Most people are unaware of how much damage water can do to their home and health.  A water leak or burst pipe not only poses an immediate risk due to electrical systems, but can have a long term impact on your health.  Toxic mold can start to grow in your home within as little as 48 hours after water is introduced its environment.  Many properties already have toxic mold spores, but because the mold spores do not have the moisture they need to reproduce, they are unable to cause harm to you or other people at your home or business.  The less water that flows into the interior of your property, the less short term & long term damage there will be.  Therefore, it is important to know where your shut off valves are located on your property.  The faster you shut off the flow of water, the less damage there will be.  If you have a water leak right now, call Patriot Plumbing & Rooter, we will walk you through the process of shutting off your water immediately.  Additionally, we can dispatch one of our licensed and experience plumbers to your property.  Call us now if you have a leak or read more below if you do not have an active leak.


Where Can I Find the Shut-Off Valves?

Before we start, you must know that different houses may have different shut-off valve locations. It depends on the planning of the home. Sometimes, the main shut-off valve can be inside your home, while other times, it may be outside.  It is most commonly found on the side of your property nearest to the street.

1. Street-Side Shut-off Valve

The first method we recommend is to use the main shut-off valve at the street.  Almost all of us in Orange County and LA County do not have well water.  Therefore, we are receiving our water from the Orange County Water District or the Los Angeles County Water District.  The water supply line to our properties has a main shut off valve which is located inside a plastic box located near the street.  The plastic box is inside the ground and has a hard plastic cover.  This cover needs to be lifted up to locate the shut-off valve.  Once you have removed the cover, the water shut off valve should be easily accessible.  The shut off valves can look different depending upon when the water meter was installed.   We will describe the different type of shut-off valves and what they look like.  If you have nay difficulty finding the water shut-off valve, call Patriot Plumbing.  We will be glad to help walk you through the process of finding and shutting off the main water valve.

2. Inside the Property

The most common installation place of the main shut-off valve in other parts of the country is the basement.  However, most of us in Orange County do not have basements.  Some of the older homes in Orange and LA County may have crawlspaces where the main shut-off valve is located.  If your shut-off valve is located in your crawl space, we recommend having another secondary valve installed somewhere more accessible.  Residential property owners in Orange County or LA County who do not have a crawlspace will likely be able to find their shut-off valves near their water heater, sink, dishwasher, or another major appliance that uses water.

3. On the Property Inspection Report

Although it is not the fastest way to find the shut-off valve, one of the best ways to find the shut-off valve is by checking the property inspection report.  When you purchase a property, you will have a pre-purchase inspection completed.  Information regarding the location of the water shut-off valve is frequently included in the inspection report.


Different Shut-Off Valve Types and How to Turn Them Off

Most homes will have either of these two shut-off valve designs. Depending on the type or design, the process of turning them off varies. Here we have discussed the shut-off method precisely for both types.

1. Gate Valve

Gate valves are the most trusted valves in the market. They are similar in appearance to the handle you would use to turn on a water hose attached to a spigot.  A gate valve will require you to turn the handle clockwise.  Gate valves are reliable and trusted to create a proper closure of the line without leaking.  However, it is important to note that gate valves can become stuck if they have not been turned for a long time.  Make sure you are turning the “handwheel” clockwise so you do not cause damage to the valve or other components.

2. Ball Valve

The ball valve has a straight handle to control the water flow. It is used mainly in a home with copper or plastic piping.  You can turn off the water supply by moving the ball valve handle.  The ball valve only has two positions which makes it easier to identify when it is turned off.


It is important to know where your shut-off valve is located.  If you have flowing interior water, time is of the essence.  Shutting off the water supply line quickly can significantly reduce the extent of damage to your property.  If you need assistance locating your water shut off valve, we will be glad to help you.  Our plumbing company serves all of Orange County & LA County.  Patriot Plumbing has the ability to dispatch one of our licensed and experienced plumbers to your location to assist you.  We will be able to shut off the water supply line valve, assess the damage, and provide you with an estimate on repairs.  We hope this page of our website has helped you find the information you need regarding your shut off valve.  If you need a plumber in Orange County to assist you, call 949-502-3354. If you are in LA County, you can call 310-544-4300

We look forward to hearing from you.