Your inside stop valve, also known as stopcock or stop tap, is the easiest way to turn your water on and off. As it’s in your home, it’s your responsibility to maintain, fix and replace – all new properties should be fitted with one.
How to find your inside stop valve
Your inside stop valve is inside your house and is normally located just after the water pipe enters the house. This is often under the kitchen sink, but can also be:
- In an airing cupboard
- Under the stairs
- Under the floorboards near the front door
- In the garage, utility room, bathroom or cellar
For flats, you may have a communal inside stop valve if your water supply is shared with your neighbours. This is normally located where your water supply enters the building. Sometimes an additional inside stop valve can be found where the water supply enters your flat.
How to use your inside stop valve
Using your inside stop valve should be easy and you should be able to operate the valve yourself.
How to turn your water offTurn your stop valve clockwise.
It may take a few turns to stop the water. You'll usually get to a point where you can’t turn it any more. You shouldn’t need to use excessive force to turn it further.
It may also take a few minutes for the water to stop running from your taps, as there will be some water left in the pipes from before you turned the water off.
Important: Pop a monthly reminder in your calendar to check your inside stop valve is working correctly. This way you’ll be confident you can turn off your water in an emergency.
How to turn your water on
Turn your stop valve anti-clockwise.
It may take a few turns to turn the water on. It may also take a few minutes for the water to start running from your taps, as it will need to run through the pipes again.
Watch the video to find out more
Other ways to turn off your water
- An accredited plumber can install SureStop, a device that allows you to turn your water off at the flick of a switch. This is helpful if your stop valve is in a hard to reach area. This must be installed in conjunction with an operating inside stop valve.
- An accredited plumber can use freezing and clamping as a short-term solution. This process creates an ice plug that lasts for around 30 minutes, allowing you to extend or repair pipework without draining the whole system.
- Install a permanent isolation valve called an Aladdin valve. This can be installed on hot water or cold water pipes in around 5 minutes.
- Use your outside stop valve.
If you're having problems finding or using your inside stop valve, please contact a plumber.