How to find and use your outside stop valve

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Watch our short video on how to find and use your outside stop valve

The outside stop valve, also known as a stopcock, controls the cold water supply going into your home.

You may need to use the outside stop valve if you can't turn off your water supply using the internal stop valve, or you need to repair a leak on your supply pipe. This is the section of pipe that connects your home to the water main in the road.

Finding the outside stop valve

It is usually located near to the boundary of your home. If you have a water meter, it will generally be located in the same pit or chamber as the meter.

Not all properties will have an outside stop valve fitted and this is quite common if your home is very old, or if the incoming water supply serves both your home and one or more of your neighbours.

Using the outside stop valve

You or your plumber can turn off the water supply entering your home by turning the valve clockwise to close.

You may need to obtain a valve or universal stopcock key from a DIY chain or plumber's merchants. Turn the valve carefully to prevent breaking it.

You should also bear in mind that if your home is on a shared water supply, turning the valve off will affect your neighbour's water supply.

To turn the water back on, simply turn the valve anti-clockwise.

Watch our short how-to video guide above which explains how to find and use the valve.

Having problems?

If you can't find your inside stop valve or have problems using it, use our approved plumber search to find a plumber in your area. They will be able to help.

Find an approved plumber

Alternatively, if you can't turn your water off using the inside or outside stop valve, please call us on 0800 3169 800 and one of our team will be here to help 24 hours a day.

This service is available for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Please note, voice calls or mobile numbers aren’t accepted via this number: 0800 3169 898.
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