Posted: 3/19/2013

Our own Mark Engel, co-owner, of Robert Fischer Plumbing has published the article below in the June edition of San Clemente magazine. You can see the magazine version on page 3 here.


The fact is, if you don't turn your water off when you go away for the weekend or on vacation you can’t say I didn't tell you so when you come home to a flood!

Everyone in your family should know where the water and gas shut offs are and how to use them. If your water shut off has a gate valve (a valve with a round handle) you should put down the paper and call your local plumber right now. Have him install a Ball Valve (a valve with a lever handle).

A friend of mine was recently taking a shower and the whole handle, trim and stem came out of the wall in her hand. Luckily, she ran out and knew to pull up on the handle of the Ball Valve and quickly had the water off. The problem with the Gate Valves is the spline that attaches to the handle inside the valve brakes and the valve either gets stuck in the open position or the closed position. Either way you’re up the creek without a paddle!

I don't think there’s any plumber out there who would try to turn the water off to your house using a gate valve. If he does he's not too bright and you should call Robert Fischer Plumbing instead.

This easy fix could save you thousands of dollars, not to mention the need of a restoration company.