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How to Find the Main Water Shutoff Valve

Before water enters your house, it goes through three valves that are installed by the city. Finally, it has to go through your own main shutoff valve. When this valve is open, water can flow into your house. When the valve is off, so is your house’s water supply.


When you are experiencing a plumbing emergency, it is vital to know where your home’s main water shut off valve location is, as being able to access the water supply shut-off valve can mean the difference between using some towels to clean up from a plumbing leak or burst pipe, or your carpets are completely under water, your crawlspace is flooded, water heater being submerged or even your washing machine becomes a fountain; all of these and other possible situations homeowners would much rather avoid!


Your main water valve shutoff might be along an outside or front foundation wall, or be facing street side as well as usually being ground level, but the first place you might want to check is a basement or crawlspace. There you might find the water line coming from the outside that is your main water supply. After that, there should be a valve, then a water meter, followed by another valve. Then the line will continue to the house. You can also try and find your property inspection report, which may have the location of many things, hot water heater supply lines, where your water meter and main water shut-off valve are, even property lines, fire sprinkler systems


The main shutoff valve will be the first valve on the supply line, the one in front of the water meter. Once you find this valve, you can turn it off by twisting it clockwise (go slowly for lever handles), and after this is done the main water supply will be cut off and plumbing fixtures, faucets, etc should eventually stop the water leak, as there will no longer be any water coming into your plumbing system. This will allow time for professional plumbing services to arrive, locate the source of the plumbing problem, perform the plumbing repair, and restore the flow of water and water pressure, sans the water leak!

How to Shut Off Your Water Valve

Now your shutoff valve might be one of two different types. If your house has a gate valve, the good news is that this valve is typically long-lasting. The thing is, this valve is sometimes tricky to twist, and may require pliers or a wrench to get it to turn. Before you are in an emergency, you should test out this valve for yourself, finding out whether or not you can make it budge. Note that it could take several turns to close this valve off.

The other kind of valve you might have is a ball valve, which means it will have a handle. This is for residences with pipes made of plastic or copper. If water is flowing into your house, the valve handle will be parallel to the pipe. To turn off the valve, you will need to twist the handle so that it is at a right angle to the water line.

If you have turned your water supply off, this can avert further disaster, such as a broken pipe unleashing a flood. You are not done at this point, however. You might have to prevent further leaking at the valve stem. There will be a packing nut by this stem, which you can tighten, but only enough to cut off the leak. You do not want this nut to be too tight. When you are ready to turn the water back on, you will first need to take off the small screens, or aerators, that cap off all the faucets around the house. In this way, you can keep these aerators from getting blocked up with debris.

Whether a newer home or an older home, cutting off your house’s water supply can be a good immediate response to a plumbing emergency. To get a permanent fix, however, you will probably need the help of an experienced Kansas City plumber. As an emergency can strike at any moment, you can contact a friendly plumber at A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. whenever you need help. Our family-owned company has been operating for more than 40 years in the Kansas City Metro Area. For quality and experience, you can trust, call our office for a quote.