How to turn the water off?
If there’s a plumbing emergency or if you need to do some work involving the plumbing, then you may need to turn the water off. However, turning off the various parts of a household plumbing system can be more difficult than it sounds.
If you’re experiencing an emergency with water gushing everywhere then this could be highly stressful, as the longer you leave it the more damage is being done.
We have put this “how to turn the water off” article together for your information. Once you have read it we recommend you become familiar with the plumbing set up in your home. You can read our how to guide below.
How to guide
Isolating Water to Appliances
Your home may have isolation valves fitted. This means you can turn off the water supply without having to shut off other outlets. Isolating valves are either lever or screw head operated and are positioned on pipes leading up to the appliance such as a washing machine or dishwasher.
Mains Water Supply (Direct Feed)
The mains water supply into the house can be turned off at the main stop cock or stop valve which is normally located under or near the kitchen sink. This will stop the mains water up to the stop cock. However if you have a cylinder for example, then remember you may also need to turn this off too (see below). If you can find the stop valve then you should be able to turn it off out in the street. It can be difficult to find however it is normally by the pavement in close proximity to your home. These are normally covered and have a mark. We advise you check with the water board first because you may unknowingly turn off the neighbours water and you may also require a special key.
Water Supply (Indirect Feed)
Many people turn off the mains but forget to isolate other water supplies which are fed indirectly. Water stored in a cylinder or cistern in the loft for example would supply water to the bathroom and other parts of the home. To turn this off you’ll need to turn off the valve on the cylinder or cisterns outlet supply.
Hot Water Supply
There are many different types of boilers such as combi, regular or system, so you will need to know whether it is direct feed or indirect feed. If you have a combi boiler then the hot water is supplied direct, so by closing the mains stop valve it will shut off the water. However, if you have a hot water cylinder this will be an indirect supply and there will be a valve on the pipe from the cold water storage cistern to the hot water cylinder. You will need to find this and turn it off.
Central Heating Systems
When draining down your central heating system you will need to stop it refilling, and depending on what type of system you have, there are a number of ways of doing this.
On a vented system, the water level is kept topped up by the feed and expansion cistern so if you drain down this type then you will need to temporarily close off the supply. Either close off the valve on the incoming pipe to the cistern or tie up the float valve.
On a sealed system, the filling loop will supply new water and will remain closed unless the system needs topping up. Keep it closed and only turn back on when you need to refill the system.
In an emergency such as a major water leak knowing how to isolate the mains water could save your house from unnecessary water damage. Thanks to Surestop, the process has been made a whole lot easier as Surestop allows you to turn off the mains water supply with the flick of a switch.
If you’d like to have a Surestop Water Switch professionally installed by our qualified plumbers, click the button below or call us on 01628 533 550 to contact our customer care team for a free quote.
MORE PLUMBING AND HEATING TIPS!
Check out our plumbing and heating tips page. We maybe able to help you isolate the mains water, fix a leak or unblock a toilet, before having to call out an engineer. Also please read our gas safety article which has been written to help keep you safe.
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