Locating The Main Water, Gas, and Electric Controls Of Your Home

You need to know your homes main power centers in case of an emergence. Not understanding where and how these power centers work can be dangerous to your family and home. Blow is where and how the main water, gas, and electric controls of your home can be found and how to turn off each control.

Helpful Tips:

• While mapping out your homes main water, gases and electric controls bring labels (or duck tape and a sharpie) to mark main valves/controls such as “Main Shutoff”.
• If you find most of your controls in a basement or closet, keep a flash light near the controls in case a blackout occurs in which you need to access the control panels.

Finding the Water Supply: You should find the water meter on the outside of your home near the water supply pipe the goes into the house. In new homes you will find a Gate Valve that works like a round handle faucet. Just like a faucet you will need to turn clockwise (left turn) to turn off the water flow. Counterclockwise (right turn) will restore the water flow.  Most water supply valves are hard to turn, so you may need to use a lubricant.

If you are in an older home, you may have a Ball Valve. Although they are more difficult to operate, they are sturdier and longer lasting. When the Ball Valve handle is parallel (in line with) to the pipe your valve is open and water is running. When you want to turn the water supply off to your home, make a quarter turn so that the handle and the pipe make a 90 degree angle. The Ball Valve only turns one way, so don’t force it if the handle will not turn.

Finding the Gas Supply: You know that meter outside your home that reads the amount natural gas your household uses, that is where you will find your shutoff valve for your gas. The shutoff valve is usually a small rectangular handle.  When the handle is parallel with the gas pipe, the gas is on. To turn the gas off, simply turn the handle perpendicular to the gas pipe.

Finding the Electric Supply: Your electrical controls are usually located in a metal box that contains fuses, this box is called an Electric Service Panel or Breaker Box. The main electrical shut off can be found in the top portion of the Breaker Box, sometimes enclosed in a small access door within the Breaker Box, above all  other fuses or circuit breakers. Simply switch the main shut off switch to the off position to stop any flow of electricity to your home.