You have a burst water pipe or one that is leaking – you must get the water shut off as quickly as possible. If you don't know how to do that, you're going to have a very big mess on your hands. Here, you will learn how to shut off city and well water as well as limiting the shut off to certain fixtures to help you get things dried up as quickly as possible.
City Water Shut Off
If the water feeding into your home comes from the city water system, you should be able to find the water shut off valve by the water meter. If the valve isn't directly beside the meter, it could be on the ground below hidden under an access panel.
For under-ground valves, open the panel and look for a rotary handle or metal flange. If it's a flange, you will need a wrench to turn it off. Turn to the right to restrict the water flow.
Tip: Store the right size wrench in the valve compartment so that you can quickly turn the water off when you need to. This will eliminate the several minutes it could take you to find the right size wrench and get back to the valve.
Well Water Shut Off
If your home is fed water from a well, go to the area where the pressure tank is located. Look on the wall around the tank – you should see a lever valve on a pipe that feeds into the tank. Turn the lever to shut the water off quickly.
Localized Shut Off
If you just need to shut the water off to a faucet or fixture, you don't need to shut the water off to the entire home; however, if you aren't sure where the shut off valve is, you may want to shut everything off until you can get the localized valve closed.
Typically, the water supply shut off to each sink is located on the pipes under each sink. In the bathroom, this valve could shut the water off to the sink and shower, and possibly the toilet. It is in your best interest to test the shut off valves when you aren't facing a plumbing emergency and create a map showing yourself what valves need to be turned off to discontinue water flow to each fixture in your home.
Once you have the water turned off, it's time to call in the pipe repair professionals and allow them to make the repairs to the water lines that are causing your problems.