How and Where to Find Your Main Water Shut off Valve?

Most homes don’t even realize their main water shut off valve. How did they get there? What’s next? And where should they go to turn it off?

Water is life, after all. More than half of Americans don’t drink enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 17% of adults are obese and 35% of kids are overweight or obese. One of every five children born in 2000 will develop diabetes before age 20.

For most homeowners, a valve in the basement is the only way to access their main water shut off. But what is it exactly? How far away from the house does it need to be turned off? Is there really much point in having one at all?

Ways to quickly locate the water shut off valve

If you are looking for the water shutoff valve, you can find it easily if you know where it is located. It is usually found near a sink or under the sink. The location of the valve varies depending upon the model of the faucet. In case you have a single handle faucet, it will be located directly below the handle itself. On double handle faucets, the shut off valve will be located on the left side of the faucet above the handles. For a three handle faucet, the shut off valve is located between the two middle handles.

The shut off valve may also be labeled “water supply” or “stop”. If your home has an automatic shut off system, it will likely be labeled as such.

How to close the main water valve (Shut-off/Turn-off)?

Turning the round “wheel” handle valve will stop the flow of water. It may take several full rotations.

Turn the valve slowly by turning the handle ¼ turn at a time. When the handle is no longer parallel with the pipe, stop turning. It should stop when you feel resistance.

Turn on the hot and cold faucets at the highest level of the house to relieve pressure, and check that spout to make sure that water has stopped flowing before turning off the faucets. Then keep opening faucets throughout the house to drain-down as necessary.

To shut off the water supply to your house, you will have to turn off the power to the pump. This is done by turning off the breaker box. To turn off the power to your house, you simply need to flip the switch located next to the breaker box. Once the power is turned off, the water flow stops.

It’s important to note that this method is not foolproof. There could still be some residual water running through the pipes. You’ll want to wait until the water completely stops before attempting to turn off the water.

Where is the main water shutoff valve located?

Most home plumbing consists of cold and hot water pipes connected to a faucet via a 3/4 inch pipe. This is called the supply side of the system. In almost all homes, there is a 1½ inch copper or plastic water service line coming into the home from the municipal water system that supplies the house with the cold and hot water needed to run appliances. This is known as the return side of the system. Water service lines are usually made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), but sometimes PVC is mixed with ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride). A water service line carries water between the supply source and the fixtures in the home. A fixture, such as a sink or bathtub spout, is where the water exits the line and enters the building. On average, a typical household has three to four fixtures, while commercial buildings typically have many more than this.

There are two types of valves used in residential plumbing systems: ball valves and gate valves. Ball valves are most commonly used in residences because they are inexpensive, easy to install, and reliable. Gate valves are used primarily in commercial applications; however, they are becoming increasingly popular in residential settings due to their low cost and ease of installation.

There are three basic types of shutoff valves: spring loaded, lever operated, and magnetic.

Spring loaded valves use a compression spring to hold the valve open. The force exerted by the spring must overcome gravity and any other forces acting on the valve to close it. If these forces exceed the strength of the spring, the valve will fail to stay closed.

Lever operated valves rely on a mechanical link between the valve stem and an actuator. When the actuator is moved away from the valve body, the valve opens. When the actuator returns to its original position, the valve closes.

Magnetic valves contain magnets that attract each other when current flows through them. As long as the current is maintained, the valve remains closed. When the current is interrupted, the magnets lose their attraction and the valve opens.

The following table lists the various types of valves and what type of valve is best for which application.

The main difference between the different types of valves is how easily they can be opened and closed. Spring-loaded valves are generally easier to operate than lever-operated valves, but they require more maintenance. Magnetic valves are the easiest to operate, but they are also the least durable.

How to shut off the water locally?

To shut off the water locally, turn the faucet handle clockwise until the water stops running. This shuts off the supply line from the main house. Turn the faucet anti-clockwise to re-open the water supply.

Why do you need to shut-off the main water valve?

Water valves are usually located underneath sinks and faucets. These valves regulate the flow of water into your sink or tub. A typical valve consists of a stem, a handle, and a spring. When the handle is turned clockwise, water flows out of the spout. Turning the handle counterclockwise closes off the flow. In case of a leak, turning the handle clockwise opens the valve and allows water to drain away from the fixture.

Locating and operating your main water shut off valve

To turn off the water supply, use a wrench or screwdriver to open the main shutoff valve. Turn the valve clockwise until it stops. Once you have turned the valve slowly turn it counterclockwise (the direction the valve spins) to lock it into place.

A main water shut off valve is used to turn off the flow of water coming from the faucet. It usually consists of a handle or knob that turns a valve stem. This valve is located near the sink or bathtub drain.

Places to check for the main water shut-off valve

Most houses have a shut off valve installed in every sink. It is usually located under the sink. This valve helps stop any flow of water from the faucet into the drain. It is important to turn off the valve while washing hands and dishes.

If you live in a house with a septic tank, you will have to check the location of the valve. It could be either under the sink or outside the bathroom near the toilet. In case you don’t know where it is, ask your plumber.

How to test if the water is flowing?

Turn on the faucet at the kitchen sink. If the water is flowing, then the valve is working properly. If not, then you should call a professional plumber.

What happens when I turn off the water?

When you turn off the water, the pressure inside the pipes decreases. The pipes can expand, causing them to burst. This may cause damage to your property and injury to yourself.

What does “turning off the water” mean?

It means that you have shut down the water supply to the entire house. You must remember that turning off the water doesn’t necessarily mean that the water will stop flowing through the pipes. The water will continue to flow until the pressure inside the pipes drops below what is required to keep the water moving.


The main water shut off valve controls the flow of water through the pipes. If you want to turn off the water at one particular point, then you must locate the valve and turn it. You can find the valve by looking around the sink area. The shut off valve should be easy to spot because it usually looks like a small round ball on top of a short piece of metal. There may also be an indicator light next to the valve. They are also located on the exterior of the house near the water meter.

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