Every home was required to have a main water shut off valve. If after reading this article you still are unsure where your shut off valve is located, consult with a local plumber for advice. You can also find the location of your shut off valve on your property inspection report. Note that most homes in colder climates have the shut off valve inside, while others are located outside.

If your shut off valve is located outside look for it on or near an exterior wall where the water comes into your home, typically on the side or front of the house nearest to the street. In basements, the shut-off valve is typically located near the front foundation wall. The main water may come through the floor or through the wall.

The valve is typically within 3-5 feet of where the main water enters. In some cases, the main water may enter in a different area, like a mechanical room, up through the floor, near the water heater or furnace. In homes with crawl-spaces and a basement the shut off valve may be where the water enters the basement. In some older homes, the shut off may be inside the crawl space. In homes with crawl-spaces with no basement the shut off valve will typically be located near the water heater or under the kitchen sink.

If your home is slab-on-grade construction the shut off valve will typically be located near the water heater or under the kitchen sink.If you have a fire sprinkler system If you home has a fire sprinkler system, take care that you only shut off the water supply to your home but not to the emergency sprinkler system. Locate the second valve, it will be past (downstream) of the fire sprinkler system “tee”.

How to close the main shut off

Handle valves: Slowly turn lever handle valves ¼ turn, until the handle it not parallel with the pipe. It should stop at a ¼ turn. Round “wheel” handle valves: will turn-off by turning the handle to the right (clockwise). It may take 2 or more full revolutions.