Table Of Contents
Home Water Systems
First, you must understand your home water system and how it works. The water system of your home is basically of two types:
- Supply system
- Drainage system
Water Supply System
This system is responsible for supplying water to your home. A water supply system can be categorised into two:
- Indirect Water Supply
This water supply system sends fresh water into your property through the main shut off valve. Once the water gets to your home, you can get drinking water from the kitchen sink. The rest of the water flows into a storage tank from which water flows to the rest of your home.
- Direct Water Supply
You can find this type of water supply system in modern houses. It sends standard cold drinking water from your water main to every cold water tap in your home. You can find cold water taps in your bathtub, bathroom sinks, and kitchen sinks.
Water Drainage System
Just like you need a water supply system to get water into your home, you equally need a drainage system to get your used and wastewater out from your home. Water drainage systems are divided into two:
- Single Pipe System
This type of drainage system uses a large pipe where all the waste from your house is connected and drained downwards into the sewer. The pipe has a vent that extends beyond the roof of your house allowing gases to escape. This type of drainage system is used in modern properties.
- Double Pipe System
This system utilises two different drainage pipes. One pipe is used for toilet waste, while the other is used for any other home waste that is not toilet waste.
How to Locate your Water Main Shut Off Valve
Bear in mind that a shut off valve will completely cut off the water supply to your entire house. Usually, in Australia and other warmer regions, the main shut off valve is located at the front of your house (covered by a council plate). However, for places with colder temperatures, the main shut off valve is likely to be located inside your house, right beneath the kitchen sink or in the utility room.
If you live in an old property, your main shut off valve might be located at the end of the road right beside the water meter. If you are unsure of the exact place, you should take a walk around your property as you pay close attention to the points you suspect it might be.
If you live in a block of flats or an apartment block, your water main shut off valve should be found in the car park area below your apartment. You might find it enclosed in a cabinet or service box together with the water meter, alongside your neighbours’ shut off valves and water meters. Ensure that you are turning off the water supply to your apartment and not your neighbour’s. Just check the meter for markings of your apartment number.
How to Turn Off your Main Shut Off Valve
Now that you have located your main shut off valve, the next thing is turning it off. Shut off valves come in different designs like gate valves, ball valves, or a T-top isolation tap.
To turn off a shutoff valve, you might need the following:
- A screwdriver
- A water cup
- Shifting wrench or a pair of pliers
- Hand gloves
And here are the steps to turning it off:
- First, open the council cover plate with a screwdriver. Just insert the screwdriver into the hole and lift the council plate to reveal the shutoff valve. If there is no cover plate over your shut off valve, reach out to your local council or property manager and request one to be installed.
- The shutoff valve box is most likely to be filled with water and if that is the case, use the water cup to remove the water.
- Next, turn the shutoff valve clockwise (to the right) to shut it off. Use the shifting wrench or a pair of pliers if you cannot shut it off with your bare hands.
- Now, you can go ahead and contact your local plumber to fix your plumbing emergency.
If you share a shut-off valve with your neighbour, ensure that your neighbour is aware of the emergency and comfortable with you turning off the shut-off valve. In the event that you are unable to locate your shut off valve, contact your property management or local plumber to assist you.
Hot Water Systems
Humans rely on a hot water system for their daily hot water supply, especially people in colder regions or during colder seasons. Hot water systems come in different types. Therefore, you must know the different types in the market if you plan to replace or get a new hot water system.
There are four types, and they are:
- Electronic Hot Water System – This hot water system has a similar working mechanism as an electric kettle, and it heats water through a heating element found inside the tank.
- Heat Pump Water Heater – This type of hot water system uses a small amount of electricity and heats water with the help of an evaporator.
- Gas Hot Water System – This system uses gas as its primary fuel for heating water and is suitable for large families due to its rapid heating rate.
- Solar Hot Water System – This system is renewable, eco-friendly and freely available. It utilises solar energy.
How to Turn Off your Gas Hot Water System
Shutting off your gas hot water system stops the supply of hot water to your home. However, it still facilitates the supply of cold water into your house. The following steps work for both LPG and natural gas hot water systems:
- Start by locating your gas hot water system.
- Find the yellow handle tap (yellow indicates gas tap). The pipe with the yellow tap is the one supplying gas to your water heater.
- Next, turn the yellow tap clockwise (to the right).
- Finally, check to see if the valve is off by turning on the hot water tap. If hot water comes out, that means the tap is not completely turned off.
Why you Should Turn Off your Gas Hot Water Heater
You should turn off your gas heater in emergencies. The emergencies can include:
Shutting Off your Water Main can Prevent Damage
Locating your water main shut off valve and knowing how to turn it off will help save your home from plumbing emergencies like flooding that can cause damage that will cost you a lot of money to your property. Allocate some time to locate your shut off valve and ensure that it is functional. Doing so will help prepare you for any plumbing emergencies in the future.