Knowing how to turn off your home’s main water supply valve comes in handy for more than plumbing repairs. Shutting off water to the whole house can lessen or prevent water damage after an accident or when freezing temperatures rupture the pipes.
In colder regions, the water line may enter through the floor of the foundation where the pipes won’t freeze during the winter. Look for a water meter where the water line enters the house and shutoff valves on both sides of the meter, as shown. On the valve between the meter and the rest of the home’s plumbing system, turn the valve clockwise to stop the water flow.
If you live in a warmer climate in which the ground doesn’t freeze, the water meter may be buried in an outdoor box with an access cover. Water then enters through the side of the house, depending on the type of foundation. To turn off the water, look for a valve along the water line between the meter and the house.