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If you spring a sudden water leak, what can you do? Turn off the water and call a trusted plumber like 5 Starr Plumbing. To save water and minimize water damage to your home, you can use shut-off valves to immediately stop the leak until a repair can be made. How do you turn off the water? Some homes have a lot of water shut-off valves. It's not common knowledge for most homeowners, but it is to plumbers. If you want to locate the valves and know how and when to use them, start with the localized shut-off valves.

Valves Near Water Fixtures

There's a valve behind your toilet that controls the flow of water to your toilet tank. Turn it counterclockwise when your toilet looks like it's about to overflow. It can stop the overflow or at least control the amount of overflow, so it isn't quite as bad as it could be.

There are valves under your bathroom sink. One controls the hot water and one controls the cold water. If you are going to replace sink fixtures, turn both of these valves off so you aren't spraying the entire bathroom in a shower of water when you remove the sink fixture.

Look under your kitchen sink. Just like your bathroom sink, you will have valves there to control the flow of water to your kitchen sink. Sometimes your dishwasher is controlled by these valves, so turning them off turns off the water supply to the dishwasher and your kitchen sink.

Otherwise, your dishwasher will have its own valve in the crawlspace or in the wall behind the actual appliance. When a dishwasher is leaking or overflowing, turn the water off via the valve.

Likewise, there are valves to control the water flow for your clothes washer. These are usually color-coded and inside an alcove in the wall behind your washer. Turn them off to repair or replace hoses and general washer parts.

The Main Water Valve

If you ever need to shut off the main water valve, look in your crawlspace or near your water meter. Your water meter has a large shut-off valve near it. That is the main valve to turn off all the water in your home. Many smaller, simpler homes have a single main water shut-off valve. 

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