Table Of Contents
Water Mains In Australia
The water main, also known as the water valve, manages the water supply to your home. Australia's most popular types of mains water designs include ball valves, gate valves, and T-top isolation taps. Since your water main is supposed to be either fully open (to enable full flow) or fully closed up, you should never use it to control the amount of water flow (to stop water flow entirely).
If you try to change the water flow through your water main, corrosion and more wear and tear may happen. Most water mains will remain on or unlocked to ensure steady water flow all year. However, there can be times when it's necessary to turn off your water main.
When Is It Necessary To Switch Off The Water Main?
You don't decide to shut off your water main every day. There are a few situations, though, where you might need to do it. Examples of this include the following:
• When your property has a water leak.
• Water collecting in your yard.
• Water is visibly dripping from behind your kitchen sink.
• Your home is filled with uncontrollably flowing water.
These circumstances immediately point to the presence of a broken or burst water pipe in your home. You must shut off the main water valve to prevent any additional damage.
Where Are Isolation Valves?
Locating isolation shutdown valves is significantly more straightforward. The majority of important household plumbing fixtures include individual valves that regulate water flow. A small valve that can quickly cut off the individual water supply should be installed close to the plumbing in sinks, toilets, water heaters, and washing machines.
Water flow can be stopped by simply turning the valve counter clockwise. Simply cutting off the supply can immediately solve sink and toilet issues. To ensure the isolation valves are functioning correctly, it is always a good idea to examine them occasionally.
Open up both your hot and cold lines to alleviate pressure after tightening the water shutoff valves and testing that the water is indeed off. Locate your home's water valves as soon as possible to avoid costly repair situations arising from plumbing issues.
Systemic Septic Water Tanks
Wastewater, often known as sewage, is treated and disposed of through septic tank systems in most of western Australia's unsewered developments. A septic tank water system typically consists of one or two sets of drainage receptacles with holes in their sides and no base, such as leach drains or soakwells, and one or two sets of watertight cylindrical tanks called septic tanks.
How a septic tank system works
Heavy solids that block drain systems settle at the bottom of septic tanks, where bacteria break them down. As a result, the number of solids is decreased, and their composition is altered to sludge. This sludge then accumulates at the tank's bottom.
Substances like grease and oil float to the top and create a crust over the liquid in the water tanks. Residual liquid, known as effluent, drains from the tanks into drainage basins, where it soaks into nearby soil and may go through additional natural treatment procedures.
How To Locate Your Property's Water Main
You must first notify the state's government water agency to turn off the water supply to your property. The following are acceptable justifications:
• The water shutoff is malfunctioning, and you have a plumbing issue.
• The pipe that connects your property to the roadway that has been closed off is leaking.
• A professional must install a new main shutoff valve.
After alerting your local water authority, you can start looking for the shutoff valve. The property shutoff valve is typically located at the front of a property, underneath a council cover plate, as was already indicated. With a screwdriver, you may pry the cover plate open, or if it's sufficiently loose, you can just lift it off.
Note: A little handle will be on the valve. It could have a wheel-shaped handle (if it's a gate valve), a T-shaped handle (as with ball valves), or just one handle. To ensure the valve is closed, spin it as far clockwise as possible.
Turning Off The Water Supply
Since there is no risk of freezing in Australia due to its warmer climate, the water shutdown valve is often located right next to the water meter. In contrast, residents of colder climates have their water shutoff valve installed inside the home—typically in the basement—to keep it from freezing.
A water shutdown valve is frequently put in an underground box or outside wall in milder weather areas. You must immediately make up for not knowing where your main water shutoff valve is or for not having turned it on and off since moving into your current residence. The statement "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds in this situation.
Do not put off discovering how to turn off your main water supply until there is a plumbing problem. You must know how to switch off the main water supply to your home before anything like this occurs. In particular, when there is a plumbing emergency, the water shutoff valve is your only option for turning off the water supply to your home.
Tools To Turn Off Water Supply To Your Home
You will need the following mentioned tools to turn off your water supply:
• Moving spanner
• A cup
Steps to turn off your water supply
Step One: Find your water meter
Find the water meter in front of your house; it is typically on the left or right side of the building. The water meter's top should have a metal or plastic cap on it. You can have two water meter boxes if you reside in a region where recycled water is used. There will be a water shutoff valve somewhere if you reside in a unit, apartment, or townhouse, even if you don't have a personal water meter at the front of the complex.
Water meter boxes can quickly become clogged with mud and silt due to rain and insects. Some believe it is up to the tenant to maintain the meter box, but if it stays reasonably clean, it can always be accessed. This makes it easier for you to turn off your water in case of an emergency or repairs. You can also use this access to monitor your water usage.
Step Two: Take off the council cover plate from your water meter
A special return line for the hot water pipes in a conventional hot water system connects the water heater to the bathroom or fixture that is the farthest away. A recirculating pump located close to the water heater draws water from the most distant fixture back into the water heater, forming a loop.
Put the screwdriver in the hole and take off the council cover plate from your water meter using it. Look for a hot water recirculation system and close them too. You must contact your local municipality and request that they install a cover plate for you if there isn't one already there.
Step Three: Empty the water if any is present
You'll need to use a cup to empty the water if the meter box is overflowing with water.
Step Four: Shut off the isolation tap
It will either be a ball valve or a T-top isolation tap, so shut it off. Follow the steps below:
• To turn off this tap, turn it counter clockwise.
• Use the shifter spanner and screwdriver to give yourself more leverage if the stop valve or T-top tap won't turn when turned by hand.
• To operate the shifter, place the open shifter over the stop valve, insert the screwdriver through the shifter's top hole, and turn the shifter to the right or clockwise until it is completely off.
• Return to the house, turn on the front hose tap, and empty the water line.
Note: The valve may occasionally be a little challenging to move.
Contact A Qualified Plumber
The purpose of a water shutoff valve is to stop the flow of water. A shutoff valve can therefore isolate a plumbing fixture from the rest of your home's plumbing or store water until you need it. Consider the distinction between your toilet's shutoff valve, which is typically open, and your exterior hose bib, which is generally closed.
Rotating the handle opens the shutoff valves with a wheel or other multi-turn valves. Turning the handle counterclockwise will effectively tighten the valve stem inside to stop the flow of water, press a rubber gasket up against a seat or force a gate to close.
Alternatively, by turning the valve in the opposite direction, you will open it and let water flow through. If you find this difficult to do, you can always contact a qualified plumber. An expert will handle this job professionally and quickly at a reasonable rate. This is especially important if you have water leaks but can't tell the source.