In most cases all houses should have a service cut off independent of the water meter. Even though the function can be performed at either location it is not uncommon for the service cut-off to be inoperable or impossible to find especially in older homes. Deterioration to this service cut-off is not uncommon. If you can find it and it works, this would be the normal location to turn the water off when you need to turn-off the water. However, if you cannot operate it with relative ease…. DON’T FORCE IT as it can be broken easily without to much effort. As you can see in this second picture there are several cut-offs and the handles have corroded away. I had to dig out a pail of dirt just to take the picture. If turning the water off at the meter is you choice, see Plumbing-City Water Cut-Off. If this water cut-off does not work and does not leak and you can still turn the water off at the meter, just leave this one alone. The day may come when you find it leaking, replacement will be your best option at that time.
Regardless of where you choose to turn your water off, ensure that it can be performed in one of the two places, and turn the water off at least once to say you did. If you have a plumbing problem typically you need to turn the water off fairly quick. A leak can put a lot of water on the floor as well as cause an expensive call to a plumber. If you can schedule a plumber based on his schedule, instead of an emergency call out, the cost difference is dramatic.
Key Inspection Points and Action Items:
- Locate the water cut-off.
- Atempt to turn the water off here, if not, go to the water meter.