Do You Know Where Your Water Shut-Off Valves Are?

When life surprises you with a plumbing emergency, it’s not the time to play hide-and-go-seek with your water shut-off valves.

Shut-off valves are attached to the water supply pipes in your home, and are used to turn the flow of pressurized water on and off. Knowing where your main water shut-off valve and fixture water shut-off valves are located can prevent a minor leak from becoming a tremendous plumbing catastrophe.

In this article, we’ll cover the familiar places you can find different shut-off valves in your home.

How to locate the main water shut-off valve

The main water shut-off valve controls all of the water that enters the home.

  • Where it’s not: Let’s start with where it’s unlikely to be – upper levels or central areas of the house.
  • Where it could be: A home inspection report should have been given to you when you purchased your home. Within this report is the location of your main water shut-off valve. If you don’t have this inspection report on hand, don’t fret. Luckily, there are other ways to locate this important valve.

If you have a basement, your valve is most likely there. If you don’t, your main water shut-off valve is located somewhere on the ground floor.

Know where your water main is? If so, the main water shut-off valve is somewhere nearby. Water lines often run from the water main to the shut-off valve. No additional piping or detours should be seen when searching for the valve, so keep an eye out for that.

How to locate fixture shut-off valves

Sometimes, leaks don’t require a Herculean sprint to the main water shut-off valve. It may be as simple as finding a fixture’s shut-off valve.

  • Washing machine: Most have two valves (or one lever) and are often behind the machine. When the water gets out of control, simply turn both valves clockwise to cut off the water flow.
  • Toilet: Pass your hand towards the bottom of the toilet to find its small water valve. Like the washing machine, you should turn the valve clockwise, but gently. Too much force and you might have a bigger issue on your hands.
  • Sink: A small valve is usually underneath the sink, and like the other fixtures, requires turning clockwise to stop any leaks.

Need emergency plumbing service?

Closing the shut-off valve is the first step when dealing with a leak. The next step is fixing the plumbing issue yourself – or better yet, bringing in a professional. Serving Oahu and Maui, Emergency Plumbing & Solar is here for all your plumbing needs. So if you’re dealing with a leak or other urgent plumbing matter, call us right away at (808) 691-9309.


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