How To Find & Close The Emergency Water Shut-Off Valve

It happens to almost every homeowner at one time or another – the leaky pipe. Although sometimes it’s an easy fix, other times, like when you look up and see a soggy ceiling or water is streaming out of a wall, you have an emergency on your hands. You must know how to shut off your water supply – and quickly to avoid further damage.

How To Stop Water Using A Sink Or Washer Water Shutoff Valve

In our series on emergency plumbing – we have discussed the clogged drain and the burst pipe. Part 3 will help you deal with shutting off your water supply, usually because you have sprung a leak!


Remember that all the water that travels through your pipes is usually under pressure; if you spring a leak, there is no time to waste to attempt to stop it. The very first thing you need to do is locate the shut-off valve.


Sometimes that is simple, especially if it’s a leaky pipe under the kitchen or bathroom sink. It’s usually located right next to where the pipes enter the sink, on the bottom, and is most often plastic or chrome-plated – one for cold water and one for hot. Turn it counterclockwise. If it’s stubborn or stuck, use a pliers.


Washing machines are usually fairly simple, many have a valve that you just push down.


Your hot water heater has a valve, too – which is your cold water. That needs to be turned off.

How To Shutoff Your Main Water Valve

In the event you cannot find the valve near a fixture, you will have to shut off the water supply to your entire house. Usually the shut off valve is located very close to where the cold water pipe enters your home. If you live in a warm climate, it’s probably outside; colder climate, look inside. In most cases it is red and round and needs to be turned clockwise.


One very important tip about shutting off your water supply – NEVER try to control the amount of water entering your home or a fixture above as we described. The shut off valve needs to be either completely ON or completely OFF!


If you are having challenges locating your water supply shutoff valve or need help, do not hesitate to give us a call. We can help.

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