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How to Turn the Water Off to Your Home

A man turning the water off at the main water valve

In the event of a plumbing emergency, it is essential to know how to turn your water off and where to do it in your home. A broken line, burst pipe, or sewage backup can cause severe damage to your home and possibly cost you thousands in water damage and water bills.

Being able to contain the situation as soon as possible greatly helps you with damage control, allowing more time for help to arrive if the situation calls for it. Turning the water off to your home doesn’t have to just be for emergencies though. If you are going to be away from your home for an extended period or might be doing some remodeling, then it is highly advised that you shut off the main water valve.

Find Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

This is probably the most important piece of information to know when you want to turn your water off. Most often, you can locate the main water shut-off valve in several different areas of your home.


Check the interior wall near the front of the house, where the water comes from the water meter. In other cases, the main water supply may enter another area, like in a mechanical room, near the water heater or furnace, or up through the floor.


If your water shut-off valve isn’t in the basement and you have a crawlspace, the shut-off valve may be inside there. Most often, the valve can be found close to the water heater, water softener, or even by the faucet valves. A good rule of thumb is to also look for access panels when trying to find your shut-off valve.


If you can’t find your water shut-off valve inside your home, it may be located outside. Look around your spigots and the areas where plumbing enters the home. In some cases, there may even be a valve located closer to the street. Before turning these valves off though, be sure to check with your water provider.

How to Turn the Water Off

Once you find the shut-off valve, you will either turn it by hand — clockwise for gate valves and vertically to the pipe for ball valves or use the proper tool depending on the design.

After you successfully shut the water off, it is essential to release the pressure from your pipes by turning on the hot & cold faucets in your home.

Always Remember Regarding Main Water Shut-Off Valves:

Not only should you know how to turn off the main water shut-off valve but teaching the members of your family how to find and use the valve can help you save valuable time in a plumbing emergency.

It’s also a great idea to put your plumber’s contact info near the shut-off valve. Tape their business card to the wall or place a tag on the shut-off valve. That way, you can reach a plumber quickly and keep plumbing problems from turning into a costly repair situation.

The best method to maintain a healthy plumbing system is to have a regular maintenance checkup done by a professional.

Pick a Plumber That’s a Pro

Your licensed plumber will be able to perform a full inspection of your plumbing system to identify potential risks before they turn into emergency plumbing problems. Our plumbers at Einstein Pros are all experts in dealing with any plumbing situation that may come up. Whether it’s a leak or a clog, we’re here to help! Whether you need a plumber in an emergency or are planning ahead, the team at Einstein Pros is ready to handle the situation. Give our team a call today and we’ll put your plumbing problems in the past.

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