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Is Your Water Main Valve Stuck?

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Your water main valve is actually one of the most important parts of your plumbing system. This valve controls the flow of water into your home's freshwater pipes. If you ever have a major plumbing leak, turning off the main water valve will stop the flow of water and minimize the amount that leaks out. 

Unfortunately, many homes have "stuck" water main valves, and the owners do not even realize it until they need to turn the valve off and are unable to do so. You don't want to find yourself in this situation. So, follow the advice below to check your water main valve and fix it if it is, indeed, stuck.

Checking Your Water Main Valve

First, you need to locate your water main valve. The previous homeowner or installation plumber may have made this easy for you by labeling it. If not, you're looking for a big valve located on the inside of the exterior wall where the largest pipe comes into your home. Once you locate the valve, try to turn it. Turning it may take some effort since it is a big valve, but you should not have to put all of your weight into it or strain too hard. If the valve won't turn, or you're not confident you could turn it in an emergency, then that needs to be addressed.

Lubricate the Valve

Sometimes you can free up the valve yourself without having to call a plumber. For this, you will want a penetrating lubricant. Follow the instructions on the package to apply it. Usually, you'll be instructed to leave it in place for a few minutes before attempting to turn the valve.

If this works and loosens your valve, just keep up with it. Apply more lubricant and make sure your valve turns every few months.

Call the Plumber

If the lubricant does not get your valve turning, then you likely have more substantial corrosion or mineral deposits inside the main pipe or valve. A plumber will need to look the valve over and potentially replace it. They also have descaling treatments that they can use, but sometimes, it takes more time to descale a valve than to put a new one into place. At the end of the day, they'll get your valve turning so you can control the flow of water in an emergency — and that's what matters most.

Your water main valve needs to turn. If it does not, the time to act is now. Contact a plumbing contractor for more information.