At any given time of the day, water is running through at least some of the pipes in your home. Plus, if one of your water pipes fails or a hose on your washing machine breaks, water could be flowing onto the floor of your bathroom, laundry room or basement. Do you know how to quickly shut off your water supply?

There are many reasons why you may need to cut off the water supply to your home. The location of the main supply valve may differ from house to house. Knowing where to find the shut-off is critical to avoiding or at least minimizing water damage to your home.

Here are some typical water supply valve locations to check:

  1. Basements – The main water supply often comes through the concrete floor or through the front outer foundation wall. Look for the shut-off valve within three to five feet of the water supply’s entry point.
  2. Crawl-space with basement – Look for the shut-off valve near where the water supply enters the basement. You may also find the valve in the crawl-space in older homes.
  3. Crawl-space without basement – Locate the shut-off valve either beneath the kitchen sink or near the water heater. You may find the shut-off valve in the crawl-space. If your shut off valve is located in the crawl-space, consider installing a secondary valve in the kitchen or near the water heater. A licensed professional can help you add this feature.
  4. Slab-on-grade – Typically the shut-off valve sits beneath the kitchen sink or near the hot water heater, though it may be located in another area of the house.

If the house has a fire sprinkler system, leave the shut-off valve to the fire system open unless the plumbing issue involves a leaky sprinkler line or head.

If you are worried about potential water leakage when you are away from home, you may consider some newer home automation options. A professional licensed plumber can install a device to alert you to sudden rises in water pressure and, with some devices, allow you to shut off your main water supply remotely using your cell phone.  

Don’t wait until water problems arise; take time now to find your home’s shut off valve and wash those worries away!