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Plumber in Havertown Advises: How to Shut off Your Main Valve in an Emergency


Much like most other emergencies in your home, with a plumbing emergency, you need to do your homework ahead of time. You need to plan for the worst or else you may be experiencing the worst, such as damage to your home, your possessions, or in the absolute worst-case scenario, your family.

Our professional plumbers at Feehan are experienced in all kinds of plumbing emergencies. Unfortunately, we probably won’t be there the moment a serious plumbing incident happens, such as a burst pipe that’s causing immediate and aggressive flooding in your home. Prepare for these instances and learn how to shut off your proper main valve inside before a disaster strikes. Our emergency plumbers in Havertown strongly suggest to follow these guidelines:

Finding the Correct Water Shut-off Valve

Depending on the setup of your plumbing system, the right main supply shutoff valve could be located in the following areas:

  1. Your Basement. Typically found near the front foundation wall, the valve is usually 3-5 feet from where the main water is entering your home.
  2. Your Crawlspace. If you live in an older home, the valve may be located in the crawlspace, in which case you might want to consider installing a secondary valve inside your actual basement.
  3. Slab-on-grade Construction. This means that your valve is probably located near the water heater or underneath the sink in the kitchen. Make sure to double-check because, with this type of construction, it could be anywhere.

Pick the Correct Shut-off Valve to Turn Off

If you have a fire sprinkler, make sure you know which valve is which. To shut down the water for a broken sprinkler line, the correct valve will be closest to the main water line entry point. With all other plumbing supply shutdowns, our emergency plumbers in Havertown advise you to follow the guidelines below. If your home…

  1. DOES have a fire sprinkler and an inside or outside main water meter: Engage the valve above the main meter and downstream from the fire sprinkler system “tee”.
  2. DOES NOT have a fire sprinkler and an inside or outside main water meter: Engaging either valve will suffice.

Closing the Shut-off Valve

  1. Turn the handle clockwise (to the right) two times around.
  2. Give the level handle valves a ¼ turn, until the handle isn’t parallel with the pipe. You shouldn’t be able to go any further than a ¼ turn.
  3. Open a faucet of a tub or sink on the highest level in your home to relieve pressure and observe it to ensure a full shutdown. Proceed to do the same with all the other faucets in your home.
  4. Cut power to your water heater and boiler. If you have a gas water heater, turn the thermostat down to “Pilot”. If you drain the heater, shut off the gas.

To be 100% safe, call our emergency plumbers so we can help prepare and step you through this entire process beforehand. Or if you have an urgent plumbing situation right now, call our emergency plumbers in Havertown right away!

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