How To Turn Off Your Water When You Have A Plumbing Emergency

As a homeowner, you need to know what to do when a plumbing emergency strikes. One of the first steps you need to take after most plumbing emergencies, from a leaking toilet to a leaking dishwasher, is turn off the water supply. However, in order to take this very important first step, you need to know how and where to turn off the water for the various appliances and fixtures within your home. Here is a quick guide on how to turn off your water depending on where the plumbing emergency is located.

#1 Sink

If you have water leaking from your sink or sink pipes, there should be individual shut-off valves for both the hot and cold water for your sink. If you open up the cabinet under your sink, you should see two metal valves, one for hot water and one for cold water. These metal valves are often a silver color. You are going to want to turn the valves clockwise to turn off the water to your sink.

#2 Toilet

If your toilet is constantly running water or experiencing any other water-related issue, check on the wall behind your toilet. There should be a single shut-off valve for your toilet that is located low on the wall behind your toilet.

#3 Washing Machine

In order to turn off the water to your washing machine, you are most likely going to need to move your washing machine away from the wall. There are two water shut-off valves for your washing machine for the hot and cold water. Often times these valves look more like the handle on your garden hose. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water to your washing machine.

#4 Water Heater

Your water heater only has one water supply line. It is a cold water supply line that is connected directly to your water heater. The valve is generally located on the top of your water heater; turn it clockwise to shut it off.

There should be a drainage valve on your water heater. If there is not a hose connected to the drainage valve, you'll want to set one up so that you can direct the leaking water to a drain so it doesn't flood your floors.

#5 Main Water Supply

If you are experiencing leaks in your general plumbing connections, from multiple places, or you can't tell exactly where the water is leaking from, you'll want to turn off the main water supply to your house.

You need to know where the main water shutoff valve is located in your house. If your house has a basement, your water shutoff valves may be located in your basement. If your house doesn't have a basement, your water shut off valves may be located on the side of your house near your utility hook-ups. Turning off the main water valve is similar to turning off the other water valves in your house. You just turn it clockwise.

After you turn off your main water valve, turn on your outside water faucets and let all the water drain out. This will direct any water still in your pipes to outside, instead of inside of your home.

Once you turn off the water source, you will need to address the source of the leak on your own or by calling in the assistance of a plumber.