How Do I Turn off the Main Water Supply for Plumbing Repairs?

How Do I Turn off the Main Water Supply for Plumbing Repairs?

Did you know that the average American spends almost $5,000 per year on home repairs and improvements? A plumbing emergency can be one of the most expensive repairs and can come on suddenly.

A burst pipe, a backed-up sewer line, or a leaking water heater require quick fixes. Every minute water flows into your home is lost money. Do you know what to do in case of a plumbing emergency?

Do you know how to turn off the main water supply? It’s something you need to know how to do should you need to act fast.

Read on to learn how to turn off your main water supply.


Find the Shut-Off Valve

To turn off the main water supply, you first need to know where your shut-off valves are located. They’re in different locations depending on the age of your home and the climate where you live.


When you want to turn the main water supply off in a warmer climate, look outside for your shut-off valve. You can often find the valve in an underground pit close to the property line.

Basement or Basement Crawl Space

Homes in colder climates and older homes have shut-off valves built into the basement. Placing the valve inside the home prevents freezing.

Look for the valve near your water heater or in your basement’s crawl space.


Do you want to turn the main water supply off but don’t have a basement or basement crawl space? Look for the valve under your kitchen sink or near your water heater.

Turning Off Main Water Supply to My House

Once you locate the shut-off valve, you can begin the process of shutting off your water line.

Is it safe to turn off the main water supply? Yes, but there are certain precautions you should take when you do it.


These valves don’t require tools to operate. The valves, however, do grow stiff from lack of use. An adjustable wrench is a handy tool to turn off your main water supply.

The adjustable wrench should provide the leverage you need to turn the valve.

Lefty-Loosey, Righty-Tighty

Your shut-off valve works the same as any screw. Turn clockwise to close. Wheel valves or handle valves shouldn’t take more than a single clockwise rotation to close.

While the valve might be stiff, don’t use too much force. A broken main water valve is another expensive repair you don’t need. If you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, call an emergency plumbing repair service.

Drain Pipes

After you shut off your main water supply, you need to drain the water from your pipes. Do this by opening a faucet and letting all the water run out.

When you drain your pipes, make sure to cut off the power supply to your water heater. Doing so prevents de-energizing.

How to Turn Off Main Water Supply

Plumbing emergencies happen, and all too often, they happen out of the blue. If you have water rushing into your house, you have to act fast. You can’t wonder how to turn off the main water supply. You have to do it.

Locate your shut-off valve first, and remember to drain your pipes. If you need help, contact an emergency plumber immediately.

For more home tips, check out the rest of our page.

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