Helpful Tips

In an effort to better serve our customers, the Authority has compiled some helpful tips relating to valve locationhousehold plumbingconservationpreventing leaks, and backflow prevention.

These are only tips and do not guarantee that you will find or prevent a leak. NPWA recommends that you consult a plumbing professional for assistance if you feel that you have a plumbing issue, internal or external. 

Valve Location

Helpful Water Tips
In the event of a water emergency, everyone in your household should know where to locate the master water shut-off valve. This valve is usually located where your water service enters the home, next to or near your water meter. If installed inside your home, the water meter is usually located at the point where the water pipe comes through the foundation, usually in the basement or utility room. These valves should be operated at least once a year by turning them off and on to ensure they are working properly. When a valve is not operated and exercised, it can get stuck or break off when trying to open or close it.

A curb stop/valve is located on the service line near the curb line, generally, in front of the home or business. In some instances, this method of turn-off may be necessary. If you are having plumbing repairs done and need to have the curb stop/valve turned off, please call NPWA Customer Service to schedule a site visit, Monday- Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. This service is provided during regular business hours at no cost to customers. After hours charges may apply if outside of regular business hours.

Find the valve and place water shut-off valve tag on your water valve and alert everyone in your household. It’s best to be prepared in case of an emergency, such as a broken pipe. Everyone should know how to turn off the main water valve to your home. If you do not have a water shut-off valve tag and would like one, please contact our Customer Service Department at 215-855-3617 and ask that a Customer Information Guide be mailed to your home.

Household Plumbing

Helpful Water Tips

Your plumbing includes all of the pipes and fixtures on your property, from the meter or valve near the street to the faucets inside your home. Here are a few important components to be familiar with:

Main Shut-off Valve – This valve is normally located where the water line enters your home through the foundation. It can be used to shut the water off in an emergency or when plumbing improvements are being made. It can also be turned off while the property is vacant to prevent water damage that unforeseen leaks might cause. To make sure this valve works properly, turn it off and verify that the water flow to your fixtures has stopped completely. When the valve is turned back on, it should be opened fully to allow unrestricted water flow.

Pressure Reducing Valve – Most houses built after 1972 are equipped with a pressure reducing valve (PRV), which is normally located near the main water valve. PRVs are usually bell-shaped devices, approximately 4″ in length that are designed to keep the water pressure inside your home from exceeding a set limit. This helps prevents “knocking” in pipes and other stresses caused by high pressure. NPWA Rules and Regulations require that all new homes are equipped with pressure reducing valves. 

Service Line – Moving water from the water main in the street to your kitchen sink is the job of your service line. The Water Service Connection Drawing shows the components of the water service. The water main is buried 3 to 4 feet deep in the street to prevent the water from freezing in winter. A corporation (corp.) stop is connected directly to the water main. The corp. stop is actually a modified valve that allows the Authority to turn the water off at the water main in the event of a leak in the service line. The service line, usually ¾ inch copper, is attached to the corp. stop, and the service line runs to the property line where it is attached to a curb stop. The curb stop is another modified valve that can be used to shut off the service without having to dig up the pavement in the street over the water main. The homeowner is responsible for repairing or replacing a leaking service line if the leak is between the curb box and the house.

Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention – A cross connection is a plumbing connection between a drinking water supply and water that is not for human consumption. An example of a cross connection would be any situation where these two sources of water, such as water from a sprinkler system, have the potential to flow together.  Backflow occurs when a sudden drop in pressure causes water to reverse from its normal forward flow and back up into a building or without backflow prevention, into the Authority’s water supply lines and its main distribution system.  A homeowner’s garden hose is a common offender, especially when used to apply fertilizer or pesticide.  All it takes is a drop in water pressure to allow pesticide-laced water to backflow into your home, and then into your or your neighbor’s water supply when you turn on the faucet.  Water pressure drops can and do occur.  Two examples of this are when water is used to fight a fire or when a water main breaks, both of which can cause the water pressure to suddenly drop.  To prevent this, backflow prevention devices are installed to protect the Authority’s water supply and ultimately its customers, ensuring that the high quality water the Authority is providing continues to reach its customers without dilution from any outside source.  Customers can help to prevent backflow into their own homes by never submerging hoses in buckets, pools, or sinks.  They may contain harmful cleansers or dangerous bacteria.  Do not use any spray or cleaning attachments on your hose without a backflow prevention device on the hose. This includes pesticide applicators, portable pressure washers, drain openers and radiator flush kits. All of these devices utilize chemicals, detergents and waste water which are toxic and can be fatal if ingested. 

