Knowing the basics of how things work around your home makes dealing with an emergency much easier and less stressful. If you're like most homeowners, you may not know where all the water and gas shut-off valves are located in your home, so take a few minutes to educate yourself and avoid the panic that come with an emergency.
The water shut-off valve inside the house is usually located near your water heater, probably on top of the water heater.
To shut off the water at the meter, you will need either a crescent wrench or a 4 in 1 tool.
DIY Tip: Place a crescent wrench, or an emergency 4 in 1 tool in your water meter box and no more searching for the right tool!
While we're on the subject on shut-off vales, another shut-off I'd like to talk about is your gas shut-off valve. If you have natural gas or propane piped into your home you must know where the gas shut-off valve is located. If you have natural gas, the shut-off is located on your gas meter, usually on the side or your house.
Also, any gas appliances will have a shut-off valve on the gas line where it is connected to the appliance (or it should!).
DIY Tip: Picking up a second crescent wrench or emergency 4-in-1 tool to hook on your gas meter is an easy way to save yourself some time and money. By Tuesday the stench had continued and after everyone left for school and work, I began my job as CSS (Chief Sneaker Sniffer.) I found the offending pair, or so I thought and threw them in the garage. The Office of Emergency Services within the County of San Diego has instituted a regional notification system that will be able to send telephone notifications to residents in danger of being impacted by an emergency or disaster. Recently our water company installed new lines on the street where I have a summer cottage.
I just recieved a letter form the city of minneap[olis minnesota saying the shut off valve for the water service line to the property does not work.
Thank you for the simple and quick way to shut off the water at the Main meter…I followed the instructions on our City Water Site and they only had you run a test from the outside main, by the house to see if there was a leak.
The outside water shut-off valve is usually located below the hose bib on the front of the house.
Can I shut off the water meter valve when nobody is living at the house during the weekdays.
If you know anything about masonite, you likely know that it sucks up and absorbs water very easily and swells when wet.
If it's not located there, your only outside shut off could be inside the water meter box on the street side of the house. In order to perform plumbing service to one side, the water supply must be turned off at the meter!
I went out side to front cub and water was streaming down side walk I called the City.They came out shut curb side valveand water stopped Then City man says its yours to fix.

The leak was on city side of a valve that was fullopenend about 4 feet from the valve that city closed off.They had abandoned that valve and put new one in out of and away from side walk. The valve never felt tight, (closed), so I’m wondering if I am in fact turning the valve at all. Jerry, I can't speak for every meter, but I had the same experience with mine a few years ago when the main shut off valve in my basement broke off. I'm not all that knowledgable about the various types of keys for water meters, but it does seem than there are various designs. The tool you show is an emergency wrench, and is intended to function as a curb key, But as you found out, it is a lightweight tool. I had similar trouble and I called the water department and asked if they could replace the valve.
Using the right tool for the job eliminates the use of oil, let alone the concern about turning off a valve. Also, a water meter shut-off valve usually only requires a half turn to shut off the water. You might even tag your shut-offs, since you typically don't use them except in an emergency. It requires a crescent wrench or a 4 in one tool to operate the shut-off, and usually only takes one half-turn to close the valve. Now that you know how to shut off your water, it is good practice to shut off the water if you go away for several days. Never turn on a water meter that has been turned off by the city due to non-payment or for safety reasons.
I had a busted pipe last month with a water consumption of 24000 galons that was repaired now the water company had sent me a statement showing a 35000 galons consumed despite the fact that nobody lived at the house for 3 weeks.
When I went to do laundry, I thought I heard water running in the house (never a good sign in an empty house.) As I pressed my ear to the wall, sure enough I could hear water running, dripping, spraying or something like that in the wall. In order to fix it, the county will have to turn off the water at the next stop, and it could be some time before they get there. You may have some appeals process locally to try and do something about it, but we have seen these types of situations before where the homeowner ends up spending $1,000 on water because they fail to recognize a leak. However, around here that shut off is off limits, you must call the local water authorities to have it shut off. Luckily it was on an exterior wall and a patch and some new drywall fixed the problem.) My eyes sank to the floor where I saw the undeniable glistening of water along the baseboard.
If you had a real smooth turning valve it would have worked, but then so would a pair of pliers. And don't forget to make sure everyone in the house knows where the shut-off are and how to use them.
Wow, that is a powerful message about water pipes and leaks, thank you so much for taking the time to share the information when it must be so busy for you now.

2nd that the valve shut off portion of the wrench be on a Tee type of rod that is adiquitly long enough to reach down a standard depth hole, say 24″ or better, 36 prefered. Last November ,we started having water pressure issue, I started checkingout the lines and valves in house,the last thing was at kitchen sink where pressure lost got to zero. I found the info really good however, if anyone out there is on well water with an automated water softener or treatment system be sure this won’t mess up your system. This is done for several reasons, one is the extreme cold we have would freeze the water meter and valve assembly. Now I have to get to work trying to figure out where the leak is coming from, that is causing the baseboard to come loose from the wall and the corner of the toilet closet too show water marks. I need to replace the main water valve in my house so I have to shut off the water at the meter.
The boys and I had a headache earlier, but we sealed off the kitchen completely and opened the windows.
The further north you are located, the deeper the well will be that houses this water cut-off valve. I had a water leak in the basement of the house i recently moved to and I’ve been noticing a lot of mold or the signs for what I think mold is.
To me this means the city’s valve is broken , i used chanel locks to turn it until it closes or stops.
I removed the access screw cap, inserted the key down the access pipe onto the tongue on the valve but it, as expected would not turn with considerable force.
It's designed to: shut off gas, shut off water, pry open doors, and dig through debris in emergency situations. I have done this many times in other duplexes right next door, but when i go out to the street and turn off the main, the water does not turn off. Valve keys are sold at waterworks and plumbing supply stores but usually not hardware stores. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals. Although some meters may have an adapter from t-head to square nut, in this case you would need a valve key to shut off the meter. I did that, but it was still running, so I looked online quickly to make sure the shut off was done correctly…Thank you.

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