5 Home Features to Find Before They're Needed

Your home has a seemingly endless number of spaces, valves, pipes, wires, and who knows what else. Luckily, you only have to know the locations of a handful of these items in order to avert disaster when an issue comes up. If you recently bought your house, or if you've never thought to identify its important components, this post is for you! Keep reading to learn about 5 key locations in your house that keep everything else running smoothly.

Main Water Shutoff Valve

Picture this: you walk into a room late at night and see that water is flooding from a wall. Obviously, you need to shut off the water! But wait, do you know where your home's water shutoff valve is located? Every second you spend looking for this simple valve means more water damage! This situation perfectly illustrates why you should find your main water shutoff valve before you have an actual leak. The valve is usually located along the interior perimeter of the house near ground level and near the water meter. If you can see your water pipes (such as on the basement ceiling), follow them back to the source to find the valve. If you discover that the valve is unreachable for any reason, now is the time to fix it!

Circuit Box

Much like the main water shutoff valve is the central point of your water pipes, the circuit box is the central point of your electrical wiring. The circuit box protects your home from damaging surges in power. If you find that a specific area of the house suddenly has no power, the most likely explanation is that you have inadvertently tripped that area's circuit breaker inside the box. Try to flip the switch for that area back to the same direction as the other switches in order to restore power. Don't know where the box is? Generally, circuit boxes are located in the basement, garage, or a closet. Also, be sure that the breakers are all properly labeled; otherwise, you will need to flip them one by one to turn off power to a specific room (then, go around resetting the clocks in the other rooms).


Most people already know what a water valve and a circuit box are, but do you know about the thermocouple? This is the device in your furnace and/or water heater that turns off the gas if the pilot light goes out! If you find that the pilot light on your appliance keeps going out seemingly at random, a bad thermocouple is a likely culprit. By finding this small device, looking up how to change it, and buying a spare, you can save yourself consider hassle and money if it should fail in the future.

Filters, Filters Everywhere

Chances are good that your home has several different filters that haven't crossed your mind in a long time. For instance, your furnace has an air filter that helps improve the air quality in your home. Your fridge's water/ice dispenser probably has a filter to clean the water. If you have a water filtration system in your kitchen, it will (obviously) have filters as well. By regularly replacing these simple things, you can help improve the efficiency and lifespan of the given system.

Sump Pump

Last but not least, there is your home's trusty sump pump. Depending on your home's location and design, it may or may not have one of these diligent little water removers. The sump pump is generally located in the basement, where it collects water and periodically pumps it away from the home. If your home does have a sump pump, always make sure that the pipe connecting it to the outside is clear of debris on both ends. Also, check to be certain that the float component (which activates the pump when the water level is high enough) is unimpeded and working properly. If the pump loses power or is unable to remove the water, you can quickly find yourself with a severely flooded basement!

Learn more about these important home features by reading "5 Things Every Loving Homeowner Should Know About Their Own Home".