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Turning Off Your Water Main

If you don't already know where your water main is, read this section, and go find it. Don't wait until an emergency to hunt for it where the consequences could be catastrophic.

The water main is typically located in a precast concrete vault in the front yard near the curb. Often, the water main is located below the sidewalk in front of a home. In either case there is a concrete or metal lid that must be removed to access the main water valve.

Turning off the main water valve can sometimes be quite a chore. (Periodically turn the valve on and off to prevent it from becoming difficult to operate.) Although most main water valves can be turned using an adjustable crescent wrench it is easier, more effective, and safer to use a special water main wrench.

This tool is constructed of steel dowels, stands about 3 feet high, and looks like the letter "T." It has a slot at the base that fits snuggly over the lug on the valve. The tool should always be kept handy in case of an emergency.