Importance and Location of Plumbing Shutoff Valves

At My Buddy the Plumber in Park City, we’re proud to serve as your 24/7 plumbing experts. If your home or building experiences a plumbing emergency during the dead of night, you can confidently call us no matter the time, knowing we’ll be right there to assist you with any possible issue you’re facing.

In many cases of plumbing emergency, a couple very simple areas of homeowner knowledge can go a very long way – even during the brief minutes between your call and our arrival at your home. In particular, for emergencies that include major water leaks or even full-on flood risks due to damage or another issue, knowing where your plumbing shut-off valves are can make the difference between a minor concern and permanent, major water damage. Here are some basics on where you’ll likely find several shutoff valves – you should use this information to be sure of where each such valve is well in advance, so you’re prepared if something happens.

importance location plumbing shutoff valves

Main Shutoff Valve Location

A few general tips we can offer on locating your main water shutoff valve, which as the name suggests will stop the flow of water to any of your plumbing appliances:

  • Areas not to check: If you’re unaware of the location of this valve and are attempting to find it for future reference, there’s usually no need to check the center areas of your home – main shutoff valves are almost always somewhere on the perimeter. In addition, there’s no need to look upstairs, as main shutoff valves are always in the ground floor or basement.
  • General placement: Water lines run from the water main to the shutoff valve in nearly every case, meaning that if you know where your water main is, you can track the shortest path to your home and generally locate the valve in this area.
  • Home inspection: If you purchased your home recently and had it inspected during this process, the inspection report will specifically label the location of the main shutoff valve.

Other Individual Shutoff Valves

There are also individual shutoff valves for certain plumbing components, valves you can use if water damage is coming directly from one of these areas. They include:

  • Toilet: Check behind any toilet in your home, and you’ll find a small valve, usually below the bowl. You can turn this valve clockwise to stop water from flowing into the toilet.
  • Washing machine: Washing machines will usually have multiple valves on their back side – if you need to turn their water off, turn both valves clockwise or in the opposite direction to where they currently sit. You may have to pull the washer away from the wall just a bit to accomplish this.
  • Sink: Check under any sink, and you should find a shutoff valve that’s pretty similar to the one used for toilets. Once again, this valve can be turned clockwise during a leak to stop water from flowing.

For more on shutoff valves and their importance, or to learn about any of our plumbing, air condition repair or furnace installation services, speak to the pros at My Buddy the Plumber today.