main water shut off valve

Have you just discovered a burst pipe or other water leak? When confronted with a plumbing emergency, the first step is to turn off the water. You’ll save money on property damage if you know how to find main water shut off valve quickly.

Where and How to Find Main Water Shut Off Valve

how to find main water shut off valve

The main water ball valve can be found in a number of places, and you may have to do some serious searching to find it.

If You have a Crawl Space and a Basement

If you have a property with a crawl space and basement, your water meter and the shut-off valve is most likely positioned on an inside wall toward the front of the building. The valve may also be beside the water heater or in your garage if your house was constructed on a slab.

In the Basement

Typically, the shut-off valve is placed alongside the front wall if you have a basement but no crawl space. The primary water source could be coming through the wall or concrete floor. In this case, the main valve is usually three to five feet from where the water flow comes in. It could also enter through a separate region, such as near the water heater.

Homes That Have a Crawl Space, But No Basement

The shut-off valve is usually found beneath your kitchen skin or close to the water heater, although it can be placed anywhere. Suppose it’s in the crawl space. In that case, you might want to consider installing another valve in the home.

Outdoor Water Shutoff Valve

If you can’t find the water valve inside your house, look towards the foot of your property line in a concealed receptacle located within a pit underground. This is usually a concrete box buried near the front curb. You may need a special key to unlock it, which you can purchase from a hardware store.

Rotate the key clockwise after inserting it into the “lock,” then angle it toward the box’s outer edge to pull the cover open.

If you’re still having trouble finding the shutoff valve, your local plumber or utility provider will be able to help. You should also be able to identify the section of your site inspection report detailing where the main water supply shutoff valve is situated.

[Read: 5 Signs You Should Call The Plumber Right Now]

Turning off Water Shut-off Valves

Depending on the design, you can rotate the valve clockwise by hand to turn it off, or you’ll need to use the correct tools.

If the ball valve is in your home, it’ll probably be a gate valve that you turn clockwise to shut off the water.

To alleviate pressure, open a faucet, and check that the flow of water has indeed stopped. If needed, open faucets around the house to drain the water.

water faucets

Which Valve Should You Close?

As a rule of thumb, you should turn off the shut off valve that is closest to the water supply.

If your house has a fire sprinkler system, choosing between the ball valves should be done with caution. Unless there is a leaky sprinkler line, you should only turn off the water supply and leave these pipes live.

[Read: How Does A Leak Detector Work?]

Contact Your Local Plumber for Help!

When you’re faced with an emergency, and there’s water everywhere, your first response should be to locate the water shut-off valve and turn off the water supply.

You should never try to shut off a valve located in a hard-to-reach area or operate shutoff valves if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Call on the professionals instead to take care of your water leak and help you find your main water valve. Stellar Plumbing’s emergency services will ensure you’re never left to handle a crisis alone!