Conservation

Helpful Water Tips

Demand for water in our daily lives makes it important for us not to waste it. We can all do our part by practicing water conservation tips found here.

Preventing Leaks

Helpful Water Tips
Inside the Home

Bathroom & toilet area – Water is leaking in your toilet when: Water is moving from the tank to the bowl when nobody is flushing it (often a “running” sound); Your toilet is flushing itself when nobody is near the toilet. Place a few drops of food color into the tank. Wait a few minutes. If you see the color in the bowl, you have a leak. While in the bathroom, check the showerhead and faucets for leaks as well. Overall, ninety percent (90%) of residential leaks are found in the bathroom area!

Kitchen – Faucets, Dishwasher

Laundry room – Faucets, Clothes Washer

Hot Water Heater – Check any exposed pipes for leaks.

Outside

Walk around the house and yard to see if there is a very green spot or any wet spots during a dry period.

Check your sprinkler system. Broken heads only leak when the system is operating. Usually a broken head does not add very many gallons to the water usage, unless the sprinkler system is on. A broken pipe on the other hand, can leak when the system is on or off and will add many more gallons to the usage.

Swimming pools with automatic filters should be checked.

How to know if you have a leak

If your meter is located outside, in a meter pit, checking for a leak can be more difficult. One way is to locate and turn off the main supply valve. Don’t use any water for several minutes. Turn Valve back on. If you hear water rushing through the valve to refill the pipe, there is likely a leak. If you are still unsure if you have a leak, contact a plumbing professional for assistance.

Backflow Prevention

Helpful Water Tips

Backflow occurs when a sudden drop in pressure causes water to reverse from its normal “forward” flow and back up into a building or without backflow prevention, into the Authority’s water supply lines and its main distribution system.  If water flowing backward contains hazardous chemicals or bacteria, it can create an unhealthy or dangerous situation.  Because of this potential problem, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that every customer install backflow preventers at their own expense. These devices act as a physical barrier to water flowing in the wrong direction. Backflow prevention devices are installed throughout the North Penn Water Authority’s system to protect the water supply and ultimately its customers. It is the Authority’s critical mission to provide the highest quality water to customers and one of the ways to do that is to ensure that the Authority’s high quality water reaches customers without dilution from any potentially dangerous chemicals as a result of backflow into the Authority’s distribution system.

NPWA Rules and Regulations require all service connections to have backflow prevention installed. The degree of device is determined by the level of hazard by use and occupancy. All services for commercial, industrial and fire suppression use shall have a testable check valve installed and tested annually. To remain in compliance, test results must be submitted annually to NPWA’s Cross Connection Control Administrator. 

Prior to the installation of the backflow device, the volume of water in your home’s pipes, which can expand when heated, could flow back into the public water system.  The backflow preventer creates an isolated or closed plumbing system because water can no longer flow back into the Authority’s water system.  Thermal expansion occurs when your hot water heater heats the water, causing it to expand.  This may cause water pressure to build up, particularly when the hot water system is activated. For some customers, thermal expansion could produce leaky faucets or set off the relief valve on hot water heaters, or in some cases, other damage may occur.  While the North Penn Water Authority must ensure safe drinking water reaches all of its customers, it is up to each customer individually to determine what is required for their internal plumbing.  The Authority encourages all customers to consult a certified plumber if you have any doubts about your plumbing system. A plumber may recommend the installation of a thermal expansion tank on your hot water heater. A pressure-reducing valve may also be required if your water pressure exceeds 70 pounds per square inch (psi).

The North Penn Water Authority is composed of a dedicated, professional workforce that is committed to providing customers with a safe, reliable and economical water supply that exceeds federal standards.  Ensuring that our customers have backflow preventers installed is one of the ways in which we protect that water supply keeping it safe for everyone to use.

In an effort to better serve our customers, the Authority has compiled some helpful tips relating to valve locationhousehold plumbingconservationpreventing leaks, and backflow prevention.

These are only tips and do not guarantee that you will find or prevent a leak. NPWA recommends that you consult a plumbing professional for assistance if you feel that you have a plumbing issue, internal or external. 

