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    Turn off water supply

    Summary: Learn how to turn off the water supply, turn off water at main supply, isolate water supply using a gate valve, stop water via a stopcock and drain a cistern.

    Turning off the water supply

    The method for turning off your water supply varies depending on the type of system you have or whether it’s the hot or cold water you want turned off. Either way, it is a simple job to do once you know where to turn the water supply off.

    • If your taps are connected to the mains supply, then the procedure is simple. Find the indoor stop valve and turn it off by twisting the tap. It may be stiff to move, in which case either use a spanner to help you or apply some oil to grease the joint. Once turned off, drain the water from the system by turning the taps on a running them until the water stops.
    • If the water to your hot/cold taps connects from the cistern (water storage tank), then you will need to locate a gate valve or mini stopcock and turn it off. This is usually found by the cold water tank. If a stop valve is not found, then you will have to drain the cistern itself.
    • If you need to drain the cistern, it will need to be turned off at the mains supply. Alternatively, you can lift the ball valve inside the tank and tie it to a length of wood positioned across the top to keep it suspended. This will prevent any more water entering the system. Then run the taps until the cistern is empty. The cistern is usually found in the loft.
    • If you need to turn off the water supply using the outdoor stopcock, then you will need to locate it. You may need to contact your water company to find out where it is situated. When found, take off the cover, insert and turn the stopcock key which will cut of the water flow to your water system.
    • In circumstances where you want to isolate a sink or toilet from the supply, locate the isolation valve for that particular fixture (often found underneath it) and turn it to the ‘off’ position.

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