How to find a water shut off valve

Written by raul avenir
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How to find a water shut off valve
Know the location of shut off valves in your home. (valve image by Goran Bogicevic from

The water shut off valve is a device that turns off water supply to the connected pipe. It is used to stop the water flow if you have a leak or have to do plumbing repairs. A water shut off valve can be classified as a main shut off valve or a local shut off valve. Main valves are located beside the water meter, while local valves are located beside water output devices such as faucets and toilets. A shut off valve has to be accessed immediately in emergency situations. Knowing where the shut off valves are located is a must for every homeowner.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Go to the water meter and look for the valves beside it. Typically, a shut off valve is right before and after the meter. Turning off either valve will cut off water supply to the whole house.

  2. 2

    Go to the toilet. Look for the water shut off valve located directly under the toilet tank. This is a local shut off valve that will only turn off water supply to the toilet.

  3. 3

    Go to every sink inside the house. Look for the water shut off valve under the sink. If you have a base cabinet, open the doors and look for the shut off valve inside. If you have hot and cold water supply, it will have two shut off valves.

  4. 4

    Go to the dishwasher and find the water shut off valve behind the washer. Do the same for any other appliance that runs water.

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