Don't wait until you have a home emergency to try and find your gas or water shutoff valves. Home water and gas systems contain two types of shutoff valves: main or master shutoff valves for stopping the flow of gas or water to the entire house, and individual or supply shutoff valves for specific appliances and fixtures.
This is the house-side shutoff valve for the higher pressure natural gas system in my house. The street-side main shutoff valve must be opened and closed with a wrench, and, truth be told, gas companies don't want you operating this valve; they only want their own employees, plumbing and heating contractors and fire department personnel to use it. If your home is newer and you find a flexible copper pipe running from the meter into your utility room, you probably have a higher pressure gas system. Most service valves are single-lever ball valves; again, handle parallel to the line means gas is flowing, perpendicular means it's cut off. When you repair or replace a gas appliance, use these shutoff valves to stop the flow of gas. For those with propane or liquefied petroleum gas, there's a main shutoff valve on the tank itself, and usually a main shutoff valve somewhere before the first appliance. If you're working near the main or individual gas valve and clearly know the source of the gas leak and that gas hasn't been leaking for long, shut off the valve and get out. Also note: When you shut off main or individual gas valves, you'll be extinguishing the pilot lights to certain appliances. Knowing where your gas and water shutoff valves are and how to operate them may someday keep you out of hot water. Called the main or master shutoff, this valve turns off the gas or water to your whole house.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: If you have a gas leak, it’s not be safe for you to turn off the main gas valve! To shut off the gas supply to your house, use the house-side main valve (older homes may not have one). NOTE: When you turn off the main or supply gas line, the pilot lights on your gas appliances will go out. Just like with gas, most water meters have two main shutoff valves: One before the meter and one after. There are two other valves located outside your house, but they’re for city workers’ use only: the curb stop valve is buried underground in between the street water main and the meter at your house.
To turn off the water supply to your house, use the main shutoff valve that’s located after the meter, on the “house side”.
Also referred to as an individual shutoff, this valve stops the gas or water directly to fixtures or appliances.


Each gas appliance in your home should have a supply or service shutoff valve located within six feet of the appliance.
Most houses with newer plumbing have shutoff valves or “fixture supply stops” on the individual supply lines for toilets, dishwashers, faucets, washing machines, water heaters, and water softeners. Now granted, these shutoff valves are often hidden in some dark, creepy corner of the house.
If iron pipe is transporting the gas, it's often black; this differentiates it from similar-shaped, gray galvanized water pipe. On dryers and ranges, this valve is usually hidden behind them and can only be reached by sliding the appliance out from the wall. Some valves (both gas and water) manufactured before 1980 contain a lubricant to help the valve seal better and operate more smoothly. Now that you know where your gas valves are, also know this: it's not always safe for you to turn these valves off in an emergency. If you're uncomfortable with relighting the pilot light, hire a plumber or call your local gas service company. For your family’s safety and your peace of mind, you need to know how to locate and operate both the main and supply shut-off valves for gas and water.
It’s usually where the gas line enters the house, and you may see a black iron pipe leading to it.
If you live in a cold climate region, the meter and shutoff valves will be inside your home to prevent freezing. This allows you to turn off the gas to that one appliance so you can repair or install a dryer, furnace, stove, gas fireplace or water heater without turning off the gas to the whole house. This allows you to repair or replace one plumbing fixture without shutting off the water to the entire house.
This is called a saddle valve, and they are notorious for leaking and causing major water damage in homes.
Taking the time to familiarize yourself with the valves can help you avoid a disaster later. But if a water pipe springs a leak, knowing where the shutoff valve is could save you thousands in water damage repairs. This service valve will usually be at the end of a fixed pipe and connected to a flexible supply pipe called an appliance connector. In many cases, this lubricant will have hardened or reacted with the gas to make the valve difficult to turn. When gas reaches a certain concentration in a room or house, the slightest spark can set off a tremendous explosion.


The valve will usually look like a small rectangle, and you’ll need a special wrench to turn it. In a high-pressure system, the indoor main shutoff is located just before a device called a pressure regulator, which can usually be found near the furnace or water heater. In areas with a milder climate, the meter and valves will be found outside your house or in a box below ground. Again, there’s usually a lever that you turn to shut off the gas: Parallel to the line means the valve is open, perpendicular means it’s closed and the gas is cut off. What's more, you can't make those major plumbing repairs or improvements unless you first turn off the water. When the long side of the nub or handle is parallel to the incoming gas line, it's open and the gas is flowing. In addition to the house-side main shutoff valve, individual gas appliances should have a service or appliance shutoff valve (Fig. Applying gentle heat with a hair dryer and working the valve open and shut in stages will usually free it up again. Just like with the street-side valve, turn the handle perpendicular to the pipe to shut off the gas, and parallel to the pipe to turn the gas back on.
If your home uses propane or liquefied petroleum gas, there are two main shutoff valves: One on the propane or petroleum tank, and the other on the gas line before it connects to the first appliance. If it’s a round handle, it will take several clockwise turns to shut off the water (remember: righty-tighty, lefty-loosey).
The service valve is usually attached to an appliance connector, which is a flexible supply line.
You’ll have to move appliances like stoves and dryers away from the wall to get to the shutoff valve. Especially if your home doesn’t have an inside main shutoff, it may be a good idea to buy a gas meter shutoff wrench.
These valves allow you to stop the flow of gas to your dryer, oven, furnace, water heater or gas fireplaces to make repairs or new installations without cutting off gas to your entire home.



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