Tips About Utility Shut Off Valves
What Would We do Without our Utility Providers?
Utility Providers…what would we do without them? Today our lifestyles include little thought or worry over whether we will have electricity or gas or water when we need it. It’s always just there, working away.
How Fast Can You Say, “Turn It Off”?
In a disaster situation such as flooding, earthquake, fire or other very storms you may need to shut off each utility to make sure your home stays as safe as possible. If you call your Utility Provider as a storm approaches, they wouldn’t have the manpower to try to do that for you if they wanted to. In addition, it’s unlikely that you would want to do it unless you were sure that your home was in imminent danger anyway.
Know How to Shut Off Your Utilities
You should be intimately familiar with where each of the shut off valves or switches are for the gas, water and electricity to your home. It is also recommended that you shut off the utility valves in this order because of the potential damage that each can do within your home.
- If a gas line within your home is broken or is ruptured, and the flow of natural gas or propane is left open, then the potential for extreme personal danger and devastation from an explosion or engulfing fire is very real.
- Depending on location of problem(s) within your home, broken water lines or plumbing fixtures can very quickly cause thousands of dollars in damage and normally results in a lengthy period of restoration work after the storm is long gone.
- Electricity and storms don’t mix…especially large devastating storms. Not only can the main electricity cables that come into your home cause surges that can burn up any size electric motor or appliance, it can also fry the power supply of a computer or other device with almost no effort at all. Even worse is the danger to you and your family members within the house if electric circuits or wiring is compromised. Electric shock can be fatal but even if it’s not, it’s NEVER without some type of consequence. A person will have at minimum an electric burn, which if severe can take several months to completely heal…not to mention the trauma that can result from all the “What Ifs”. The “Main Switch” for the electrical service is usually somewhere on the interior of the house and can be turned off more easily than the gas or the water valves which will be outside.
Tools of the Trade
Some shut offs like gas, require a tool or specific wrench to turn off the valve and it pays great dividends to buy a quality wrench that fits the valve correctly. Spray it with a lubricant and place it in a marked baggie to avoid corrosion or confusion so it’s always ready.
The same concept goes for the water valve. Many times the “Valve Wrench” for the water shut off is a pre-made or manufactured configuration with a long handle attached. This tool is necessary because the shut off valve for the water is almost always located on the utility side of your meter AND in a box that is buried in the ground.
If your electrical panel locks or requires a tool to open it, make sure you have the right tool or you have a key at the ready.
Know Where the Tools Are
In addition to knowing exactly where each of the shut offs for each utility is located and having these tools purchased. We recommend having all of them together in one location for quick use in an emergency. As stated above, each of the tools should be clearly marked for which valve they intended.
If someone besides yourself must perform an emergency shut off, it’s much simpler and faster if they know where the tools are located and have the right tool with them at the right utility shut off location.
By doing this now, can save you a lot of hassle later but may also save you thousands upon thousands of dollars after an emergency…or even your life!
In summary, you must know:
- Know where each utility valve is located,
- Make certain that you have the right tool for each utility valve or switch, and
- Know where the tools for emergency shut off valves are located and make certain they are in good working order.
It’s also important to know who to call to help you and your family get your lives back on track as quickly as possible. A professional Restoration Contractor will know how to help perform emergency repairs, mitigate all the damage, and best of all are experts in dealing with insurance carriers to get you reimbursed for everything you are coverage allows!
Professional Restoration Contractors
Puroclean Restoration Services in Frisco TX is the experienced professional restoration contractor that a stressed-out homeowner should call first when disaster strikes their home. Puroclean has all the equipment and trained personnel needed from emergency cleanup of fire or water damage to getting your home completely dried out…restored and back like it was.
Make an appointment before you need help. Be informed and get to know your restoration contractors like Puroclean Restoration before you have storm or utility damage that can endanger you or your family.
Call us at 469-656-7000!