Do you know how to shut off the water? In case of a water leak emergency, that somebody could be you! Can you see yourself doing what it takes to get the water turned off in a hurry?


Under every sink there are shutoff valves for hot and cold water; and behind every toilet is a shutoff valve. If the leak appears to be coming from under the sink or in the vicinity of the toilet, then these shutoff valves, commonly referred to as “angle stops”, would be the best place to start in order to stop a leak in a hurry.

photos of water valves to learn how to shut off the waterMAIN SHUT-OFF VALVE

In case of a major water leaking emergency, your main shut off valve comes in to play to shut off the water to your home. This valve is typically located after the city water meter, usually near the front and sometimes the side of your home. This valve is typically found just below a hose bib. In the case of a catastrophic leak, such as a burst supply pipeline, the minutes saved in shutting off the water can drastically reduce the resulting water damage inside the home.


To shut off the water, you need a valve that is operable. The bad news is that these valves don’t always work. Over time, valves can become inoperable due to internal corrosion and hard water deposits. There are two types of valves: the old style gate valve that takes several turns of the handle to shut off and the more modern ball valve style that takes one-quarter turn to be off. The old style gate valves are more prone to problems, so whenever you replace a valve, use the quarter-turn ball valve style.


Become familiar with the locations of the valves in your home. If you need help, doing a Google search using key phrases such as “water main valves” or “angle stop valves” can be a great source of further information to identify the location and function of water valves in your home.

Check the operation of your valves to make sure they work. If the valve does not turn with a moderate amount of pressure, then it is probably inoperable and will need to be replaced.

One other tip: If an angle stop valve needs to be replaced, it is generally a good idea to replace the supply line attached to the valve. The fittings on supply lines corrode and can leak over time.


Please contact us. We will do all we can over the phone to answer questions and give advice. If needed, our friendly technicians will come to your home to do inspections, replace valves, and address any additional concerns.