Finding and Using Your Home’s Main Water Shutoff Valve

It can be a terrifying to imagine your sinks uncontrollably spewing water out into your home and damaging the interior. While we all hope to never encounter situations like this, knowing exactly what to do when it happens can be extremely useful in minimizing the destruction. Controlling a situation like this simply requires knowing where your main water shutoff valve is and how to use it. While easier said than done, we walk you through how to locate this useful device.

Locating Your Main Water Shutoff Valve


Knowing where to find your water shutoff valve is the entire key to being able to stop a flooding situation in your home. Every home has one whether it is located inside or along the perimeter. It doesn’t take too long to seek out and is worth knowing ahead of time.


If you live in a house, the water main shutoff could be located inside in a basement, crawlspace, or in a smaller area such as under a sink of near the water heater. Try to figure out where the water enters the house from, and it will usually lead you to the main valve. Those that have their main shutoff valves located outside of their home and walk the perimeter to find a water meter or look for a cement box along the front curb. It will be on the side of your house that faces the street if it is located in the ground because the water lines run from the street to the house. 


If you are still struggling with it, take a look at your property inspection report. This should clearly state where your shutoff valve is located and may even have a picture showing you where it is at. Find this information under the plumbing section of this report. 

Using Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

Now that you have found the main shutoff valve, learning how to use it should only take a few seconds. There are a couple types of valves that may be installed. They are all quick to figure out and will help you stop the flooding in seconds.


A ball valve is a straight handle that you can turn. It is usually parallel to the pipe when it is open. To shut off the water supply, just turn the handle so it is in a perpendicular position. You’ll know it is shut when you feel a resistance.


A gate valve is circular and requires you to turn a knob several times to shut off the water. Remember, right is tight, and left is loose. Turn the handle clockwise until you feel it tighten to fully shut the water off. 

Utilize Valves Close to the Source

If you’re dealing with a smaller problem or need to cut off water at a specific spot, using upstream shutoff valves will do you a lot of good. These are valves located within close proximity of the machine for example a toilet’s shutoff valve is usually against the wall behind it and sinks have theirs located underneath in the cabinets. Closing off these should be your first option and helps to shut off leaks and overflows as close to the source as possible.

If you have any questions, call Southern Phoenix Services at 770-455-2700 today!

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Southern Phoenix Services

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Woodstock, GA 30188
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