Shutting off the water supply of your house or flat can be useful in case of flood or if you want to do any plumbing work. We hope you came to this article not because it is too late… In any case this will help you identify where to look for that tap and shut if off. We recommend you do that as soon as you notice a water leak in the house.
Most buildings have the water coming through the underground pipes. Builders throughout the years haven’t been following a strict convention about where these main valves should be installed. This can vary from region to another and depend on the age of the property.
Today, there are strict regulations about fitting water supplies. For example, the depth of the pipe underground should not be less than 750mm and not more than 1350mm unless in a duct.
A multi-storey building should also have a mains valve for the whole building and one for each property.[layerslider id=”2″]
Ok, so let’s get to it. There should be an external and an internal mains valve. You would need to shut off the external one when there is a problem with your internal one.
How to find and use your outside stop valve
It is usually located near to the boundary of your home. If you have a water meter, it will generally be located in the same pit or chamber as the meter, explains the Thames Water.
Not all properties will have an outside stop valve fitted and this is quite common if your home is very old, or if the incoming water supply serves both your home and one or more of your neighbours.
You or your plumber can turn off the water supply entering your home by turning the valve clockwise to close.
You may need to obtain a valve or universal stopcock key from a DIY chain or plumber’s merchants. Turn the valve carefully to prevent breaking it.
You should also bear in mind that if your home is on a shared water supply, turning the valve off will affect your neighbour’s water supply.
To turn the water back on, simply turn the valve anti-clockwise.
How to find and use your inside stop valve
If you haven’t asked the previous owner of the property where the inside stop tap is then you should follow these instructions to help you locate it.
Alternatively, here is a video from Scotish Water.