How do you Find the Main Water Valve in Your House?

How do you Find the Main Water Valve in Your House?

Main Water ValveDo you know where your main water shutoff valve is?

If you experience a water leak or just need to turn off the water in your home for renovations or repairs, you must turn off your water upstream at some point. Luckily, many homes have a number of possible upstream cut-off points to try, before resorting to turning off the water main.

Generally, the water shutoff valve is placed close to your water meter. However, it can sometimes be found in a crawl space under the house or in a basement. No matter where it is located, it is very important for everyone living in your household to know where it is in case of an emergency.


Turn off the Water Close to the Source

If you notice a leak near your toilet, sink, or washing machine (with exposed plumbing), we recommend turning off the water close to the source.

Toilet – Look for metal tubing under the toilet, close to the wall. Next, turn the handle clockwise until the handle stops. Do not force it.

Sink – Look in the cabinet under the sink. There, you will see two sets of metal tubing. Turn clockwise.

Washing Machine – Check to see if your water valves are exposed above and behind the washing machine. Next, turn both valves clockwise.


Turn off the Main Water Valve

The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipes to your home when it is open. By turning off this valve, you will cut the water supply to the entire house.

In most homes, the main water valve is located on your property where your front lawn meets the street. Look for a circular plate at ground level that says “water”, or a concrete or plastic box also at ground level. Lift the lid up and find the water meter. Next to the meter, you will find the valve. If you see two valves, turning off either one should shut off the water.

In cooler climates, the meter and shutoff valve may be located in a warm area inside your house. This is to ensure it doesn’t freeze when the temperature drops. Check your laundry room or basement to find the meter, then shut off the valve.


General Tips:

Tip #1: If the utility box that contains your water shutoff valve hasn’t been accessed in a long time, it may have been slightly buried by dirt. Carefully clear the dirt with your hands to locate the meter and main water shutoff valve.

Tip #2: If you need to shut off the main water valve for any length of time, remember to also turn off your hot water heater. Once the water has been turned off, pressure and hot water can build up and cause the unit to overheat or even burst.


If you want the guidance of a plumbing professional, then contact Universal Plumbing and Heating at 604-873-3551. 

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