Where is my shutoff valve?

Posted On: March 17, 2016
Water Stop Valve

Home water systems have two types of shutoff valves: main/master shutoff valves for stopping the flow of water to the entire house and individual or supply shutoff valves for specific appliances and fixtures.

Valves vary in location, shape, and number depending on the age of your home.

The main shutoff valve allows a full flow of water through the pipe when it’s open. Shutting it off cuts off the water supply to the whole house.

These are the common places you may find your home’s main shut off valve:

Front Foundation Wall
In a home with a basement, the shut off valve is typically located near the front foundation wall. It is usually within 3-5 feet of where the main water enters the home.

Crawl Space
In an older home with a crawl space and a basement, it’s common to find the shutoff valve in the crawl space.

Near Water Heater or Kitchen Sink
In a home that has a crawl space but no basement, the shut off valve will typically be located near the water heater or under the kitchen sink.

Outside
The shut off valve can be found outside, underground within a “pit” at or near the property line.

A few pro tips to note:

  • Follow the path of least resistance. Water lines usually use the shortest path to get to the house.
  • Check your inspection report, your shutoff valve location should be in it.
  • Look for access panels. Shut off valves are not supposed to be sealed behind drywall, so an access panel may have been created.
  • Can’t find it? Call Genz-Ryan we’re more than happy to help you find it.

It’s important for not only you but also your family to know where the main water shutoff valve is and how to use it. It’s a great idea to place a tag on the valve to label it, and better yet write your plumber’s name and phone number on the label for reference in case of an emergency.

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