There can be a lot of troubles water can bring. Facing water problems is not something we would ever want. Think about water running through your home uncontrollably. It can be a lot more dangerous than you think and even cause indoor flooding. During these times of emergency, all you need to know is where your shut-off valve is.

Every home has a main water shut-off valve installed during the time of its building. It is similar to having a main electric breaker in your house. Shutting off the valve stops the water flow everywhere in your residence, which is helpful during times of emergencies. So, do you know where your shut-off valve is? If not, let’s dive deeper into the topic.

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, many homes have it outside. If it is outside, you can find it underground in a pit as well.

You can also find it on the street-side on the property line. Depending on such factors, here we have discussed various shut-off valve installation locations. You can easily find your shut-off valve by following these quick tips.

1. Inside the Property
A self-inspection of your property can help you find your shut-off valve a lot faster. In most houses, shut-off valves are located in the property itself. The easiest way is to ask anyone who took care of the plumbing of your property. However, if you don’t know them or don’t wish for help, you can run a quick inspection yourself.

The most common installation place of the main shut-off valve is the basement- near the front foundation wall. It is where water first enters your home. If you find the main water supply line, you are likely to find the valve somewhere around three to five feet.

In older houses, the main shut-off valve can be inside the crawl space. If it is in the crawl space, we recommend having another secondary valve installed somewhere more approachable.

You can also find the shut-off valve near a heater, sink or other major water supply lines. Sometimes installation locations can be hard to reach. So, if you find your shut-off valve anywhere in such a location, make sure you install a secondary shut-off valve by calling a plumber.

Here’s a quick tip. If your home gets a municipal water supply, find the shut-off valve on the street side of your property. It is from where water lines enter your home. But, if you get water from a well or something, the shut-off valve is likely to be located on the backside of your residence.

2. On the Property Inspection Report
Could you find the shut-off valve on your property? If you did not, don’t worry. There are other ways as well. One of the best ways to find the shut-off valve is by checking the inspection report. An inspection report is a report that you get before purchasing a home.

If you have the report, go to the plumbing section. There you can find the shut-off valve details. It can even include a picture. Sometimes these reports include the details even if there are no issues with plumbing or connection. So, make sure you check the inspection report where you can find the shut-off valve.

3. Street-Side Shut-off Valve
Now, if you fail in both these methods and don’t find your home’s main shut-off valve, you still have another option left. If you are on municipal water supply, there is supposed to be another street-side shut-off valve. It is the main shut-off valve connecting your water supply line with the municipal supply.

This valve is supposed to be on the outside of your property, besides the street. You can check the utility box tool that is set to the ground level. However, if you find it hard to detect, call the municipal water supply helpline and ask them for help. This shut-off valve is easy to detect and can be helpful during emergencies, especially when you don’t find your home’s shut-off valve.

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. These are similar to faucets that we use in our homes. They ensure proper closure of the line without leaking. However, turning off a gate valve can sometimes be problematic, especially if you have not done it for quite a long time.

If you have not turned off the gate valve since you brought this home, you should do it now. Thus, you can check whether you can do it with bare hands or not. It is better to find it out now than when you are in an emergency.

Turn it clockwise several times to turn the gate valve off.

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. In this case, the valve is open when the handle is parallel. Now, if you wish to close off the valve, you have to move the handle perpendicularly.

In the ball valve, you can only move the handle from one direction to another. The handle will stop when it is entirely perpendicular.


It is better to know where your shut-off valve is beforehand to avoid extreme emergencies. For example, if you face any water hazard in your home, you can easily disconnect the entire water system by turning the valve off. Thus it helps to avoid any potential damages.

Here we have discussed all how to find your shut-off valve and how to turn it off. We hope that you have found this topic useful. If you wish to know any more about this, feel free to ask.