cupboard or even in the garage. In fact, in some houses there is no mains stop-valve to be found.
Turning off the Mains Stop-Valve
In case of an emergency, it is important that you know where to find the mains stop-valve and how to switch it off. If you have the unfortunate experience to come home to find a burst pipe or a major water leak, the first thing to do is to switch off the mains stop-valve, whether this seems to reduce the flow or not. A water leak itself is normally a very stressful situation and the last thing you need is having to find out where the mains stop-valve is located and trying to work out how to switch it off. I would always advice to locate it as soon as you are moving into a new place so that you can act swift and correctly, should you come across a water leak. Like all valves, a stop-valve is switched off by turning it clockwise. This obviously means that you open it by turning its handle anticlockwise. Another good idea is to attempt to switch it off and on again, about twice a year (or at least once a year) and this is to make sure that it works alright and to prevent it from jamming open. This literally is a one minute job but by doing it on a regular basis, you should hopefully be able to prevent future problems with it getting stuck and it can therefore save you a lot of time, sweat, tears and money. As always though, if you have problems locating it or if you have any questions or need assistance with anything – do not hesitate to contact a professional.