Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Do You Know Where the Plumbing Shut-Off Valve to Your House Is?


A plumbing disaster in a house that results in flooding or extensive water damage is a worst-case scenario few homeowners want to think about. But thinking about this possibility is important because it will help you prepare so you can protect your home and avoid major damage. For example, we recommend installing a sump pump in your basement to pump out water automatically in case of flooding.

But there’s an even simpler step we advise all homeowners to take, which is to locate the shut-off valve for the water main into their home. Turning off the water flow in case of an emergency will bring an immediate halt to flooding dangers. The shut-off valve is also helpful for smaller plumbing problems where you simply need the water turned off for the house. You may already know the location of your home’s shut-off valve. If you don’t, then this post is for you.

Finding the Shut-Off Valve

The shut-off valve may be in several different places in a house or on the property. However, in our region of the country, it’s most common for the valve to be located in the basement near the water meter. Find your water meter in the basement and you’ll see two sets of pipes leading into it. One side is the house side, the other is the municipal side. On the municipal side, you’ll see a valve. This is the shut-off valve. Turn it a full 180° to shut off the water flow.

An alternate, but less likely location, for the shut-off valve is under a plastic or concrete cover on the front yard, located close to the front curb. Pull up the cover and you should find the valve underneath. 

Special Considerations for the Shut-Off Valve

You may have a shut-off valve without a handle. In this case, a special wrench-like tool is necessary to turn the valve. (You can see an example of this at the top of this post.) This tool is supposed to hang next to the valve. If you don’t see it, you’ll be glad you made this check! You can purchase a replacement tool at a hardware store and hang it for easy access near the valve. 

Automatic Shut-Off Valve

We recommend homeowners look into having an automatic shut-off valve installed for their homes. This device turns off the water flow automatically in case of flooding in the house. The valve monitors the pipes for a sudden drop in water pressure, indicating a burst pipe or fixture that is releasing water, and then closes off the water main. Automatic shut-off valves are immensely useful for when you are away from home—you can go on vacation without having to worry that your house will flood while you’re gone.

If you need help with finding and using your shut-off valve, or you wish to schedule a plumbing service in Clarksburg, MD to install a sump pump or an automatic shut-off valve, reach out to our plumbers today.

At Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we pledge to exceed expectations at every turn! Call us when you need help with your home plumbing.