Knowing how and where to shut off your home’s main water shut off valve is crucial in case of a plumbing emergency. You might be surprised to find out that not many people actually know how to do that, or even what the main water shutoff valve actually does! Trust us, waiting until a plumbing emergency happens is not the time to figure it out. If there is a plumbing leak in your home and the fixture’s shutoff isn’t working, you’re going to need to turn off the water to your entire home! And that is why understanding what the main water shutoff valve does and where it is located can help you.

What Is the Main Shutoff Valve?

The main shutoff valve is used to turn off the water supply to your home for a variety of reasons. The main water shutoff valve, when turned on, supplies water to your home from the county connection.  When the valve turns off it stops all the water from flowing through your pipes in your home.  This valve sometimes needs to be turned off to do plumbing repairs around your home, such as replacing a faucet or water heater if the smaller service valves don’t work.

Locating Your Main Water Valve

While there are smaller shutoff valves in your home that will turn off the water in a particular room or for a specific plumbing fixture, such as your kitchen, bathroom, toiler, or sink, the main water shutoff will turn off the water coming into your entire home. If you’re looking for this valve, we recommend looking in your basement or lowest level of your house. When searching for the main shutoff valve, it is usually located at about waist level on the inside basement wall closest to your street or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house. The main water may have come through the concrete floor or through the wall and you can usually find the valve within 3-5 feet of where the main water enters your home.

There are two types of main shut off valves. A gate valve has a round handle that twists open and shut. To shut the water off, turn the knob to the right (clockwise). A ball valve has a lever that is turned 90 degrees. To turn the water off, turn the lever to the right so that it’s perpendicular to the pipe.

Need Emergency Plumbing Services in Maryland?

Whether you have a clogged drain, your basement is flooded, water is dripping through the ceiling, or you have an emergency that just can’t wait, you can count on us! Our technicians have the experience and expertise to get the job done. Heil Plumbing offers 24-hour emergency plumbing services at your home or business in Howard County, MD and surrounding areas.

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We’re dedicated to offering the highest quality residential and commercial plumbing services for every customer. Our plumbers are available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our residential and commercial plumbers in Columbia and Ellicott City cover every need, from simple fixture repairs to complex drain and sewer problems.

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While we are based in Jessup, Maryland, our plumbing contractors also service Catonsville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Odenton, Clarksville, Elkridge, Fulton, Laurel, and Severn.