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It’s useful to know where your emergency shutoff valve is located and how to operate it in case you ever have a plumbing emergency. Learn the process yourself and then pass on your knowledge to everyone in your household.

Places to Look for the Water Shutoff Valve

Every home is slightly different, so the water main entrance and shutoff valve aren’t in a standardized location. Here are the places you should check:

  • In the basement or crawlspace: Check an exterior underground wall near the front of your home. If you have a well, the water may enter through a side or back wall.
  • In the garage: Homes built on slabs have no basements for the water line to enter, so the next most likely place for the shutoff valve is in the garage.
  • In a mechanical room: Check near the water heater or furnace for the emergency shutoff valve.
  • Within a streetside utility box: If you can’t locate the water shutoff valve inside your home, it could be located near the street in a utility box. This underground box typically has a round or rectangular metal lid sitting flush with the grass or sidewalk.

If you still can’t locate your emergency shutoff valve, call a plumber for help.

Tools Needed to Shut Off the Water

Depending on where the valve is located, you may need certain tools to turn it.

  • There should be no tools required if the valve is inside your home. Simply twist the valve clockwise as far as it will go to shut off the water.
  • You need a meter key to open a streetside utility box. You can purchase one at your local home improvement store. To save yourself a trip, try opening the lid with a crescent wrench and screwdriver first.
  • You may need pliers to turn a rusted shutoff valve inside a utility box. Turn the valve located on the house side of the water meter clockwise to shut off the residential water supply.

Final Step

Don’t stop here. After shutting off the water, you need to release pressure in the pipes. Turn on the hot and cold water from any faucet in your home until the water no longer runs. Completing this final step also tells you if you turned the shutoff valve properly.

When you’re ready to turn the water back on, turn the valve counterclockwise to restore it to its original position. Run water from any faucet for a minute or two until all bubbling and gurgling subside as water pushes air from the pipes.

Knowing how to shut off the main water supply in your Orem or Draper home can help you avoid water damage if you find a plumbing leak or broken pipes. After locating and turning the emergency shutoff valve, call Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling at 801-890-2037. We’ll send an emergency plumber to your door immediately to provide the plumbing services you need.

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