Hints & Tips

July 2021

Plumbing Emergency? Find Out How to Turn Off the Water Supply

Plumbing Emergency? Find Out How to Turn Off the Water Supply

In a plumbing emergency, it is essential to turn off your water supply at the mains quickly to prevent major damage. Our plumbing tips will help you find the shutoff valve quickly until a 24 hour emergency plumber can arrive to fix the leaking pipe or resolve the problem. 

How to Turn the Water Off Under the Sink

The stop tap or stop cock at most properties is found under the kitchen sink, in a cupboard in the hallway or occasionally in a downstairs bathroom. In an emergency, this valve will turn off the cold water supply to the entire house.

A stopcock valve is a brass valve with a water pipe on each side. Simply turn the tap clockwise to close off the water. If the main valve has not been turned in a while, it might be a bit stiff so use some WD40 to help loosen it ready to turn it clockwise.

TIP - It is useful to know exactly where the main water shutoff valve is prior to an emergency. If you ever have a boiler repair or plumbing call-out for general maintenance ask the engineer to help you locate it, or if you rent the property ask the landlord.

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What About Hot Water?

Hot water cylinders also have a valve that you can turn within your airing cupboard. Again, turn this valve clockwise to shut off the hot water. Properties with combination boilers will have the water supply cut off when the main shutoff valve for the house is turned.

How to Check If Water Supply In House Is Off

The best way to check if the stop valve has turned the water off is to turn on the cold-water tap in the kitchen. Once the tap starts to slow and then stops, you will know the water is off, ahead of getting the plumbing issue fixed.

Turn Off Outside Main Water Valve

The outside stopcock is usually found under a cover at the end of a drive or near a pavement, next to the water meter. Turning the valve clockwise will again cut off the water supply to the house helping you keep things under control until a local emergency plumber arrives.

Can I Isolate Individual Appliances?

Many appliances have an individual isolation valve, handy if you discover that an appliance has had a leak. Simply insert the screwdriver into the slot and turn it 90 degrees. This will shut off the water to the appliance or bathroom fixtures.

Turn Off Water Supply to a Washing Machine

To shut off the water supply to a washing machine or dishwasher, firstly locate the main water shut off valve for the appliance. For washing machines served by two valves (hot and cold), they simply work like outdoor valves. Turn them both off clockwise. Some washing machines may have a lever-style valve to shut off the water to the machine. To use this type of valve, simply pull the lever down.  

How to Turn Off Water to Toilet

The shutoff valve is attached to the pipe behind your toilet. You will be able to put a flathead screwdriver in the slot of the isolation valve and turn 90 degrees. This means you do not need to turn off the water supply to the entire house. Some older toilets do not have an isolation valve, and therefore you will need to use the main water shut off valve.

How to Turn Off Water Supply to Bathroom Taps

If you want to turn off the water supply to bathroom taps, the valve is likely to be under the sink. Using a flathead screwdriver, turn the valve until the slot on the valve is at a right angle to the pipe. Run the tap as you isolate the tap to check if the water is off. Another option is to turn the main valve off for the property.

Once you have turned the water off to the house or problem area or appliance, it is time to call an emergency plumber to come and fix the issue.

No Call-out Fee Local Plumbers

Drain Doctor provides an emergency plumbing service throughout the UK. Our local plumbers are likely to be with you in under an hour to resolve your plumbing problems. As experts in emergency plumbing, we will be able to provide a rapid response to any leak, heating or drainage problem.

We pride ourselves on a quick response time, so even if you have not been able to turn the water to the house off, an emergency plumber will be with you fast.

How Much Does a 24 Hour Emergency Plumber Cost?

Drain Doctor does not charge a call-out fee; instead, we head to your property and give a no-obligation quote before conducting any emergency plumbing work. As your local plumbing company, we won't charge you extra even if it is a weekend, late night or bank holiday.

Whether you are a home or business owner, a 24-hour plumber is only ever a phone call away.

Do Plumbers Work at Night?

A Drain Doctor 24-hour plumber can come out at any time whether that is midnight or 6 am.

It might be the case that a quick fix is needed to stop the problem there and then, to allow you to sleep easy until the morning. As we have local Drain Doctor engineers throughout the UK, it will then be no problem for them to head back the next day and put in a permanent fix.

Better still, there is no additional charge for our late night, weekend or bank holiday plumbing services, we are simply open and ready to help with any heating, water meter or leak issues.

Find an Emergency Plumber

  • Pop your postcode into our ‘Find your local engineer box’

  • Complete the contact form and someone will give you a call

  • We will let you know when the emergency plumber will arrive via email and phone