SHUT OFF VALVES
Knowing how to shut off your water "to" your home, and "in" your home, is as important as getting water to run through those pipes to your faucet. The first time a pipe bursts from freezing and thawing, you will be grateful to know where the shut off valves are located. Your home has two types of shut off valves. Take the time to find out where they are sooner than later.
First, the main shut off valve (key box) is often located in your front/side yard. Many valves are sticking out of the ground in varied heights and often camouflaged by flowers and shrubs during the warm weather months. In some cases, this shut off valve is buried in one's driveway, such as ours. One thing you may like to add to your "Honey-Do List" is to contact your Utility Locate Service, to locate this on your property before you need it in an emergency. Then take the time to mark this area with spray paint or some other means. Inform your family, friends or neighbors where this may be for the "just in case moment".
The other shut off valve is located "inside" your home anywhere from your garage to your crawl space. Crawlspace accesses are at times just a hole in your floor, inside a closet. If this is true in your situation you may want to re-think storing items on top of this area. In an emergency, every minute will count if water is gushing in your home and out in to your street.
After this valve is located, mark it with a large tag and/or flagging tape to call attention to this area. Inform your family members, friends or house sitters of this location as well. Knowing the whereabouts of this valve and how to use it properly is your best protection against costly water damage. In addition, check this valve to assure it is in working order at least twice per year.
For more information, the Utility Locate Center's number in Anchorage is 278-3121.