What You Need to Know About Shutting Off Your Water

What You Need to Know About Shutting Off Your WaterIs it a good idea to shut off your water when you leave home for an extended period, such as a vacation? Turning off the water pretty much eliminates the chance that a broken pipe might damage your house while you’re gone. It can also save you money on your water bill if you have any leaks in your house.

But before you turn off the main valve on your way out the door, there are a few things you might want to consider.

The weather

During most seasons of the year, and even during most normal winter weather, you can turn off the water and leave town without the weather being a factor.

However – if the weather is going to be extremely cold, there’s a possibility that pipes might freeze in your home while you’re gone.

Simply turning off the water – even if you run the faucets to empty the pipes – will not necessarily protect against an extreme cold snap. Most plumbing systems have low spots and emptying the pipes completely can be complicated. For complete safety, you would need to blow out the pipes and possibly put antifreeze in the pipes – a process that’s beyond most homeowners.

If you think there might be sub-zero weather while you’re gone, it’s best to leave the water turned on and leave one faucet running slightly to keep the pipes from freezing.

Your landscaping

If you water your landscaping with culinary water, you should leave the water on when you leave town so your automatic irrigation system will continue to water your plants.

If you use pressure irrigation (PI), it’s okay to turn off the culinary water, but make sure not to turn off your PI system. It’s easy to tell the difference; the shutoff for your culinary system is usually inside the house, while the shutoff for your PI is a stop and waste located in the ground that you turn off with a long valve key.

The different types of shutoffs

There are several different types of water shutoffs in the average household, and it can be helpful to understand the difference:

  • Shutting off water to a single fixture, such as a toilet or a water heater
  • Shutting off the main valve to your house
  • Cutting the water supply to your entire property

To understand the difference, Wikihow is a good place to start: https://www.wikihow.com/Turn-Off-Your-Water-Supply-Quick-and-Easy#:~:text=How%20to%20Turn%20Off%20Your%20Water%20Supply%20Quick,to%20Your%20Property.%20Contact%20your%20water%20company.%20