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How Do I Turn Off My Water Main Quickly?

We are called quite often from customer’s who are experiencing water leaks, some of which if not isolated quickly can have devastating effects.

In this video we explain how to turn off your water main if you have a boundary stop-tap

In this quick video we’re going to show you how to turn your water off quickly in the case of an emergency.

So you need to turn your main off. You’ve either sprung a leak, you need to do some maintenance, you need to change a tap washer, or whatever other reason it is you need to turn your water main off.

Most houses have stop taps under the kitchen sink, but they might be under a floorboard, they might be in a larder, they might not have been turned for a long time. It’s highly probable that the ones that haven’t been turned in a long time will become really stiff so you’ll need to use spanners to start it to turn. And it’s highly likely that when you do it might start to weep afterwards.

So, what is the easier thing to do? In our opinion, we always go to the boundary stopcock. If your house is 30 or 40 years old and newer, you will normally find this in the pavement. If your property is older the stopcock maybe the garden, it could even be covered over.

Okay. So, here we’re outside and we’re looking for the boundary stopcock. On newer type properties you should l find it in the footpath. So we go outside and look up and down the footpath. You are looking for a little black circle, a lid, on closer inspection it’s got water inscribed in the lid right across the top. So this is our boundary stop tap. We know it’s the one for our property because there are no close neighbours, but generally they put them right outside the property for which it belongs.

Take your screwdriver and basically go to just flip the lid off, some will be a bit tighter than others, depends how many times it’s been off. Now inside, you should see a plastic key and when you turn that clockwise it turns off the water supply. Normally you will also see your water meter next to the key.

So basically, to turn off simply turn clockwise until it stops. And there it is, it’s off. When you’re doing any maintenance and you turn the stop-tap off always remember to put your lid back on because someone can come along this foot path and have an accident. Equally, to turn it back on, anticlockwise all the way until it stops. Generally I just turn it back very slightly, clockwise. Pop the lid back on, and you’re done. It’s easy as that.

There are obviously quite a few ways you can turn your stopcock off, but the boundary stopcock, if it’s operational, is by far the quickest. So please do check to see if you’ve got one. If you don’t have one, or it’s not operating as it should, ring your water authority because they’re obligated to provide you an operational boundary stopcock, and it’s free. It doesn’t cost you anything. If it doesn’t work call them.

 

NOTE

In some cases, you may find the key is missing, this we find happens in city locations where someone can easily turn off your water as a prank, so make sure you have one and know where it is. If you do not have one, you can simply use a 10mm Allen Key as shown below.

 

 

You can also request a replacment key from your water authority.

To find out who your local water authority is follow this link. Then, simply call or email them and request a replacment key.

Find out who is my local water authority here

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