Every home that is being built today has shutoff valves that are readily accessible. Knowing where and how to shut off your home’s main water supply is important especially in times of emergency. Don’t wait until you have an emergency before locating your shutoff valves. Precious minutes can be lost if you or the plumber has to search for it; thus, causing more damage to your property.
Once you’ve found the valve, mark it with a small yard flag, tag, colorful paint or anything that would make the location obvious. Make sure everybody in your household know where it is and how it works.
I wish I could tell you that every shutoff valve is uniform in location. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some are located inside; while others are located inside.
In the crawlspace or basement
If you get freezing temperatures in the winter, the shutoff valve must be located in a warm area inside your house. In this case, you might want to look in the basement or crawlspace, where the waterline enters the home.
Outside the house
In some homes, the water shutoff valve is located outside – generally in front of your house and near the side property line. It might be in a concrete or plastic box on the ground. Lift the lid of the box and find the water meter. The valve is usually located next to it. If there are 2 valves, turning off either valve should work.
Near the pressure tank
If you get your water from a well and you don’t have a meter, find where the water pipes enter the house and follow those pipes to the pressure tank. In most cases, the pressure tank can be seen in the basement, in a closet near the water heater or the garage.
Try a simple test once you’ve located the valve. Shut off the main water valve and check the faucets inside your home. If you can’t turn the valve, don’t force it.