Turn the water off: how to stop the water

To turn the water off, you will need to turn off the stopcock or stop tap. This is normally in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, or somewhere close to it. However, it could also be in your bathroom or in a cupboard near your meter.

The stopcock itself is usually made out of brass and has a brass handle. To turn off the mains, simply turn the stopcock clockwise until it won’t turn, just as you would with a normal tap. This will shut off the mains and turn off the supply to every outlet in your home. For a detailed guide on how to turn off the mains, click here.

Turn off the water – hot or cold

Depending on why you need to turn off the water, you may be able to turn it off at certain places without affecting the supply at other points in your home.

If you have a cold water cistern and a hot water cylinder

If you need to turn off the water to the cold taps in the bathroom or the toilet in the bathroom, you can do this by turning off the gate valve on the outlet pipe from the cold water storage cistern in the loft. This way, you’ll still have cold water at the kitchen sink, and hot in the rest of the home.

Gate valves are easy to identify. They usually have a round red wheel.

Should you need to turn off the hot water, you can do this by turning the gate valve in your airing cupboard on the supply pipe to the cylinder. The supply pipe is usually identifiable as the pipe connected to the cylinder at its lowest point.

For a more detailed guide on this topic, click here.

If you don’t have a cold cistern or you have a combi boiler

In this case, simply turning off the mains will shut off the supply to every outlet in the home.