Call Now:

Customer Reviews

Google Reviews

A burst pipe or cracked water line can rapidly transform from a minor nuisance into a damaging, flooded disaster without the essential skill of swiftly shutting off water flow.

As homeowners ourselves, learning where our properties’ shut-off valves reside seems too easy to put off until an actual plumbing emergency strikes. Unfortunately, frantically scrambling to stem uncontained water spewing when every second counts leaves far too much potential for avoidable destruction. Instead, we all must prioritise taking a few minutes to locate the water shut-offs inside and outside the home and familiarise our households with their use.

Whether you awake to a minor kitchen pipe leak or return home to a ruptured line unleashing a cascade, quickly twist-shutting the right valve provides damage control when racing a building flood. Severe overflow into walls or carpeting and the ensuing destruction often results more from homeowners lacking familiarity with this simple, lifesaving technique than the initial pipe problem itself.

Implementation of an emergency water stop can minimise headaches and minor inconveniences. So, rather than risk extensive repairs, I implore readers not to delay arming your family by mapping shut-offs throughout the house and practising water supply cut-offs. Develop this one basic skill, and protect all you hold precious under the roof.

Understanding Your Plumbing System

Before diving into the step-by-step process of shutting off your water, let’s understand the key components of your plumbing system.

Your home’s plumbing is a network of pipes, valves, and taps that control hot and cold water flow. The main water shut-off valve is the control point for your home’s entire water supply line. It’s typically located where the water line enters your house – often in a utility room, crawl space, or an exterior wall in colder climates.

Locating the Main Shut-off Valve

Water Supply Valve

You must first locate the main water valve to shut off the water during an emergency. This valve is found inside the water meter box in many homes, especially in areas like Perth, where water consumption is a concern.

The water meter tracks your household’s water usage and is usually housed in a meter box near the street under a local council cover plate. Sometimes, the main shut-off valve may be in the same box but is separate from the water meter.

For homes with a hot water system, there will often be a separate shut-off, sometimes located in the utility room or near the water heater. This valve controls only the hot water flow to the house, which can be useful if the plumbing problems are specific to the hot water system.

Types of Valves: Ball Valve, Gate Valve, and Stop Valve

Your plumbing system may have different types of valves. Ball valves are common in newer homes and can be turned off with a simple 90-degree turn of the lever to the perpendicular position relative to the pipe. Gate valves, on the other hand, require multiple turns clockwise to close, and you might need a shifting wrench to turn the valve handle if it’s stiff.

An isolation valve, or a stop valve, controls water to individual appliances or fixtures, such as washing machines, kitchen sinks, or hose taps. For instance, if you have a water leak under your kitchen sink, turning the isolation tap clockwise will stop water flow to that area without affecting the water supply to the rest of your house.

The T-Top Isolation Tap and Other Fixture Valves

Apart from the main water shut-off valve, most homes feature a T-top isolation tap near each fixture, such as behind toilets or under sinks. These allow you to turn off the water to a specific area for plumbing repairs without affecting the entire house. It’s particularly useful for issues with fixtures like a leaky faucet or a running toilet.

Steps to Turn Off the Main Water Supply

In the event of a plumbing emergency, such as pipe bursts, follow this step-by-step process to shut off the water quickly:

Turning Water Valve

1: Locate Your Water Main Shut-off Valve

Find the main valve before an emergency occurs. Look for it in the areas mentioned earlier, such as the water meter boxes or utility room.

2: Turn the Valve Clockwise

Whether you have a ball or gate valve, the general rule is to turn the valve clockwise to stop the water flow. For a ball valve, this is a quarter turn. For a gate valve, keep turning until it stops.

3: Check for Standing Water

If there’s standing water near the valve, such as in a flooded crawl space, wear protective gloves and use caution. If the situation seems unsafe, call an emergency plumber.

4: Turn Off Electricity

If water is near electrical appliances or the water heater, turn off the power at the breaker to avoid electrical hazards.

5: Drain Remaining Water

After the main valve is off, open a faucet on an exterior wall or the front hose tap to drain any remaining water in the system. This reduces water damage and relieves pressure on the plumbing.

6: Call a Professional Plumber

Once the immediate threat is mitigated, contact a licensed plumber to address the issue. They can perform necessary plumbing repairs and restore your system to working order.

Damage Control and Prevention

While turning off your water is a crucial first step, there are additional measures to limit water damage:

  • Know the Location of All Valves: Familiarise yourself with the location of all valves, including the main shut-off valve, individual meter valves, and isolation valves. Ensure everyone in the household knows these locations, too.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly inspect your plumbing system, particularly in areas like the water heater, washing machines, and under sinks, to catch leaks early.
  • Insulate Pipes: In colder climates, protect your pipes from freezing with proper insulation, reducing the risk of a burst pipe due to ice.
  • Emergency Kits: Keep a tool kit with a shifting wrench, valve handles, and protective gloves readily accessible for quick response.

Shut Water Valve

Woolf Plumbing to the Rescue

When plumbing emergencies arise, quick action is essential. Knowing how to shut off the water supply to your house can mean the difference between a quick fix and extensive water damage. At Woolf Plumbing & Gas, we understand how critical timely intervention is during these situations.

If you’re unsure about any part of the process or have experienced a plumbing emergency and need immediate professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of expert plumbers is equipped to handle everything from emergency plumbing repairs to preventative maintenance, ensuring your plumbing system is robust and reliable.

Remember, Woolf Plumbing & Gas is your trusted partner in times of trouble for quick, effective solutions and peace of mind. Contact us for any plumbing needs and safeguard your home against the unexpected.

FAQ’s - Shutting Off Your Water

Why should I know how to shut off my water?

Knowing how to shut off your home’s water supply can prevent catastrophic flooding and water damage in the event of a burst pipe, leaky fixture, or other plumbing emergency.

How do I shut off the water?

Carefully turn the valve to the right or clockwise until it cannot turn further. This stops water. Please don’t force it past its stopping point.

Should I shut off all fixtures?

Yes, you should turn off taps and close valves on fixtures after the main valve is closed to drain the pipes completely.

When is it safe to turn the water back on?

Do not turn the main valve back on until the broken fixture or pipe is repaired. Turn it on slowly and check for leaks.

Ashley Woolf

Ashley Woolf

Find them on their website: Woolf Plumbing & Gas, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Preventing Plumbing Disasters

Preventing Plumbing Disasters

Learn how to safeguard your home from plumbing disasters with our expert maintenance tips. Avoid emergency calls and costly repairs.

8 Ways to Stop Water Hammer (Noisy Pipes)

8 Ways to Stop Water Hammer (Noisy Pipes)

Wondering what are the most effective ways to stop annoying water hammer noises in your pipes? Don’t worry; our guide has all the answers to put your mind at ease. 

Responding To Plumbing Emergencies In Commercial Spaces

Responding To Plumbing Emergencies In Commercial Spaces

Plumbing emergencies in commercial properties can lead to expensive damage and costly downtime if not handled swiftly. This article outlines key response strategies for commercial spaces to contain issues quickly. Learn how to develop emergency plans, gather necessary supplies, mitigate flooding or leaks, and make repairs so your business can safely resume normal operations.

Have a Plumbing or Gas Emergency?

CALL US NOW! (08) 6555 7757

Call Now!