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Emergency Tip

Instructions for Turning off Water at the Meter

In the case of an emergency, it is important to know the location of the water shut-off valve for your home. If you are unable to locate or operate the shut-off valve in your home, another alternative is to operate the water main valve at the street to turn off water to your home.

Tools Needed:
  • Screw Driver
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Curb Stop Key (if available)

1.  Locate your water meter. Water meters are typically installed inside concrete meter boxes and placed close to the street so it can be easily read by a utility staff member.

2.  Remove the metal lid of the meter box. A standard screw driver can be used to help lift the lid.

3.  On the street side of the meter, locate the oblong knob (as pictured here). This is the main shut-off valve also referred to as the angle stop. 

water meter oblong knob
4.  The angle stop has two loops, one on each side. The middle of the angle stop is marked with an arrow, indicating the direction the water is flowing.

5.  To turn water off, place the curb stop key over the center of the angle stop. If you do not have access to a curb stop key, you can improvise using a crescent wrench and screw driver by doing the following:

» Place the jaws of a crescent wrench over the angle stop with the handle sticking up.

» Insert a screw driver through the hole in the handle of the crescent wrench to create a tee handle (as pictured right).

 Water Meter Turn Off

6. Turn the curb stop key, or make-shift tee handle, clockwise until both loops are together, approximately 180 degrees (as pictured right).
7. If the angle stop has not been operated in a long time, it could be locked up. Whatever you do, DO NOT FORCE THE ANGLE STOP. If it will not turn with a reasonable amount of pressure, call the City of Tigard Public Works Department at 503-718-2591 for a utility staff member to turn off the water at the meter for you. If your emergency occurs after hours, contact the utility on-call service at 503-639-1554.  
NOTE: Damage inflicted upon the water meter by anyone other than a utility staff member, is the financial responsibility of the homeowner and not the City of Tigard.

 Water Meter Shutoff

Utility Billing Office

Public Works

After–Hours Emergencies
To report water, stormwater, sewer, street or park emergencies outside regular business hours, contact the after-hours answering service at 503-639-1554.

Suspect a Leak?

  • Look for Drips.  Check showers and faucets for leaks.  Look at each fixture and look under sinks in cabinets for drips too. 
  • Check Toilet for Leaks.  Listen for leaks. Do you hear water running? Just because you don’t hear the toilet tank making noise doesn’t mean it’s not leaking.  
    1. Remove the tank lid
    2. Drop one dye tablet into tank (tablets are available for free at Utility Billing, City Hall or Public Works) you can also use 10 drops of food coloring.
    3. Put the lid back on
    4. Wait for at least 30 minutes then look in the bowl.  If you see colored water, you have a leak.

NoteMany toilet leaks can be fixed by a do-it-yourself plumber, and repair parts are
relatively inexpensive to purchase.

Other Leak Possibilities:

  • Check Refrigerator and Ice Maker
  • Check Dishwasher
  • Check Laundry Room
  • Check Humidifiers, Water Heaters
  • Check Outdoor Water Fixtures
  • Check Sprinklers.  Turn each sprinkler zone on and look for low pressure, water bubbling out of the ground or broken sprinkler heads.  Look for brown spots where sprinklers are not covering like they should. This can be a sign of a leak. 
  • Call for Help. Contact Tigard Public Works Department to ask for a leak check on your water meter.  A Public Works person will come to your home and check your water meter to see if it is registering usage while all your water fixtures in the home/business are off. This test will determine whether or not you have a constant leak.  To request this free service call 503-718-2591 during business hours (8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Thursday).
Request a Leak Adjustment:
  • If you have experienced a leak you may be eligible for a Credit for Leak Adjustment. If you have any further questions regarding your water meter or leaks, please contact the Utility Billing office, 503-718-2460.

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