Like most homeowners, you may eventually need to shut off the water supply to your dwelling. There are several reasons why this action may become necessary.  For example, you may be leaving for an extended period and want to make sure everything is turned off before you go. You may also be remodeling the kitchen or bathroom and need to stop the water supply until the project is complete. Unfortunately, there is another reason you may need to take this action, and that is a plumbing emergency. The latter is often a particularly stressful situation. For this reason, you do not need the added anxiety of not knowing the location of the shut-off valve. This is why our plumbers in Orange County recommend locating this device and making note of where it is for future use.

Many people are under the impression that shut-off valves are always installed in the same place, but this is not true. Because there is no universal location for such valves, do not assume it is in the same area as it was in your last home, as you may be in the middle of an emergency when you find out this is not the case. Ultimately, the location of the water shut-off valve depends on a variety of factors, such as the source of your water, the structure of your home, and the home’s geographical location or which city you live in.

Locations of Different Shut-off Valves

There are several types of shut-off valves in your dwelling. For example, there are valves to specific areas, such as your water heater, dishwasher or toilet. This type of shut-off valve is typically a knob that is situated behind or under the appliance and turning it to the right will stop the water from flowing to that area. However, only one valve shuts off the water supply to the entire house.

Water Shut Off Meter

Water Shut Off Meter

City Water Shut-Off Valve

If your water comes from a municipal source, the home’s main water line probably goes from the street directly to the foundation. In most cases, it is located between the street and the house, somewhere in the front yard closer to the street or sidewalk.  Look for a large metal water meter cover. This kind of valve is quite large, and usually has an on/off valve located close to its base before any other pipes branch off. Locating it is sometimes difficult, however, as it may be covered with dirt, grass, or shrubs, particularly if it was rarely used. One of our professional plumbers can easily locate this valve for you if necessary.

Water Shut Off Valve

Well Water Shut-Off

If your home’s source of water is from a well, look for two shut-off valves. The first is usually found between the pressure tank and the well itself or may even be located underground in a small utility box. The other valve you should look for is located between the pressure tank and your pipes. Either one can be turned off, but if you are not sure about which valve you need to shut off, contact a plumber who can advise you based on the specific issue with which you are dealing. Water can do a lot of damage to a home, and therefore it is essential to know the location of the valves in case of an emergency. Finally, do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions or concerns about shut-off valves or any other component of your plumbing system.

House Shut-Off Valve

In addition to the main water shut off meter, many houses have a smaller and easier to use shut off valve.  This is usually located at the closes point to the house before the main line goes into the house. Sometimes it is adjacent to the sprinkler system, utility room, or garage.  If you do not have one of these, you may want to consider having one installed by a local licensed plumber.  These valves are often easier to turn off, and in an emergency plumbing situation, this time could save your house from additional water damage.

House Shut Off Valve