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Ramp Up Your Shut Off Valve Action Plan

By Jack Rubinger, Marketing Content Writer at ARC Facilities

May 2021

As if you don’t already have enough on your plate, knowing the locations of your facility’s gas, water main, water isolation valves and med gas valve shut-offs is more difficult than it sounds.

Renovations, the number of years you’ve been on the job and the vastness of some campuses all contribute to the difficulty of finding these devices – coupled with the unavailability of location documentation.

In facility emergencies, often times, the first thing that needs to be addressed are shut-offs. Knowing their locations and how to operate these devices is critically important.

Gas Shut Off

A gas leak or a damaged gas line is an emergency that requires immediate action. Pay attention to leaks, breaks and gas smells – like those in school cafeterias that haven’t been used in 8 months. Some valves require just a turn. Some require a wrench.

Don’t be the person who says something like, “I know there’s a shut-off/gas meter coming into this building but I’m not really sure where it is. I’m going to have to get the grounds department to cut back some of this shrubbery/ground cover so that we can find it.”

Main Water Shut Off / Water Meter

There’s no rule of thumb about main water shut-off valve locations. A ruptured line or burst pipe can wreak havoc on your building and potentially cost thousands in water damage, water bills and building occupant safety. Counting on soon-to-be retiring colleagues for shut-off valve locations is a risky proposition. Better to have that info on hand with you at all times – rather than dealing with “Band-Aid” fixes on water lines because nobody looked at all the plumbing drawings over the years before they did the last 2 or 3 renovations.

Water Isolation Valve

Isolating valves are used to regulate the flow of water from the mains to a water service pipe - perfect for isolating, inspecting and repairing sprinkler systems.

Some types can be automated to provide flow path selection to change the flow path. In some cases, one isolation valve might control a wing of a building or include different building floors.

Mapping valve locations on your mobile device is a great way to avoid guesswork and eliminate the need to search for missing plans or diagrams.

Med Gas

Medical gas systems are used in hospitals and are usually located in patient care areas near nursing stations and procedure rooms. Medical gas shut-off valves should be accessible in the event of an emergency. But when buildings are actively remodeled, not all med gas valves may be active. Don’t rely on post-it notes, which may fall off, to give you the status of the valves.

Many hospital facility teams now can quickly and easily access med gas shut-off locations from their mobile devices – a huge timesaver during emergencies.