How to turn off your water supply

No time for a video? View our step-by-step guide

If you're planning on doing any kind of plumbing work around the house, it's essential that you know how to turn off the water supply first. It might be tempting to get stuck straight in, especially when it seems like a simple problem. But if things don't go to plan, you'll be glad you saved your carpet – and your face – from a thorough soaking.

1. Get your tools ready

Before you get started, make sure you've got:

  • some protective glasses
  • some rubber gloves
  • some penetrating oil, such as WD40

2. Find your stopcock

The stopcock is the valve which lets you shut off the water supply to your home. You can usually find it under your kitchen sink, but it's sometimes found in a cupboard in the hallway instead.

3. Close the handle

You may find that the handle on the stopcock has seized up over time, especially if it hasn't been used in a while. If that's the case, you can spray it with some of the penetrating oil to help loosen it up. Once you've got it moving, turn the handle clockwise until it's fully closed to turn off the water supply.

4. Find your outside stopcock

If you need to turn off the water supply outside, just look for this square metal cover. It might be at the end of your drive, or it might be near the public pavement. Carefully prise the lid open with a screwdriver, and turn the handle inside clockwise until it's fully closed. If you've followed these steps, you should now know how to turn off your water supply. But if you're still not sure, or you need any advice, just get in touch with one of our engineers – they'll be happy to come out and take a look.