I Wish
I Knew

I Wish I Knew: Create a roadmap of shutoff switches.

October 14, 2017 by Ellen Abramson

No one in the house seems to know where the shutoff valves are. Does this sound familiar? If you find yourself in an emergency situation or someone needs to run your house short or long term, would anyone know where the shutoff switches are and how to work them (does the lever turn to the right or left)? The easy way to handle this situation is to make a house roadmap of where they are located and how they work.

Create a spreadsheet, list or map that notes the shutoff switch name, location, instructions of how to turn it off or on and any other helpful information. Include details for air conditioning units, furnaces, generator, inside water, outside water, gas, sinks, toilets etc. If anything needs to be turned off seasonally such as outside faucets or irrigation systems, make sure to document that as well.

Don’t forget to write down the location of your circuit breaker panel and make sure the circuits are properly labeled. One of my clients hid their circuit breaker behind a painting, that certainly would be difficult to locate in a time of crisis.

This organizational task is an easy one and will save you much aggravation in the future if you or a loved one needs to turn a switch on or off. Just do it!