Water is a vital resource in our daily lives, but there are times when you need to shut off the water supply to your home. Whether it’s for a plumbing repair, preventing water damage, or preparing for a storm, knowing how to locate and use your water shut-off valve outside is crucial. In this guide, we’ll walk you through five simple steps to find and operate your outdoor water shut-off valve efficiently. For expert assistance, consider drain cleaning Tulsa services.

Why You Might Need to Shut off Your Water

Before we dive into the steps, let’s briefly discuss some common scenarios that may require you to shut off your water supply:

  1. Plumbing Repairs

When you’re dealing with a leaky pipe, a burst pipe, or any other plumbing issue, the first step is to turn off the water supply to prevent further damage and flooding.

  1. Fixture Replacement

If you’re installing a new faucet, toilet, or any plumbing fixture, it’s essential to shut off the water to that specific area to avoid flooding during the installation.

  1. Emergency Situations

During natural disasters like hurricanes or severe storms, it’s advisable to shut off your water supply to prevent contamination or damage to your plumbing system.

  1. Winterization

Before freezing temperatures arrive, you should shut off your outdoor water supply to prevent frozen pipes and costly repairs.

  1. Water Conservation

Shutting off your water supply when it’s not in use helps conserve water and reduce your utility bills.

Now, let’s get into the steps for finding and using your outdoor water shut-off valve.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to gather a few essential tools and materials:

  • A flashlight: This will be handy if the valve is located in a dark or poorly lit area.
  • Adjustable wrench or pliers: You’ll need this tool to turn the valve.
  • Garden gloves: These will protect your hands from dirt and potential sharp edges.
  • Safety goggles: Wearing goggles can shield your eyes from debris or dirt when accessing the valve.

Step 2: Locate the Water Meter

The first step in finding your outdoor water shut-off valve is to locate your water meter. In most homes, the water meter is typically installed near the front of your property, close to the street or sidewalk. It’s usually housed in a concrete or plastic box with a removable lid.

How to Find the Water Meter

  1. Head outside to the front of your property.
  2. Look for a rectangular or round lid flush with the ground.
  3. Use your flashlight if necessary to illuminate the area.
  4. Carefully lift the lid using your gloved hands.

Step 3: Identify the Main Shut-off Valve

Once you’ve uncovered the water meter, you’ll find two main components: the water meter itself and the main shut-off valve. The shut-off valve is typically located on the homeowner’s side of the meter, and it may look like a lever, a round wheel, or a square knob.

Types of Shut-off Valves

  • Lever Valve: If you see a lever-style valve, it will have a position perpendicular to the pipe when open and parallel to the pipe when closed.
  • Round Wheel Valve: A round wheel valve is turned clockwise to shut off the water and counterclockwise to open it.
  • Square Knob Valve: Square knob valves are turned clockwise to shut off the water and counterclockwise to open it.

Step 4: Shut off the Water

Now that you’ve located the main shut-off valve, it’s time to turn off the water supply. Use your adjustable wrench or pliers to operate the valve, following the instructions based on the type of valve you have:

Shutting off a Lever Valve:

  1. If you have a lever-style valve, turn the lever to a perpendicular position to the pipe.
  2. Ensure that the lever is firmly in place, stopping the flow of water.

Shutting off a Round Wheel Valve:

  1. For a round wheel valve, use your wrench or pliers to turn it clockwise.
  2. Continue turning until the valve is tightly closed.

Shutting off a Square Knob Valve:

  1. With a square knob valve, use your wrench or pliers to turn it clockwise.
  2. Keep turning until the valve is completely closed.

Step 5: Verify Water Supply is Off

After turning off the main shut-off valve, it’s crucial to confirm that the water supply to your home is indeed off. You can do this by checking a faucet or fixture inside your house. Turn on any faucet or tap, and if no water flows out, you’ve successfully shut off the water supply.


Knowing how to find and operate your outdoor water shut-off valve is an essential skill for homeowners, especially for plumbing repairs, emergencies, or routine maintenance. Follow these five simple steps to shut off your water supply safely and effectively, whether you need to perform drain cleaning Tulsa or address other water-related issues. Remember to gather the necessary tools, locate your water meter, identify the main shut-off valve, and use the appropriate method to turn off the water to protect your home from potential damage.

Read more about our business by visiting About Us | Plumbing Tulsa | Acts of Service Plumbing today. We specialize in professional plumbing services, including drain cleaning Tulsa.

Also, check out one of the many clients we have served around the Tulsa area: Navien Inc.