How can I locate my internal stop tap to turn off my water in an emergency?

Your internal stop tap (also sometimes called a stop valve or stopcock) is the point where you can shut off the water supply to your home or business.

It looks like a spout-less tap or lever and sits between two lengths of pipe acting as a connector.

Make sure you are aware of the location of your internal stop tap and check it’s working regularly as you may need it in an emergency, such as a burst pipe.

In a home the inside stop tap is usually located under the kitchen sink, but can also be found in the following places:

  • Kitchen cupboard

  • Downstairs bathroom or toilet

  • Garage or utility room

  • Cellar

  • Under the stairs

You should be able to operate the valve yourself. Turning the valve clockwise will close it, reducing or stopping altogether the amount of water passing through your pipes. It may take a few minutes for the water to stop altogether. To turn your water back on, simply turn the valve anti-clockwise. Turn it on and off slowly, never force it. If you over tighten or use excessive force you may damage the stop tap.

If your internal stop tap is not turning or shutting off, you'll need to contact a plumber to help to fix this. To find a plumber near you, use our WaterSafe search.

WaterSafe plumber Colin Stainer shows you how to find and turn off your stop tap in our short video.

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