Valve Location

Helpful Water Tips
In the event of a water emergency, everyone in your household should know where to locate the master water shut-off valve. This valve is usually located where your water service enters the home, next to or near your water meter. If installed inside your home, the water meter is usually located at the point where the water pipe comes through the foundation, usually in the basement or utility room. These valves should be operated at least once a year by turning them off and on to ensure they are working properly. When a valve is not operated and exercised, it can get stuck or break off when trying to open or close it.

A curb stop/valve is located on the service line near the curb line, generally, in front of the home or business. In some instances, this method of turn-off may be necessary. If you are having plumbing repairs done and need to have the curb stop/valve turned off, please call NPWA Customer Service to schedule a site visit, Monday- Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. This service is provided during regular business hours at no cost to customers. After hours charges may apply if outside of regular business hours.

Find the valve and place water shut-off valve tag on your water valve and alert everyone in your household. It’s best to be prepared in case of an emergency, such as a broken pipe. Everyone should know how to turn off the main water valve to your home. If you do not have a water shut-off valve tag and would like one, please contact our Customer Service Department at 215-855-3617 and ask that a Customer Information Guide be mailed to your home.

Household Plumbing

Helpful Water Tips

Your plumbing includes all of the pipes and fixtures on your property, from the meter or valve near the street to the faucets inside your home. Here are a few important components to be familiar with:

Main Shut-off Valve – This valve is normally located where the water line enters your home through the foundation. It can be used to shut the water off in an emergency or when plumbing improvements are being made. It can also be turned off while the property is vacant to prevent water damage that unforeseen leaks might cause. To make sure this valve works properly, turn it off and verify that the water flow to your fixtures has stopped completely. When the valve is turned back on, it should be opened fully to allow unrestricted water flow.

Pressure Reducing Valve – Most houses built after 1972 are equipped with a pressure reducing valve (PRV), which is normally located near the main water valve. PRVs are usually bell-shaped devices, approximately 4″ in length that are designed to keep the water pressure inside your home from exceeding a set limit. This helps prevents “knocking” in pipes and other stresses caused by high pressure. NPWA Rules and Regulations require that all new homes are equipped with pressure reducing valves. 

Service Line – Moving water from the water main in the street to your kitchen sink is the job of your service line. The Water Service Connection Drawing shows the components of the water service. The water main is buried 3 to 4 feet deep in the street to prevent the water from freezing in winter. A corporation (corp.) stop is connected directly to the water main. The corp. stop is actually a modified valve that allows the Authority to turn the water off at the water main in the event of a leak in the service line. The service line, usually ¾ inch copper, is attached to the corp. stop, and the service line runs to the property line where it is attached to a curb stop. The curb stop is another modified valve that can be used to shut off the service without having to dig up the pavement in the street over the water main. The homeowner is responsible for repairing or replacing a leaking service line if the leak is between the curb box and the house.

Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention – A cross connection is a plumbing connection between a drinking water supply and water that is not for human consumption. An example of a cross connection would be any situation where these two sources of water, such as water from a sprinkler system, have the potential to flow together.  Backflow occurs when a sudden drop in pressure causes water to reverse from its normal forward flow and back up into a building or without backflow prevention, into the Authority’s water supply lines and its main distribution system.  A homeowner’s garden hose is a common offender, especially when used to apply fertilizer or pesticide.  All it takes is a drop in water pressure to allow pesticide-laced water to backflow into your home, and then into your or your neighbor’s water supply when you turn on the faucet.  Water pressure drops can and do occur.  Two examples of this are when water is used to fight a fire or when a water main breaks, both of which can cause the water pressure to suddenly drop.  To prevent this, backflow prevention devices are installed to protect the Authority’s water supply and ultimately its customers, ensuring that the high quality water the Authority is providing continues to reach its customers without dilution from any outside source.  Customers can help to prevent backflow into their own homes by never submerging hoses in buckets, pools, or sinks.  They may contain harmful cleansers or dangerous bacteria.  Do not use any spray or cleaning attachments on your hose without a backflow prevention device on the hose. This includes pesticide applicators, portable pressure washers, drain openers and radiator flush kits. All of these devices utilize chemicals, detergents and waste water which are toxic and can be fatal if ingested. 

Conservation

Helpful Water Tips

Demand for water in our daily lives makes it important for us not to waste it. We can all do our part by practicing water conservation tips found here.

