PHP, mySQL, changing timeout

I was just wondering (assuming possible here), how to change the timeout for connecting to a mySQL database.

I saw code for using like “ini_set” (although nothing specific to this), and by adding “php_value mysql.connect_timeout 20” in a .htaccess file.

I was just wondering, since some of the pages (subdomains) that I have use mySQL for the information on the pages, but, in the rare instance that the server goes down, there’s a huge wait (about a minute I think) before it says it can’t connect. Which, considering it’s happens on the main page, can be inconvient to my viewers.

But I was wondering which of the methods should be used, which work, and if it is a .htaccess edit, where all does the change have to be made? [that is, in just the main folder, or all folders that use php to access the database?]