If you’ve ever asked yourself “Where is my main water shut off?” you’re probably one of two people: either a responsible homeowner with a scout’s level of preparedness for disasters or someone currently undergoing a water-based emergency who’s about to come face-to-face with an extensive and expensive repair bill. Luckily, all that separates the former from the latter is a tiny bit of knowledge that you’ll find in our guide below.


Water Shut-off Valve Location

As the main water valve is where water enters your home, it is typically found in an accessible place near the perimeter of the house and at (or below) ground level. If you’re hunting for your valve, you can typically ignore upper levels or central portions of the house.

When looking in the appropriate areas, try to follow water pipes to the water main. The main valve should be located near where the water enters your home. It’s often found behind a large panel, as it’s illegal to cover it behind a wall. If you know where there’s a big panel in your home that isn’t the electrical panel, you may already know where the main water valve lives.


If you’re still having trouble finding it, make sure to check these locations based on your home’s configuration:shut off valve

  • If your home has a basement, the shut-off valve is usually located near the wall of the front foundation. If your basement has a mechanical room or a water heater or furnace, check near those locations.
  • If you have a crawlspace and a basement, you may find the shut-off valve inside the crawlspace instead of the basement itself. Consider installing a secondary valve in the basement for easier access going forward.
  • If you have a crawlspace but no basement, you should find the valve either under the kitchen sink or close to the water heater.
  • If your home is slab-on-grade construction, your water valve could be any of the places listed above, but most likely you’ll see it near the water heater or kitchen sink.

If you’re still having trouble, make sure to check the inspection report supplied to you when you purchased your home. The main water shut-off valve will be clearly labeled.

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Additional Fixture-Specific Shut-off Valve Locations

If you’re dealing with a fixture-specific issue, it may be easier to turn off the personal shut-off valve instead of running around and trying to find the main one. Luckily, these are generally easy to find and are located near the fixture for which they control:

  • For your sink, check the cabinets underneath and you should see a small shut-off valve. Turn the valve clockwise to stop the flow of water.
  • For your toilet, you’ll find the valve on the wall behind the throne. As with the sink, turn the valve clockwise.
  • For your washing machine, you should find two valves, and often a lever, on the wall behind the washer. If you’re not seeing them clearly, try to pull the washing machine away from the wall. If there’s no lever, turn the two valves clockwise to stop the water. If there is a lever present, turn it the other way.



Warning: If a valve you are turning hasn’t been used in a long time it may stick. Apply force slowly but don’t apply so much pressure that you may break the valve or the pipe. If you can’t move the valve, contact a professional plumber to help. Replacing the main valve and your angle stops may be important updates to your home that may save significant time and money when a problem does occur.


If You’re Still Having Water Trouble

If you’re struggling with your main water shut off valve or other plumbing issues, make sure to call Aqua Science today! Contact our friendly, professional, and expert-level service team by. With a large service area that covers Phoenix and Chandler, we’re ready and available to help your home or business with our results-oriented service team. If you’d like a free quote for any upcoming projects, fill out our online form, and a member of our team will be in contact soon!

Call us today 480-454-3700