Bursting pipes can cause massive property damage

Finding the main water valve is easier than you think

Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog from Pennsylvania, scurried out of his hole on February 2nd to indicate that this year’s winter would last another six weeks. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, Hunter Insurance would like to remind homeowners that a long winter season means an increased possibility of bursting pipes and costly damage.

In order to help homeowners avoid this common winter issue, we would like to share how to locate and turn off the main water shutoff valve in your home. This is usually the best solution to minimize damage from gushing water. “Often times, homeowners know where the shutoff valve is, but when the time comes they can’t turn the valve because it’s too tight,” said Brian Hunter, president of Hunter Insurance. “That’s why it is imperative that you know how to operate the valve sooner, rather than later.”

While it is not necessary to turn off the main valve every time you suspect there are frozen pipes, these tips below will help you locate the valve and how to prevent further damage in the event of an emergency:

  • Most main water valves are located in the basement of your home. At some homes, the main shutoff valve might be outside of the home near the utility area.
  • Homeowners can identify the main shutoff valve by looking for either a gate or ball valve. These designs are typically used to turn off the main water source.
  • To close either valve, the valve needs to be turned clock wise.

You might be able to avoid the shutoff valve entirely if the frozen pipe is in your kitchen cabinet, in which case you’ll want to turn off the faucet and thaw the pipe safely before it has the chance to expand and burst.

Homeowners that are unsure about operating the valve should not hesitate to ask a plumber for assistance. A skilled professional can also suggest effective ways to prevent frozen pipes from happening.

Committed to protecting families and businesses in Southern New England from all types of loss, Hunter Insurance has been providing auto, home and life insurance for more than two decades. For more information on ways to protect yourself and your largest investment, speak with one of our agents by calling 401-769-9500.