Does your plumbing system have a water shut-off valve?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A major water leak in your plumbing system can cause significant property damage in addition to water loss and inconvenience.
  • If you do not have a shut-off valve, please consider having a licensed plumber install one.
  • If you already have a shut-off valve, please make sure you know where it is, and mark its location so other people can find it easily.
  • You can get a tag from OWASA to mark the location of your shut-off valve. Please contact Public Affairs at 919-537-4267 or info@owasa.org, or visit our offices in Carrboro. To download a printable tag, please click here

Above: A shut-off valve in a closet near the front of a house

Do you know where to find the emergency water shut-off valve for your home or busi­ness?

A major water leak in your plumbing system can cause significant property damage in ad­dition to water loss and inconvenience.

Plumbing codes require buildings constructed or renovated in recent decades to have shut-off valves, but their location is not always known.

In many cases, the shut-off valve is in the crawl space or basement, or in a closet on the side of the home or other building closest to the OWASA meter.

If you do not have a shut-off valve, please consider having a licensed plumber install one. If you already have a shut-off valve, please make sure you know where it is, and mark its location so other people can find it easily.

You can get a tag from OWASA to mark the location of your shut-off valve. Please contact Public Affairs at 919-537-4267 or info@owasa.org, or visit our offices in Carrboro. To download a printable tag (shown below), please click here.

 

We recommend that you determine which pipes, faucets and other fixtures are affected when you use the shut-off valve and which pipes (if any) are not.

For example, a shut-off valve will not turn off the water flow to an outdoor spigot and piping which are “upstream” of the valve.

As a basic check, you can turn the shut-off valve to the off position and then see which faucets and fixtures are affected. Most shut-off valves are closed by turning the wheel or lever clockwise; turn it counter-clockwise to open the valve.

Or, you may wish to have a plumber check which parts of your plumbing system are con­trolled by the shut-off valve(s).

We do not recommend that customers shut off water at our meter, but a licensed plumber can do so with the right equipment. (If the shut-off valve at our meter is damaged, the respon­sible party  pays for the damage.)

Questions or comments? Please contact us at 919-537-4267 or info@owasa.org.