If your home requires plumbing repair, it is crucial that you turn off your water supply before repairs can begin. Multiple factors should be taken into account, and there are several ways to ensure your water is completely shut off to allow your plumber to complete any necessary repair work, depending on what’s being repaired. Here’s everything you should know about turning off the water supply.
Every water heater includes two pipes, one for cold water and one for hot water, and each pipe has its own shutoff valve. You can identify them by the differently colored handles – the cold water valve is blue and the hot water valve is red. If you are experiencing a leak in your hot water pipes, shutting off the hot water valve will ensure no hot water will come from the heater. If you need to repair or replace the water heater, shutting off the cold water valve will prevent cold water from being directed to the heater via the main water supply.
Other Major Appliances and Fixtures
Any leaks you discover in the major appliances or fixtures within your home will require you to turn off the water supply to that specific fixture before it can be repaired.
- Washing machines: Most washing machines have a hot water inlet valve and a cold water inlet valve. They should be located within a box that is recessed in the wall close to the washing machine. Laundry rooms with utility sinks will have the valves located there.
- Dishwashers: Your dishwasher’s shutoff valve regulates the water supply tube that is connected to the dishwasher. You can find it under the cabinet that holds your kitchen sink or close to the sink faucet shutoff valves.
- Refrigerators: The fixture shutoff valve is typically attached to the mesh or copper water supply tube connected to the fridge.
- Toilets: Toilets only use cold water, so they feature just one shutoff valve. It is located close to the floor below the water supply valve near the bottom left side of the tank.
- Sink faucets: Underneath the sink, the water supply tubes connect with the tailpiece of the faucet. This is where you will find the two shutoff valves, one for hot water and one for cold water.
- Showers and bathtubs: These shutoff valves are generally found in an access panel, which can be on the other side of the wall, under the floor in the basement, or in the ceiling for bathrooms on the lower level of the home.
Main Shutoff Valve
If the appliance or fixture that requires repair or replacement does not have a shutoff valve, or if you are experiencing a leak in the main water supply line, you will need to use the main shutoff valve. It is usually close to the main water line entrance, outside on a wall, or close to the water meter. You must completely drain the water supply pipes to ensure no standing water remains in the system and prevent water from spilling out during the repair work. To do this, after shutting off the main valve, you will open the lowest faucet in your home, meaning the outdoor faucet or the basement, then open the highest faucet.
Contact Us Today
When you need to turn off your water supply, follow a bottom-up approach in which you only turn off water in the areas where the repair will be completed. Start by isolating the specific appliance or fixture in need of repair, then move on to the main shutoff valve only if necessary. Contact the experts from Mr. Rooter for any plumbing repairs you need by calling (281) 609-7304.