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Plumbing Advice: How to Turn Off Mains Water Supply


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Within Hollywood movies, when the character’s property has a flood they’ll portray water spouting out from the walls and the hole being plugged by whatever means possible, as someone hurriedly tries to get hold of a plumber. Unfortunately, as professional plumbers with years of experience in providing water leak repairs London will testify, in reality water leaks don’t occur this way – but the damage can be severe if not dealt with effectively. If you’re in the unfortunate situation that you have a water leak, then the first thing you’ll need to do is turn off the mains water supply, and below is advice on the best way to do this.

There are two ways in which you can turn off the water main supply to your property, the first one is internally and the second externally.


If you have a burst pipe or leak within your property, then you’ll need to turn off the mains water supply immediately. This will prevent further water damage occurring in the time it takes a plumber to reach you to repair the issue.

However, you shouldn’t wait until a leak or burst pipe occurs to find out how to turn off the water – instead this is something which should be done when you first move into a property.

The first stage of turning the water supply off internally is to locate the stopclock. This will usually be a T-shaped brass tap and in most modern houses it’s located under the kitchen sink. If you cannot find it there, try the downstairs toilet.

Once you’ve located the stopclock, turn it clockwise until it won’t move any further. You’ve now successfully located and turned off your property’s water supply. If the tap is stiff to turn, try spraying a lubricant on it, or find a way of providing leverage.


Before you turn the water off externally, it’s worth remembering that the valve belongs to your water board and may also affect your neighbour’s property, so it should only be turned off in extreme emergency situations.

To locate the stopclock outside, you’ll need to find a small metal cover which will usually be located somewhere in your garden or on the pavement outside. Once you’ve found this, pry open the lid and using the key inside, turn the stopclock clockwise until it cannot move anymore.

By turning off the water supply, either internally or externally you’ll prevent further water damage occurring in your property as the result of a burst or leaking pipe. You’ll also give yourself more time to find a reputable plumber to carry out any water leak repairs London that are required.

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