Finding Plumbing Issues Early

Finding The Hidden Water Shutoff Valves Before You Have A Plumbing Emergencies

by Chris Bowman

You can deal with many plumbing emergencies by first turning off the shutoff valve at whichever water source gives you problems. Unfortunately, that's not always so easy when you're looking at simultaneous issues or if you don't know where to find the valve.

The World of Shutoff Valve Locations

You have to get to the valve before rising water can make a mess. That's why it's important to know their locations. Many shutoff valves aren't hard to find, but that's not always the case. You may have to ask the property owner, the builder, or whoever sold you the property for valve location information.

Sometimes, the valves may not even exist. It's far better for you to know this beforehand rather than during an emergency.

For example, many people assume there's no shutoff valve for the shower or tub. A lot of the time, that's true. However, some valves are hidden. They can exist behind walls, on the other side of walls, or even in hidden panels that aren't obvious to the untrained eye.

Valves for appliances that have a water line (washers, water heaters, etc.) aren't always obvious. You can usually find these valves located on or somewhere close to the appliance itself. If you're unsure, you can always use the main water shutoff valve.

For Hidden, Multiple, or Simultaneous Issues, Shut the Main Valve

If you have more than one drain backing up, or if the drain in use causes a problem with another drain elsewhere, then you may have a larger problem. For example, if you flush the toilet, and water starts to back up in the tub, then your issue can go beyond the typical clog.

If you don't know the location of a particular valve, or if you're seeing issues occurring simultaneously, then you need to shut the water supply entirely. To accomplish this, you need to turn off the water at the main valve.

If you're unaware of your main valve's location, it's very important that you familiarize yourself with it. Usually, you can find it in the basement by the water meter. If you have trouble finding it, search by wherever your main sewer pipe enters your home.

When in doubt, ask a professional to help you locate it. Despite how important this valve is, it's not always easy to find. Sometimes it's in a crawlspace, outside, or even buried.

If you have a plumbing emergency, turning off the proper shutoff valve can do a lot more for you than anything else. After you stop the water, then you can better assess the situation before you make the call to an emergency plumber like Art Stover Plumbing