Anything I should watch for in shutting off the water main

The shutoff valves under my kitchen sink are busted. The hot is stuck open and both generally look bad. I plan to install new ones while replacing the hose attachment. Furthermore, the cold water utility valve is leaking. I have quite the work ahead of me.
I think I've located the water main. There's a large-diameter PVC pipe poking out beside the driveway. If that's not it, then I guess I'll have to call the utility company. One way or another, the water main has to be shut down while I do most of the repairs--the hose can come after the new valves work.
I'm curious how the water heater plays into all of this. The last thing I need is water--especially the hot water--sprayed into my face when I pull the old shutoff valves. Is there anything I need to do in relation to my hot water heater to complete the shutoff?
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water drains by gravity to its lowest point or lowest open faucet. you can relieve any hot water pressure after you turn off the water supplying the tank. just drain a gallon or two of hot water from the spigot at the bottom of your hot water heater.
if your neighbor's home is similar to yours just ask them to show you their water main shutoff location.
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This seems to really depend on your location. Here in MN, the meter is in the basement and there's a couple shutoffs there, on either side. As I understand it in warmer climates the meter is outside, on the curb, and that's where you shutoff will be too. I think you need some sort of special key to shut it off there. I would also think there'd still be some 'master' shutoff within the house in this case (e.g. near the water heater or softener) but never lived in the south.
-Tim
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Adam Preble, 10/2/2005,8:36:20 PM, wrote:

My house has two shutoff valves. One is in the garage near the water heater. The other is in the master bathroom. Are you sure you've checked your entire house?
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Adam Preble wrote:

It just occurred to me a PVC pipe would make a terrible water main access. Ignore that.
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Adam Preble wrote:

Make sure you shut off the water heater before you shut off the water. Open the highest and lowest valves to allow the water to drain from the pipes. -- Tom Horne
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There is usually a shut off on either side of the water meter. Since they probably havent been turned in many years they are probably in just as bad shape as the other valves. In my town if you call the city, they will come out and find the outside access point for you and turn it off on request.

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That PVC pipe sounds to me like access to a sprinker system turn off valve. There is usually a turn off valve where the pipes enter the house.

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If you shut off the water main, and then open both faucets on the laundry sink in the cellar, there won't be any pressure in the system. So, you won't have to shut off the water supply to the water heater. D'uh.
Unless you meant something different like shut off the electric or natural gas source of heat.
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It's a good idea to shut off the water supply to the water heater because trying to drain the lines while working on the supply end could end up having to drain the whole HWT. Turning off the HWT water ensures you don't have to refill it again.

When working on the water supply, it's always a good idea to turn off the water heater. Especially if you're going to drain the tank.
The quickest way to burn out HWT electric elements is to supply power to it while the elements aren't immersed.
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The shutoff valves under my kitchen sink are busted. The hot is stuck open and both generally look bad. I plan to install new ones while replacing the hose attachment. Furthermore, the cold water utility valve is leaking. I have quite the work ahead of me. CY: You should find out if the pipes coming out of the wall are copper, or galvanized. Do the shutoffs sweat on, or thread on? That will affect things.
I think I've located the water main. There's a large-diameter PVC pipe poking out beside the driveway. If that's not it, then I guess I'll have to call the utility company. CY: Probably in the cellar, if your h ouse has a cellar. Or in a cabinet some where.
One way or another, the water main has to be shut down while I do most of the repairs--the hose can come after the new valves work. CY: Since you have to work on it, get em both at the same time.
I'm curious how the water heater plays into all of this. The last thing I need is water--especially the hot water--sprayed into my face when I pull the old shutoff valves. CY: If you shut off the water main, then the next thing is to open the lowest faucet (probably the laundry sink in the cellar) and leave them open while you're working. That will reduce the chance of leaks.
Is there anything I need to do in relation to my hot water heater to complete the shutoff? CY: You don't need to close any water valves for the WH. But, it's a good idea to shut off the heat source. Electric WH, shut off the breaker. For gas WH, turn the white knob (on top of the gas valve) from "ON" to "PILOT". And remember to turn it back on when you're through.
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On Mon, 03 Oct 2005 00:36:20 GMT, Adam Preble

While you are at it....
At some point the water main has to come into you home. In most cases there will be a conversion from iron to copper pipe or from plastic to copper pipe.
Check the diameter of this copper pipe.
Pick up a compression fit 3/4 inch FULL PORT ball valve.
or
A compression fit 1/2 inch FULL PORT ball valve.
The installation on this item is quick and very easy and simple. Literally it takes 2 minutes with a hack saw and two adjustable crescent wrenches. No sweat fitting no need for a torch.
This will give you a full house shutoff valve inside you home. Ball valves are washer less and will last almost forever. Get the lever style and a simple flip of the lever shuts off the water to the entire house.
Open the hot and cold water taps at the lowest point in your home and you are then ready to rock and roll.
It is important to note that you want the FULL PORT valve. If you get the half port your water pressure will not be good.
HM
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