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September 16th, 2019 in DIY Plumbing

Different Water Shut-off Valves – And Where to Find Them


The old saying is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s why we have airbags in our cars, even though we hope we never use them. The same can be said about your home plumbing system, which has a few safety features built in to prevent an emergency or costly water damage.

Even if you’re not a plumbing expert, you should know where all the shut-off valves are in your home. These valves allow you to stop the flow of water through your pipes before they get to a fixture such as a faucet, showerhead, toilet, or appliance. There are two main types of shut-off valves. In this article, we’ll explain how you can find both.

water or gas shut-off valve in the system

Main water shut-off valve

Your home has a main water shut-off valve that can turn the water off for your entire home. You should be able to find this shut-off valve very close to where the water main comes into your house on the ground floor or in the basement. If you have trouble finding the main shut-off valve, refer to the home inspection report you received when you purchased the house – it may have the shut-off valve marked or labeled. 

Once you locate the main shut-off valve, make sure it is not concealed behind a wall or blocked by any large items. If you have a major plumbing issue like a broken pipe, you’ll want to get to the shut-off valve quickly to turn off the water and prevent further damage. 

Fixture shut-off valves

While the main water shut-off valve controls the water for the entire home, many of your fixtures have their own valves to turn off the water to that specific location. These can be very helpful when you have to repair or replace a fixture but do not want to disrupt the flow of water to the rest of the house.

Some of the common fixtures that have their own shut-off valves are sink faucets, toilets, and washing machines. Look behind or underneath the fixture for the valve, which can either look like a small wheel your turn or a lever. If the fixture uses both hot and cold water, there will be a separate shut-off valve for each line.

It’s a good idea for everyone in your home to know where the shut-off valves are in your home. With a quick turn of the valve, you can prevent a small plumbing issue from becoming a giant, expensive mess.

If you run into any plumbing issues be sure to call the professional at Rick’s Plumbing. With over 25 years of experience, we can handle any job – large or small. To schedule an appointment, call us at (203) 874-6629.



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