Emergency Shut Off

If you need to turn off the water for an emergency or even for a routine repair, this is what you need to know

Single-family residences (detached homes and most town homes and condominiums) almost always have two places to shut off all the water entering the home. One is at the water meter, and the other is a valve handle close to an exterior wall outside, in the basement, or near the water heater.

To save money in construction, apartments (especially older apartments) don’t always have shutoff valves for each individual dwelling unit. The latest building codes in most areas now require individual shutoff valves to each unit to prevent the obvious disasters, but it wasn’t always so.

If you pay your own individual water bill, then your unit probably has its own water meter (unless your apartment building prorates the overall water charges). If you have your own water meter, then you should be able to shut off the water at your meter, and you very likely also have a separate shutoff valve outside the apartment, in the basement, or inside the unit, just like a single-family home.
Of course, even if your entire apartment building has only one meter, you could also shut off water to the entire building in an emergency if you know where the meter is.

How to Shut Off a Water Supply

When you need to shut the water supply off to the entire house or when a local plumbing fixture has no local shutoff valve, the place to go is your home’s water meter.

Toilet shutoff valve

Sink shutoff valves

Many plumbing fixtures have a local shutoff for the cold and if required, the hot water line.

Tub or shower shutoff valves

Locating water shutoff valves for tubs and showers are not as easy as sinks or toilets and are usually concealed.

The first rule is to stop the flow before it can do serious damage to your home and belongings. Once it’s stopped give us a call.