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Locating the Water Shutoff Valves in Your Home

Locating the Water Shutoff Valves in Your Home

For all the pipes in your plumbing system, there are water shutoff valves controlling the flow of water.

For all the pipes in your plumbing system, there are water shutoff valves controlling the flow of water. These valves will generally be closed off when repairs need to be made to your plumbing, in case of emergency, or when you will be away from home for an extended period.  It’s important to know where the shutoff valves are in your home so that you can be prepared in case of breakages, issues, flooding, or other emergencies where you will need to shut off the water flow immediately.

Check Your Valves

Luckily, main water shutoff valves can generally be found where the main water line enters your home, the area next to a washing machine hookup, or the area around the water heater, but it’s important that your other valves are located and in good working order in case of any emergencies. These valves can come in a variety of types depending on economic factors or the appliances the line connects to. Generally, valves will rotate to open and close, and these valve handles will be plastic, bronze, or steel. Plastic valves are economical, but if you check your valves and find plastic handles, you should consider upgrading to a more reliable option like stainless steel that will allow your valves to operate better and require less maintenance. Steel ball valves, most commonly used for main shutoff valves, are designed to turn on and off easily and feature lever handles, making it one of the most reliable valve options available.

Shutting Off Your Valves

Once you have located your valves, in the case of a running toilet, leaking fixture, or other plumbing issues, the appropriate valve will need to be turned off. Identifying the right valve for a particular appliance can be tricky, so here are some common shutoff valve locations to check for.

  1. Under the Sink: Shutoff valves for many sinks are located in the cabinet underneath. Two valves should be located here, one for each temperature faucet, and since the valves are directly below the appliance, you can easily check these valves by turning on the faucets while the valves are shut off.
  2. Behind the Toilet: Below your toilet’s tank, at the base of the appliance, is a single shutoff valve for the toilet.
  3. Basement: For tubs and showers, shutoff valves can be much more difficult to find. These are usually located in the basement and can be hidden behind ceiling tiles or otherwise tricky to locate. If you’re having trouble locating the valve for your tub or shower, it’s a good idea to call a plumbing professional to check your valves. A washing machine’s valves are also located in the basement, though they are much easier to find. Like the sink, this appliance has one shutoff valve for hot water and one for cold water.


Alpha Plumbing is a full-service plumbing and contracting company serving the Baltimore and Annapolis metro area with expertise in all aspects of plumbing. We’re family-owned and operated since 1991 from our office in Pasadena. We offer quality plumbing services at reasonable rates in a timely fashion. Our trucks are equipped with GPS systems to ensure we’re prompt and on time. No job is too large or too small! We maintain a fleet of well-stocked trucks and also own and operate our own backhoes for jobs requiring excavation.

For more information and to get a free no-obligation estimate, you can contact us on our website, send us an e-mail, or give us a call at (410) 255-5998.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 4:37 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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Alpha Plumbing

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