How to turn off your water at the road:


Click here for a youtube about this if it isn’t showing in the window above:

Most people have a master water turn-off valve inside their house, usually in the basement or crawl space under their house.  This is good and is often all you need.  However, if your house is flooding or severely damaged by an earthquake, you might not be able to get to that indoor valve, and you will be sooooo glad to have learned how to turn off all your water at the road.  Even if your house collapses in earthquake, you will still be able to salvage lots of the contents later if you can control water damage, which you will do by turning the water off near the road inside the water-meter can. 

To do it, you need two things:

  1. 1)a pair of pliers or a wrench to get the lid of the water meter can

  2. 2)a sprinkler turn-off key to turn the valve with

Keep a pair of pliers or a wrench inside a glass jar or plastic container hidden somewhere outside where you can easily and immediately retrieve it after an earthquake.  Don’t count on finding that ever-elusive gadget inside your house or garage after or during a disaster!

Buy or special order a short sprinkler turn-off key that can live permanently inside your water-meter can.  My specially-ordered one is 1 ft. wide across the handle and 2 1/2 ft. long.  This is short enough to fit inside the can and tall enough to have the handle stick up out of the can providing leverage when turning off the valve.  You will have to measure your own can to see if this size fits for you.

Most of these cans have a dirt bottom, so you could dig a little hole in the corner of the bottom if you need a little more depth to store the key.

You will have to test things out personally to see if your master water valve in the water meter can works like mine.  Try the process with your hose or kitchen tap running until you are successful at turning off the water.

Now watch the video (if you haven’t already!)


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