Preventing Leaks

Helpful Water Tips
Inside the Home

Bathroom & toilet area – Water is leaking in your toilet when: Water is moving from the tank to the bowl when nobody is flushing it (often a “running” sound); Your toilet is flushing itself when nobody is near the toilet. Place a few drops of food color into the tank. Wait a few minutes. If you see the color in the bowl, you have a leak. While in the bathroom, check the showerhead and faucets for leaks as well. Overall, ninety percent (90%) of residential leaks are found in the bathroom area!

Kitchen – Faucets, Dishwasher

Laundry room – Faucets, Clothes Washer

Hot Water Heater – Check any exposed pipes for leaks.

Outside

Walk around the house and yard to see if there is a very green spot or any wet spots during a dry period.

Check your sprinkler system. Broken heads only leak when the system is operating. Usually a broken head does not add very many gallons to the water usage, unless the sprinkler system is on. A broken pipe on the other hand, can leak when the system is on or off and will add many more gallons to the usage.

Swimming pools with automatic filters should be checked.

How to know if you have a leak

If your meter is located outside, in a meter pit, checking for a leak can be more difficult. One way is to locate and turn off the main supply valve. Don’t use any water for several minutes. Turn Valve back on. If you hear water rushing through the valve to refill the pipe, there is likely a leak. If you are still unsure if you have a leak, contact a plumbing professional for assistance.

Backflow Prevention

Helpful Water Tips

Backflow occurs when a sudden drop in pressure causes water to reverse from its normal “forward” flow and back up into a building or without backflow prevention, into the Authority’s water supply lines and its main distribution system.  If water flowing backward contains hazardous chemicals or bacteria, it can create an unhealthy or dangerous situation.  Because of this potential problem, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that every customer install backflow preventers at their own expense. These devices act as a physical barrier to water flowing in the wrong direction. Backflow prevention devices are installed throughout the North Penn Water Authority’s system to protect the water supply and ultimately its customers. It is the Authority’s critical mission to provide the highest quality water to customers and one of the ways to do that is to ensure that the Authority’s high quality water reaches customers without dilution from any potentially dangerous chemicals as a result of backflow into the Authority’s distribution system.

NPWA Rules and Regulations require all service connections to have backflow prevention installed. The degree of device is determined by the level of hazard by use and occupancy. All services for commercial, industrial and fire suppression use shall have a testable check valve installed and tested annually. To remain in compliance, test results must be submitted annually to NPWA’s Cross Connection Control Administrator. 

Prior to the installation of the backflow device, the volume of water in your home’s pipes, which can expand when heated, could flow back into the public water system.  The backflow preventer creates an isolated or closed plumbing system because water can no longer flow back into the Authority’s water system.  Thermal expansion occurs when your hot water heater heats the water, causing it to expand.  This may cause water pressure to build up, particularly when the hot water system is activated. For some customers, thermal expansion could produce leaky faucets or set off the relief valve on hot water heaters, or in some cases, other damage may occur.  While the North Penn Water Authority must ensure safe drinking water reaches all of its customers, it is up to each customer individually to determine what is required for their internal plumbing.  The Authority encourages all customers to consult a certified plumber if you have any doubts about your plumbing system. A plumber may recommend the installation of a thermal expansion tank on your hot water heater. A pressure-reducing valve may also be required if your water pressure exceeds 70 pounds per square inch (psi).

The North Penn Water Authority is composed of a dedicated, professional workforce that is committed to providing customers with a safe, reliable and economical water supply that exceeds federal standards.  Ensuring that our customers have backflow preventers installed is one of the ways in which we protect that water supply keeping it safe for everyone to use.

A dedicated, professional workforce committed to providing the community with a safe, reliable, and economical water supply.

Contact Info

Address: 300 Forty Foot Road

Lansdale, PA 19446

Phone: 215.855.3617

Fax: 215.855.2756

After Hours Emergency Number: 215.855.9945

Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800.426.4791

General Email: info@npwa.org

Service Email: customerservice@npwa.org

Address: 300 Forty Foot Road

Lansdale, PA 19446

Phone: 215.855.3617

Fax: 215.855.2756

After Hours Emergency Number: 215.855.9945

Safe Drinking Water Hotline: 800.426.4791

General Email: info@npwa.org

Service Email: customerservice@npwa.org

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