It is very important for a homeowner to know where the shut-off valve and water meter are located. It is equally important to inform the other people living in the house where these valves are located in case of an emergency.
1.- The main shut-off valves shut the water entering the house, should there be a water leak.
2.- Locate the shut-off valve and water meter. These valves are normally located in the front or backyard near the house.
3.- Make shure both valves are visible and accessible.
4.- Make shure that the area around the valves is clean and free of bushes and spiny plants.
5.- Sometimes the shut-off valve is damaged (the inside may be corroted, this is common for gate valves) and will not function.
6.- Should this occur turn off the water via the water meter located outside of the house in case of an emergency. More than likely you will need a special tool for the water meter valve that is sold at Home Depot.
7.- Finally, we sugest that you contact a plumber to check and inspect the main shut-off valve to determine if it is working properly to avoid any surprises in the future.