How to Locate the Main Water Valve

Written by nathan mcginty
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How to Locate the Main Water Valve
Locating the main water valve isn't difficult. (valve 2 image by askthegeek from

The main water valve controls the flow of water to your home, apartment or condominium. This is necessary when you need to turn off water inside your house, for example when installing new water shut off valves inside the home. The main water valves are usually located next to or in conjunction with the water meter for your house and are installed by your city or municipality when they are laying out water supply lines.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Main water valve

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  1. 1

    Go out to your front yard. Position yourself where your yard meets the street. This is the water demarcation line for most municipalities: any problems with the water on the street side of the line is the cities problem, anything goes wrong with the water on the side with your house - it's your problem.

  2. 2

    Look for a PVC or black plastic utility box buried at ground level. Older homes will use a concrete type block structure set in the yard. Locate the lid. There should be some type of markings, such as your house number, on top. Lift up the lid or cover.

  3. 3

    Locate the water meter, which should be directly beneath the cover. Right behind the meter should be the main water valve.

  4. 4

    Check in a location such as a basement or supply closet in northern areas. In colder climate, such as the northern United States, the main water valve is located inside to prevent it from freezing.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are trying to shut off your main water valve, you will need to use a wrench or pair of pliers, as they are difficult to turn off by hand.

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