A common problem when Vancouver plumbing experts attend homes with floods is that the home owners are unable to find the shut off valves. Finding these will prevent severe damages in case of a flood.
Whether you are moving into a new house or you have been living in your house for years, your priority should be locating the shut-off valve for the domestic water supply. Once you have located this, make sure you know how to use it to shut off the water.
With Vancouver winters being full of snow and freezing temperatures, it is easy for pipes to freeze and burst. Knowing how to turn off your water immediately will save you thousands of dollars in damages and a lengthy insurance claim !
Where could your shut off be? Inside the house at the point where the water comes in from the street, backtrack along the cold water supply line to find it.
The indoor shut-off is usually one of two types: a round gate valve like the ones on outdoor faucets or a ball valve that is operated with a lever.
A gate valve is closed by turning the handle clockwise.
A ball valve by moving the lever 90° to the right.
Once you locate the valve test it by turning on water in a nearby sink and then closing the valve. If the sink shuts off, you have found the correct valve. Make sure to label the valve or hang a tag on it so the rest of the family can find it.
If you can’t shut off the water – it might have been years since anyone tried to turn that handle – use a lubricant such as WD-40 and a wrench to loosen it up then remember to test it every year or so.
If the lubricant and wrench don’t work, be sure to call a Vancouver plumber – don’t force and break the connection.
Now for the outdoor shut-off, these valves can seize up after years in the ground. You may require a visit from your local city water department to get them going again. If this is the case, call them immediately, not when water is pouring out of the windows from an underground broken main !!
You might also ask your Vancouver plumber about putting a second shut-off valve inside the house where it belongs.
If there is ever an emergency Papa Plumbing is open 24/7, you can always call Papa. We would be able to guide you over the phone until a technician arrives on site.
Here is a list of City Water departments and their phone #’s in case of emergencies. If there is no answer or its after hours, you can contact your local fire department for guidance as well.
City of Vancouver: 604-873-7000
City of Surrey Engineering Department: 604-591-4340
City of Delta Engineering: 604-946-3260
City of Burnaby Engineering: 604-294-7944
City of Richmond: 604-276-4000
City of Coquitlam: 604-927-3500
City of Port Coquitlam: 604-927-5411
City of Langley: 604-534-3496
Township of Langley: 604-532-7300
City of White Rock: 604-541-2181
City of New Wesminster: 604-526-4691
City of North Vancouver: 604-988-2212
District of North Vancouver: 604-990-2450
City of West Vancouver: 604-925-7100
District of Maple Ridge: 604-463-5221
I hope I didnt leave any city out !!
In conclusion, all I can say is
GO CANUCKS GO !!!! BRING HOME THE STANLEY CUP !!!
I have a feeling all my blog posts are going to end this way until the play off’s are over !