Your Guide to Locating Your Home’s Water Shut-Off Valves

You can minimize water damage by knowing how to turn off the water shut-off valves in your home.

When you’re dealing with an emergency plumbing problem, in most cases, there’s not much you can do to remedy the problem until the plumber arrives. However, you can help to minimize the amount of water damage in your home if you can shut off either the main water valve to your home or to the affected plumbing fixture or appliance. Shutting off these water valves is easy, and half of the battle is knowing where they are located. That’s why our plumber has come up with this guide to help you locate the water valves in your home.

Locating the Main Water Shut-Off Valve

  • Inside Your Home – If you have a crawlspace or basement in your home, that is the first place you should look for the shut-off valve. It should be located against a wall close to the front of your home. Look near the water heater or in the garage if your home was built on a slab.
  • Outside Your home – If you cannot find the water shut-off valve in your home, check outside. It should be close to the street and buried underground. Keep an eye out for a metal cover — it will usually be either rectangular or round, and flush with the sidewalk or grass. It will typically be labeled “water meter.” Once you remove the cover, you should find the water shut-off valve.

If you’ve check both inside and outside your home, and you still can’t find the water shut-off valve, call in a professional to help you look.

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Locating Other Water Shut-off Valves Throughout Your Home

sinck-shut-offIn some cases, you won’t need to turn off the water to your entire home — just to specific appliances or fixtures that are giving you grief. Here are a few of the most important shut-off valves to locate in your home.

  • Toilet Shut-Off Valve – If you need to replace a flapper that has a leak, or if your toilet starts overflowing, turn the shut-off valve clockwise to stop the flow of water to the toilet. It should be located on the wall behind the toilet.
  • Washing Machine Shut-Off Valve – If your washing machine overflows or starts leaking, turn off the water by turning the water shut-off valve clockwise. If you pull your washing machine away from the wall, you should find the shut-off valve on the wall behind it.
  • Sink Shut-Off Valve – Whether you are upgrading to a new faucet or trying to clear a clog, turning the water off to the sink first can save you from having a flood on your hands. The shut-off valve should be located under the sink, and to shut it off, you guessed it, turn it clockwise.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to locate or turn off the water shut-off valves in (or outside of) your home, please don’t hesitate to contact our plumber. As we said above, knowing how to locate and shut off these valves could save you a lot of water damage and, therefore, money and repairs.