Knowing where and how to shut off water for the entire house or any part of it can be mighty important in an emergency. That’s why it is extremely important for all members of the family to know where the valves are and in which direction they should be turned to shut off the water.
Obviously, the most important valve in the house is the main shut-off valve for the entire plumbing system. This valve, generally located on the house side of the water meter, usually has a handle like a wheel. If it has not been used in many years, it may require a wrench to turn it.
In addition to the main shut-off valve at the meter, the well plumbed house has individual shut-off valves on the branch lines leading to individual fixtures, groups of fixtures or equipment such as water heaters, water softeners, automatic washers, etc.
Many contractors, when installing plumbing fixtures, provide separate shut-off valves or stops for each individual fixture. These will be found on the supply line below the fixture. These individual stops are a great convenience to regulate water flow in case of repairs as well as emergencies.