Emergency Services

How to Shut Off Your Home’s Main Water Supply

shutting off water valve header

Having clean water in your home is something that we can all appreciate. The reason we can have clean water is thanks to a little piece of equipment called a backflow valve. Backflow valves are double-flow tubes that are built to stop any unclean water from reaching your faucet. Without it, contaminated water would enter your home.


What Does a Backflow Valve Do?

When water enters your home it comes from your main water supply, and the water should only flow in one direction. But when pressure is lost, water no longer gets pushed into one direction. Normally, because the pressure is optimized for your home plumbing system, the sewage or other waste and contaminants will move down through the earth, while the cleaner waters will go up into the home. But there are instances where your clean water can become contaminated and the backflow valve has prevented that water from reaching your home.

A backflow valve is most useful when a pipe bursts, freezes, or a high-pressure solid or gas tries to move through the plumbing system. These kinds of incidents cause the normal water pressure to be altered, which allows the contaminated water to move through your pipes. The backflow valve helps water continuously flow in one direction to keep any contaminated water out of your home.

Where Is It?

If you’re in an emergency like an earthquake or a flood and you need to turn off your backflow valve, you can locate it in a few different places depending on state regulations.

Most homes will have their backflow valve on the outside of the house near their sprinkler system or water meter but depending on the climate you can also find it in your basement near your water heater.
If you need to shut off the backflow valve you simply need to locate it and turn it until the water stops flowing (you should be able to hear it stop). For a visual guide, check out Wiki How’s article on how to shut off the main water supply to a home.

Contamination Rules & Regulations

Did you know that each city has its own regulations about its water supply? Cities decide how they’re going to test and clean their water. Sometimes regulations require a small air gap between the delivery point of water and local storage or use in the home. This is built to help control backflow due to high pressures. Other regulations control the quality of water and methods to avoid contamination, for more information about Utah’s drinking water, check out our blog here. To find general rules about contamination, you can check out the EPA’s drinking water requirements.

Need a Plumber?

If you have any concerns regarding your home’s plumbing system and the quality of your water supply, please feel free to contact Shamrock Plumbing. We provide services to customers along the Wasatch front. We are here for you!

CALL NOW: 801-505-9505
TOLL FREE: 866-262-8007

340 W 500 N
North Salt Lake, UT 84054
United States