If you need water in an emergency situation, but are unable to located a public water source, such as water taps at a gas station, public park or rest stop, being able to a 4 way sillcock key to unlock a water spigot on the side of a business can be a life saver.
These water spigots are often located slightly lower than where you would expect to see a water tap, and are often just something that looks like a plumbing fitting on the side of a wall. They will have a spigot of some variety, but there will not be a traditional handle you can turn – this is where your sillcock will come in handy!
Businesses and landlords keep them locked so that general public can contribute to the water usage, as well as vandalism – a lot of damage could be used by turning on the water in the middle of the night.
A sillcock water key, also known as a faucet key, is a tool used to turn on and off the water supply to outdoor faucets or spigots. Here are the steps to use a sillcock water key:
- Locate the outdoor faucet or spigot: These are typically found on the outside of buildings, near the ground level.
- Identify the type of faucet or spigot: Sillcock water keys are designed to work with specific types of faucets or spigots, so it’s important to make sure you have the right tool for the job. The most common types of outdoor faucets are the square-shaped stem and the round wheel-shaped stem.
- Insert the key: Insert the key into the stem of the faucet or spigot. For a square-shaped stem, align the key with the stem and turn it clockwise to shut off the water flow. For a round wheel-shaped stem, insert the key into the hole in the center of the wheel and turn it clockwise to shut off the water flow.
- Turn the water off: Use the key to turn off the water flow to the outdoor faucet or spigot by turning it clockwise until it stops.
- Turn the water on: To turn the water back on, simply turn the key counterclockwise until the water starts to flow.
- Remove the key: Once you’ve turned the water on or off, remove the key from the stem of the faucet or spigot.
You should always ask the business for permission to access their water when possible. However, this might not be feasible in a real emergency situation. But you will have the tools needed to access these types of water facets if needed.
It is also handy to have a Water Bandit as well. This is something you can attach to your hose, such as if you are filling up an RV or trailer water tank, and will allow you to connect to a water tap, even if the faucet threads have been stripped or is a non-standard size.
Do remember that a lot of these water sources will not state if the water is potable (safe for drinking) or not. So unless you are certain, you will likely need to treat it before drinking.
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