How to Locate Your Home’s Main Water Shut Off

main water shut off

Minor household plumbing leaks can usually be managed—and the damage kept to a minimum—by shutting off the water supply to individual plumbing fixtures (e.g., toilets, faucets). But in the event of a major plumbing emergency, you’ll need to quickly shut off the water supply to your entire home. Therefore it’s critical that you know how to locate your home’s main water shut off valve.

How Do You Find the Main Water Shut Off?

Most likely, your main shut off valve is located near the front foundation wall in your basement. If you don’t have a basement, you may find it in a crawlspace, utility room, near your water heater, or even under your kitchen sink. Tip: You can usually find it within a few feet of where the main water supply enters your home. It will either have a lever handle or a round wheel-shaped handle. Turn it all the way to the right to shut it off.

When Do You Need to Shut Off the Main Water Supply?

If you ever notice pooling water, flooding, or a large leak from an unknown source, these are signs of a serious plumbing emergency. You’ll need to turn off your home’s main water supply right away. It’s also a good idea to shut off the main water when you’re on vacation. This will prevent plumbing leaks while you’re out of town. Tip: If you need someone to water your garden while you’re gone, you can shut off the main water valve coming into your house, while still making water available for outdoor hoses.

For related info, check out our previous post: Are Your Water Shut Off Valves in Good Working Order? To learn more about how to prevent plumbing leaks, read about Water Security Systems.

Have questions about how to locate your home’s main water shut off valve? Need help? Contact us! We provide a full range of residential plumbing services, serving homes all across St. Louis. Call our office at (314) 501-9950 or email