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How to Shut Off The Water In Your Home

man shutting off the water to his home in austin

Are you an Austin homeowner? Do you know how to shut off the water in your home?

There may come a time when you need to turn off the water to your home. Perhaps you’re experiencing a major leak, or maybe you are doing some plumbing work. Maybe it’s cold outside—and you’ve heard that shutting off your water can prevent your pipes from freezing, or worse, from bursting.

Whatever the reason, it is important to know how to shut off the water. Which is why we wrote this post—to keep you safe and informed. Follow along as we explain exactly how a professional Austin plumber would shut off the water in your home.

Prefer video? Watch this short video to see how to shut off the water in your home.

Steps to Shut Off The Water In Your Home

1. Locate Your Shut Off Valve

You’ll typically find your shut off valve outside, a few yards from the front of your home. It’s often next to the city meter (the device that calculates the exact amount of water you use, which you shouldn’t touch) and might be next to your neighbor’s shut-off valve. Simply open the cover and grasp the lever—you should be able to turn it clockwise, which will turn the water off to your house.

Keep in mind that every house is different. Not every home has a home-owner’s shut-off, meaning you can shut your water off directly from your home.

2. Shut Off Your Sprinkler System

Something that many homeowners often overlook is their sprinkler system, which can also freeze in the colder months. Turning off your water in the winter is a great cue to remember to also shut off your sprinkler system. Once you locate your sprinkler systems shut off valve(s), simply shut them off as well by turning the valve counter-clockwise. This will shut off any water that might otherwise go through your sprinkler system, preventing burst pipes.

Not sure how to find your sprinkler shut-off valve? Try this Austin plumber top-tip: spot the back-flow preventer (which should be attached to your home) to see where in your home (or in your yard) your sprinkler’s pipes are attached to. From there, you should be able to trace the pipe to your sprinkler’s shut off valve (often located in the ground).

3. Turn Off Your Main Water Valve

Another way to turn off your water is to turn off your home’s main water valve, which will turn off all the water that flows through your house. Keep in mind this will also shut off the water that flows into your water softener (if you have one) so you can rest easy knowing all your pipes are accounted for.

To turn off your main water valve, simply locate it—it’s often inside your home, along its perimeter, since this is where the water first enters your house. Your shut-off valve may be located behind a plastic access panel, so keep an eye out for that, as well.

After you find it, you can shut it off depending on what type of valve it is. If it’s a ball valve—which has a straight handle that runs parallel to the pipe when it is open—you should be able to turn it off by moving the handle from a parallel position to a perpendicular one. If it’s a gate valve with a round handle, simply turn the handle several times clockwise to fully turn off your water.

Work With A Professional Austin Plumber

Can’t find one or all the water valves mentioned? No problem!

You can work with a professional Austin plumber to help you locate any of the aforementioned valves, to ensure your water is completely shut off ahead of winter. If you work with Stan’s, our professional plumbers will also perform a full system check—ensuring that all your pipes, heat pump, and faucets are leak-free and winterized. We can also recommend hose-bibs, pipe insulation, and other products, to ensure your pipes are well-protected from freezing, and that your home is completely ready for winter.

Contact us today to winterize your home!