Re: Turning water off
Note that the original post is over two years old.
Replacing the shutoff valves is the best option, but it will also be a difficult one. Based on the language of the original poster, I'd recommend hiring a plumber.
The terms the original poster didn't know are handle for the 'knob' and stem for where the handle attaches. In a pinch, you can use a pair of pliers to turn the stem clockwise.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.