If your sink is slow to drain or the water pressure in your shower is abysmal, you probably need to schedule plumbing service. However, those types of plumbing issues don’t require immediate, middle-of-the-night emergency attention. Burst pipes and big leaks, on the other hand, do require emergency attention. When water is flowing, spraying or rapidly leaking from your plumbing, you need to shut off the water ASAP to minimize the damage.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know where their house’s main water shut-off valve is located, and by the time they find it, the damage is done. If you can’t find your main water shut-off valve, you should probably go ahead and Google “find an emergency plumber near me.” Luckily, if you call Service Plumbing Co., our experienced plumbers can help you find the shut-off valve quickly and figure out what caused the leak. Keep reading to learn how to find your main shut-off valve and why preventing water damage is so important. 

Need emergency plumbing service in Ardmore, OK? Service Plumbing Co. has got your back. We’re available to take your call 24 hours a day, everyday. Give us a call at 580-223-1780

Main Water Shut-Off Valve

Each home has a main water shut-off valve that controls the home’s access to water. When the valve is open, the home’s plumbing has access to water; when the valve is closed, additional water cannot enter the home’s pipes. Every homeowner (and renter) needs to know the location of their main water shut-off valve in the event of an emergency. 

There’s no hard rule for where a home’s main water shut-off valve should be located. However, there are a few places the valve generally is — and isn’t — found. Here are some helpful tips for finding yours: 

  • The shut-off valve can be located inside or outside of the house. 
  • The shut-off valve is almost always found along the perimeter of the home, not in the central portions.
  • The shut-off valve is generally located on the lowest floor.
  • The shut-off valve is generally located close to the water main, so if you know where the water main is, look for the valve near there.
  • The location of your home’s main water shut-off valve should be listed on the inspection report (you should have received one when you purchased the home). 

It’s important to understand that closing the shut-off valve will only stop the water if the leak is coming from your home’s plumbing, not from flooding or another source. Additionally, your home’s main water shut-off valve is not the only valve in your home; plumbing fixtures also have shut-off valves. 

Shut-Off Valves on Plumbing Fixtures

When you have a major leak or burst pipe, the main water shut-off valve is generally your only option to stop the water. However, if the water is coming out of a specific plumbing fixture, you may be able to just turn off the water for that particular appliance and keep the rest of the house’s water running. Most of the time, the following plumbing fixtures have their own valves: 

  • Toilet. If you can’t stop the toilet from overflowing, look for a valve on the wall behind it, near the toilet boil. Turning it clockwise should turn off the water. 
  • Kitchen sink. Under the cabinet, you should find a valve similar to the toilet valve. Turn it clockwise to stop the water.  
  • Washing machine. There are generally two valves or a lever behind each washing machine. If you see two valves, turn them both clockwise. If you see a lever, switch it to the opposite position. 

After you’ve shut off the water to a plumbing fixture and leak stops, it’s important to try to soak up as much water as possible off of the ground, especially if the floor is wood or carpet. Then you need to call an Ardmore plumbing service right away to assess the situation and start on repairs. 

Can Water Damage Ruin a Home?

It’s not just that water damage can ruin a home; it’s that water damage can ruin a home surprisingly quickly. If your home has water damage, mildew and mold will likely develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure. The mold will continue to grow until the source of the moisture is eliminated, meaning you may have to do the following: 

  • Rip up and throw away moldy or wet carpeting 
  • Remove all wet items, including furniture, clothes, toys, etc. 
  • Remove all wet wall and ceiling materials, including ceiling tiles, drywall, wood byproducts and insulation 
  • Disinfect remaining surfaces to kill mold spores

Additionally, you’ll need to have an HVAC technician inspect your air ducts for mold before turning your system on again. You’ll also need to have a professional plumber assess the situation to ensure you’ve found and addressed the source of the leak. 

Warning Signs of a Water Leak

Unaddressed mold growth can cause severe health issues, so leaving it there isn’t an option.  Unfortunately, successful mold remediation can end up costing a small fortune, which is why leak prevention is so important. Not all leaks are as obvious as a burst pipe; in fact, some are completely invisible. Keep an eye out for these common warning signs: 

  • Water spots
  • Low water pressure
  • Dripping noises
  • Unusually high water bills
  • Musty smells 
  • Foundation cracks

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to call a plumber. Instead of typing “find an emergency plumber near me,” save yourself some time and call Service Plumbing Co. at 580-223-1780. If there’s a leak, we’ll find it and fix it. 

Find an Emergency Plumber Near Me

A serious leak can’t wait until morning; you need to address it now. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. An experienced plumber from Service Plumbing Co. is ready to meet the challenge with you. At Service Plumbing Co., we’re committed to providing fast, affordable and friendly residential and commercial plumbing services to our Ardmore neighbors. When you call us at 580-223-1780, you can rest assured that help is on the way.