How to Depressurize a Home Water System

All home water systems are under pressure to move water from the pipes to a faucet outlet. Removing pressure from the home water system is called depressurizing. A homeowner will need to depressurize a water system when repairs to the piping or faucet outlets are necessary. If the system is not relieved of the water pressure, serious leaks will occur when repairs are made. In such cases, interior finishes of the home become water damaged.

Depressurizing a water system takes more than opening a faucet.

Municipal Depressurization

Step 1

Locate the water meter for the municipal water supply. The water meter is generally located underground near the front street of the home.

Step 2

Remove the ground cover of the water meter. Note there are two connections and two valves on the water meter piping--one valve is connected to the main water supply and the second valve is connected to the water piping leading into your household.

Step 3

Use the plumbers pliers and fit the jaws to the horizontal valve stem that leads to your household water system.

Step 4

Turn the valve, with the plumbers pliers, in a counterclockwise direction. The valve will move 90 degrees to close the valve.

Step 5

Move inside your home. Shut off the electrical supply power to the electric hot water heater. On gas operated water heaters, close the main gas valve on the hot water heater gas piping.

Step 6

Open all faucets on the cold and hot water spigots. Allow the water to completely drain from the water system. Open all valves on the water system. Once all water has ceased flowing, the water system is depressurized.

Private Home Water Well

Step 7

Locate the main electrical power source for the private home water well system.

Step 8

Shut off the power.

Step 9

Remove the electrical power to the hot water heater or shut off the gas supply.

Step 10

Open all household water faucets and valves.

Step 11

Allow water to completely drain from system. A private well water system will take longer to depressurize because of the pressure tank used for well systems. Monitor the progress by observing the pressure gauge located on the wells pressure tank gauge. Once the gauge reads "0 PSI" (pounds per square inch) the system is depressurized.