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Emergency Water Shut-Off

By 17 June 2024Clean Line

Emergency Water Shut-Off

Picture this: A burst pipe and water gushing uncontrollably into your home. Do you know what to do? Knowing how to shut off your water in an emergency can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and extensive, costly damage. At Clean Line, we’re committed to helping you maintain a safe and efficient home, and understanding emergency water shut-offs is a crucial part of that.

Why Knowing Your About Emergency Water Shut-Off Valve Matters

Immediate action can save your property from severe water damage. Water damage not only impacts the structural integrity of your home but also poses significant safety risks, including potential electrical hazards and mould growth. By quickly shutting off your water, you can prevent extensive damage and save on costly repairs to your entire house. 

Identifying Different Types of Water Shut-Off Valves

There are several types of water shut-off valves you should be familiar with:

    • Main Water Shut-Off Valve: This valve controls the water supply to your entire home and is typically located near your water meter.
    • Fixture Shut-Off Valves: These smaller valves are found near individual fixtures, such as sinks, toilets, and appliances.
    • Outdoor Water Shut-Off Valves: Used for garden hoses, irrigation systems, and outdoor faucets.
  • Water Heater

How To Locate Your Main Water Shut-Off Valve

Finding your main water shut-off valves is essential in an emergency. Common locations include basements, crawl spaces, utility rooms, laundry rooms, mechanical rooms, or outside near the foundation. Look for a round or lever handle on a pipe coming out of the ground or wall. Using reference points such as the water meter or utility lines can also help in locating the valve.

Steps To Shut Off Your Main Water Valve in an Emergency

  • Stay Calm: Keeping a clear head is crucial during an emergency.
  • Accessing the Valve: Quickly locate the valve. Clear any obstructions and ensure safe access to the valve.
  • Turning Off the Valve: For a gate valve, turn the wheel clockwise until it stops. For a ball valve, turn the lever 90 degrees.
  • Confirming Shut-Off: Check faucets to ensure water flow has stopped completely.

Shutting Off Individual Fixture Valves

In some cases, you may only need to shut off water to a specific fixture to stop that water flowing. Fixture valves are usually located directly below or behind the fixture. For example:

  • Sinks: Look under the sink for two small valves (one for hot water, one for cold).
  • Toilets: Find the valve near the floor behind the toilet.
  • Appliances: Locate valves behind the appliance or under the sink.

Special Considerations for Different Scenarios

  • Burst Pipes: Immediately shut off the main water valve and call a professional for repairs.
  • Frozen Pipes: Shut off the main valve if a pipe bursts due to freezing, and contact a plumber.
  • Outdoor Leaks: For irrigation systems or garden hoses, locate the outdoor shut-off valve and turn it off.

Preventive Measures and Maintenance Tips

Regular inspections are essential for maintaining your home’s plumbing system; routinely check all valves and plumbing for signs of wear or damage. Additionally, clearly labelling shut-off valves ensures quick identification if you’re experiencing a need for prompt action. Emergency preparedness also involves educating all household members on how to locate and operate the shut-off valves, ensuring everyone knows what to do in case of a water emergency.


Knowing how to shut off your water in an emergency is an essential skill for every homeowner. By familiarizing yourself with your home’s plumbing and shut-off valves, you can act quickly to prevent significant damage and ensure the safety of your home and family.

At Clean Line, we believe in proactive home maintenance and we provide emergency plumbing in Winnipeg. If you’re unsure about your plumbing or need professional inspection and maintenance services, contact us today. We’re here to help you keep your home safe and efficient.