customers are unsure about where Fairfax Water’s system ends and
their home plumbing begins. Water meters and their settings are
owned and maintained by Fairfax Water. Your plumbing includes all of
the pipes and fixtures on your property, from the meter or valve
near the street to the faucets inside your home. Here are a few
important components to be familiar with:
Main Water Valve
is normally located where the water line enters your home through
the foundation. You can use it to shut off the water in an emergency
or when you are making plumbing improvements. It can also be turned
off while the property is vacant to prevent water damage that
unforeseen leaks might cause. To make sure this valve works
properly, turn it off and verify that the water flow to your
fixtures has stopped completely. When the valve is turned back on,
it should be opened fully to allow unrestricted water flow.
Water Service Lateral
This is the
pipe that runs underground from the meter or valve near the street
to the main water valve inside the house. It is typically made of
copper, plastic, or sections of both.
components above, water meters and their settings are owned and
maintained by the Fairfax Water. Most houses built between 1971 and
1980 are equipped with an inside water meter, which is connected to
a remote register on the exterior of the house. In the case of an
inside meter setting the Authority only maintains the water meter
and remote reader. Other meters are located near the edge of the
property in a small pit covered by a cast iron lid. It is helpful to
keep plants, shrubs, and trees trimmed away from our meters and
registers to allow us to read and maintain them.
FOR WINTERIZING YOUR PLUMBING
- It is a good idea to locate and mark your
main-line valve and check it for proper operation. This valve
controls water flowing into your home. Marking the valve will
allow you to quickly turn off the water if a pipe should burst
or you have other water problems. You can minimize the potential
for water damage by ensuring that everyone in the household
knows how to shut off the water in an emergency. To make it
easier, we’ve provided a
main water valve tag you can print and attach to the valve. Note: If you are having trouble printing the valve tag,
you might need to update your Adobe Reader. If you are still having trouble, call 703-289-6019, TTY 711.
Make sure you
know where the valves are for your outside spigots. That way,
when freezing weather is forecast, you can easily turn off the
water to the outside spigots.
Shut off and
drain the pipes leading to your outside faucets. Using the
valves located inside your home, make sure no water is left to
freeze, expand, and cause a leak in these lines.
- Never try to thaw frozen pipes with an open
flame or torch.
If you cannot
maintain heat inside your home, take further precautions to
prevent damage. Turn off the main water supply and drain the
- If you’ll be away from home for an extended
period, keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature to
protect pipes from freezing.
- Insulate pipes in unheated spaces. Hardware or
building supply stores carry insulation designed to keep pipes
in these areas from freezing.