How to Shut Off Water To Your House

How to Shut Off Water To Your House

Water is a precious resource that we rely on for our daily needs. However, water damage caused by flooding or leaking pipes can be an expensive and extensive problem to fix. That’s why shutting off water to your house is an important skill every homeowner should know. 

In case of emergencies like a burst pipe or home renovations requiring plumbing, shutting off the main water supply can prevent water damage and save you time and money. In this article, we’ll take you through the main steps of how to shut off water to your house. So, let’s get started!


Locating Your Main Shut-Off Valve

Imagine this – You’ve just gotten home from a tiring day at work and all you want to do is take a relaxing shower. But, as you turn on the faucet, you notice that the water pressure is low and the water is alarmingly murky. Don’t panic! It’s most likely an issue with your plumbing system and the first thing you should do is shut off the water supply to your house.

But wait, do you even know where the main shut-off valve is?

The main shut-off valve is responsible for controlling the entire water supply to your house. It’s important to locate this valve in case of any plumbing emergencies or renovations. So, what is a main shut-off valve exactly?

A main shut-off valve is a valve that controls the water supply to your entire house. It’s usually located where the water supply enters your house. In most cases, it can be found in your basement or crawl space.

Now, let’s talk about indoor and outdoor valve locations. Indoor valves are usually located near your water meter or where the main water line enters your house. It can also be found near the hot water tank. As for outdoor valves, it’s usually located near the foundation of your house or in a buried utility box near the sidewalk.

Knowing where your main shut-off valve is located can save you from a lot of trouble. Now that you know what a main shut-off valve is and where to find it, let’s move on to how to shut off your water supply in case of an emergency.

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Shutting Off Your Water Supply

Before You Begin:

The first step in shutting off your water supply is to properly prepare. Gather all the tools you’ll need, like pliers or a wrench, and make sure you know the location of your main shut-off valve. It’s also important to notify anyone in your house that you’ll be shutting off the water supply to avoid any confusion or accidents.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Once you’ve prepared, it’s time to turn off the water supply. Start by locating the main shut-off valve either inside or outside your home. If it’s inside, it’s usually found near the water meter or where the main water line comes into the home. If it’s outside, it’s typically in a concrete box near the street.

Next, turn the valve clockwise until it stops. This will shut off the water supply to your entire home. Double check that the water is completely turned off by turning on faucets in various areas of your home. If no water comes out, you’ve successfully shut off the water supply.

Testing Your Shut-Off Valve:

It’s important to regularly test your shut-off valve to ensure it’s in working order in case of a plumbing emergency. Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply, then turn it counterclockwise until it’s fully open again. This will help prevent the valve from sticking or becoming stuck in the closed position.

Now that you know how to shut off your water supply, you can feel more confident in handling various plumbing emergencies that may arise. Remember, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable shutting off your water supply, it’s always best to call a professional to avoid any potential problems.

Why You Might Need to Shut Off Your Water

Imagine coming home from a long day at work only to find a burst pipe in your kitchen. This is not only frustrating but can be expensive to fix if not addressed promptly. Knowing how to shut off your water supply is crucial in emergencies like this.

Leaks or burst pipes can happen at any time and can cause severe damages if not fixed immediately. By shutting off your water supply, you can prevent further damage and save yourself some money in the long run. 

Plumbing repairs are another reason to shut off your water supply. It is always good to turn off your water supply before you attempt any plumbing fixes to avoid more damages.

Another time you might need to turn off your water supply is in appliance replacements. When disconnecting or connecting appliances, it is good practice always to shut off the water supply. 

This will also apply to home renovations, especially those that involve plumbing. Before embarking on any home renovation project that involves plumbing, you will need to turn off your water supply to prevent any unwanted messy situations.

In the event of any water-related emergencies outlined above, quickly shutting off your water supply can help prevent any further complications and unwanted damages.

When to Call a Professional

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to shutting off your water supply. Some plumbing issues can be resolved on your own with just a few simple steps, but others might require the skills of a professional plumber. 

If your plumbing system is complicated or if you have limited access to your shut-off valve, it’s best to leave the task to an expert. They have the necessary tools and expertise to shut off the water supply without causing any major damage.

Emergency situations are another reason to call a plumber. If you’re dealing with a burst pipe or a massive leak, don’t hesitate to contact one immediately. They will be able to identify the source of the problem and take the necessary steps to fix it before any further damage occurs. Remember, unnecessarily delaying in such circumstances can lead to major expenses later on.

To sum it up, know your limits. If you’re not confident in your ability to shut off your water supply, or if you encounter a situation that’s beyond your expertise, call in a professional. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.


Knowing how to shut off your water is crucial in case of plumbing emergencies. Stay prepared by locating your main shut-off valve, shutting off your water supply, and testing the valve. 

Whether it’s leaking or burst pipes, appliance replacements or home renovations, shutting off your water is essential. Don’t wait for an emergency to happen, be proactive.

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