How to Find the Main Water Shut-Off Valve

Did you just stumble across a burst pipe or other plumbing leak? When faced with a plumbing emergency like this, the first thing to do is shut off the water. Act quickly to find and use the main water shut-off valve, and you’ll reduce property damage in the process.

Places to Check for the Main Water Shut-Off Valve

There’s no standard location for water shut-off valves, so you may need to do a little searching.

If your home has a basement or crawlspace, check there first. For homes built on a slab, check in the garage or near your water heater. The incoming water line usually comes through the foundation near the front side of your house. Follow this line up to the water meter. Just past the meter should be the main water shut-off valve, a red or green handle or knob.

If you don’t find the main water shut-off valve inside the house, check outside near an external faucet. This location is most common in warmer climates where frozen pipes aren’t a concern.

Some homes also have underground valves installed at the property line. You’ll find it buried under a round or rectangular metal cover, which might be labeled “water meter” to help homeowners find it.

If you still can’t find your main water shut-off valve, call Bob Hoegler Plumbing at 732-521-0133 for help.

Turning Off the Main Water Shut-Off Valve

For valves located inside the house, stopping the flow of water is easy. If you have a round “wheel” valve, twist it clockwise until it stops. If you have a handle-type valve, turn it one-quarter turn until the handle is perpendicular to the pipe.

Valves buried outside require a bit more effort. First, you must remove the cover. You may need pliers or a pentagon socket wrench to remove the security bolt holding the cover in place. Some covers have a “keyhole,” which requires a meter key to open them.

With the cover removed, look inside the pit and locate the residential water supply shut-off valve. If you see more than one knob, turn the one situated closest to the house. You may need a meter key or adjustable wrench to do this. Turn the valve clockwise to cut off the water supply to your home.

How to Shut Off the Water Locally

When an individual plumbing fixture starts leaking—such as a sink, toilet, or washing machine—a faster, easier method is to turn off the water leading directly to it. Most of the time, you’ll find a valve on the wall behind each appliance and fixture in your home. Turn the valve clockwise to bring the water flow to a halt. This reduces property damage until a plumber arrives to fix the problem.

No one wants to face a plumbing emergency alone. Bob Hoegler Plumbing can help you find your main water shut-off valve and fix your plumbing emergency. For more useful tips, or to request help from a Monroe Township plumber, please call 732-521-0133.


Bob Hoegler Plumbing –

Monroe Township, NJ (central New Jersey)

No sewer cleaning