Do You Know Where Your Water Shuf-off Valve Is?

water shutoff valveIf you don’t know, you should know where your water shut-off valve is. If an indoor plumbing issue like a ruptured pipe occurs, time is of the essence. Stopping the flow of water fast may prevent major household water damage including significant structural damage and ruined possessions. A common household water supply line can leak hundreds of gallons in a short time if it breaks. Where and how to access the water shut-off valve quickly is basic home protection every homeowner should know.

  • Locate your water meter out at the street. Imagine a straight line between the water meter and the nearest point of the house. The valve should be approximately where the line intersects with the house.
  • If the home is on a slab foundation, the shut-off valve will typically be outside where the water pipe emerges from the ground and enters the house through an exterior wall. Usually it is a hand-operated rotary-type valve.
  • If the home has a basement, the valve will usually be indoors, on the upper part of a basement wall where the pipe enters the house on a straight line from the meter. This will be either a rotary valve or a lever-style valve.
  • There’s also usually a secondary valve located out at the water meter. However, this valve may not be hand-operated and may require a special tool.


If you have difficulty locating the valve and you still have the property inspection report issued when you bought the house, the valve location is required information on that standardized form. Typically, it’s found in section 6.1.

Now that you know the location of the valve, don’t wait for a plumbing emergency to find out if it turns properly. Test it now. If it’s frozen or very hard to turn, don’t force it. Call a plumber to check it out.

For more information about locating your water shut-off valve and other measures to prevent home water damage, contact Rytech, Inc.

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