A Must Have Tool – The Water Meter Key

Water Meter Key Pros

A water meter key makes turning H2O off at the main valve easy.

A water meter key is an inexpensive tool to purchase - one that could save you thousands of dollars.

Water Meter Key Cons

Hopefully, you have spent money on a tool, a water meter key, you will never have to use.

Water-Meter-Key-Tool(46577)Credit: Amazon.com

A water meter key is one of those tools that you will be glad you have on hand, when and if you need it. Hopefully, you will never have to use your water meter key, and it will just take up a small space in your garage. But when you do need it, you will think the water meter key is priceless.

A broken H2O line can do a lot of damage in a short period of time. When you have a water meter key, you will be ready to turn off the flow immediately, should this happen at your house. 

How I learned about the importance of having a water meter key.

Recently, I returned home from a book club meeting, and as I walked up the sidewalk, I heard the sound of running H2O. Since the sidewalk was not wet, I knew the front spigot was not the culprit. Following the sound, I walked around the side of my house, and I found H2O gushing out of the foundation vent. I knew, then, that I had a real problem to deal with. I went inside, and I told my husband what was happening. And since my husband was recovering from hip surgery, I knew it was my problem to deal with.

Our builder had put the H2O shutoff valve under the house, just inside the foundation trap door. Since I don’t like, and don’t want anything to do with the crawl space turnoff, I had to find another solution. (I just knew that there were millions of snakes and spiders waiting for me to open the door, lean in to turn off the valve, and that they would then devour me. In fact, they had probably been the ones to break the line in the first place!) The other option I had, to turn off the H2O flow, was to shut it off at the valve located inside the box in the front yard.

In the meantime, this precious and costly H2O was still gushing out of the foundation vent like crazy.

Flashlight in hand, I headed to the box in the front yard, which covers the valve. Removing the cover was easy, and with the flashlight, I could easily see what had to be done. Another problem – how was I to reach the valve to turn it off? This was going to be a down in the grass and dirty job. So, into the house I raced, to take off my finery, and get into some jeans.

Returning to the garage, I needed to find something that I could use to turn the valve off. I needed something long that would enable me to reach the valve. I remembered seeing a long handle adjustable wrench in the tool cabinet. So, I searched until I found it.

About that time, the cavalry arrived, when my daughter drove up to help me. We had attended the book club meeting, together, and when she called to make sure that I had arrived home safely, her dad told her what was happening. So, to the rescue she rode. Together, armed with the long handled wrench, we marched to the box in the yard, and we turned off the valve.

In Closing

This job would have been so much easier had I had a water meter key. But frankly, at the time, I did not know that they even made such a thing. Telling my sister, who is a real estate broker, the story the next day, she said I should have a water meter key to use in case of an emergency. So, just as soon as I could, I ordered one, and I will not be without a water meter key again. You can go online to purchase a water meter key, or they can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store.

Just be sure to get a water meter key that will fit over your on/off lever, and one that is long enough to reach to the lever. Trust me, if you have a H2O emergency, you will not be sorry you purchased a water meter key.

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Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com