Turning Off Your Water

Know How to Turn Off Your Water

There may be occasions when you need to turn your water supply off, such as when repairing a simple drippy faucet, replacing the water heater, installing an irrigation system. Most homes are equipped with interior and exterior shut-off valves for this purpose.  

Note: Most additions including plumbing additions, require a permit. Please contact Building Inspections at 972-941-7140 or before beginning the project.

Interior Shut-Off Valves

These are typically found in the following places:
  • Above water heaters
  • Behind toilets
  • Inside bathroom and kitchen cabinets, under the sink

Exterior (private) Shut-Off Valves

With this valve, you can shut water off for the entire house, a specific exterior faucet or an irrigation system. The valve for this is located in a valve box outside the house. This rectangular, plastic (sometimes concrete) valve box is usually black or green and is set in the ground near the front faucet. The box may be difficult to find because it is seldom used and over the years may become covered with a layer of dirt or shrubbery. This box may also be erroneously marked "water meter." However, it is not the water meter.

Inside the box there can be up to five wheel valves and will require a trial-and-error process to determine the function of each valve. Some valves will turn water off and some valves may be designed to drain or "bleed" water from the water lines.

Irrigation systems can usually be shut-off at two points - at the automatic control box or a valve control box. The valve control boxes are set in the ground, sometimes near the water meter. They too, are rectangular, green plastic, or concrete and can be covered by a layer of dirt and grass. Inside the box there will be two wheel valves and a series of smaller bleed valves. Either of the wheel valves will shut-off the water.

Exterior Shut-Off at the Meter Box

If you have the tools to access the meter box, then the water can be turned off at the city’s meter. Most residential meter boxes are located by the street between the sidewalk and curb. After inserting the key, turn the key counter clockwise one-half turn, lean the key toward the outer edge of the box and lift up. To re-close the lid, reverse the process. Some types of meter box keys do not work in our meter boxes and will turn only about a quarter of a turn.

The 1" x 1/2" wedge-shaped valve will usually be on the street side of the meter. An arrow showing water flow direction will be stamped on top of the valve. Using a wrench (water shut-off wrench, crescent wrench, pipe wrench, or pliers), turn the valve 180 degrees clockwise. The water will be off when the arrow points away from the meter. To restore water service, turn the valve in the reverse direction.

If none of the options above work, the city can turn off your water at the meter during normal business hours. There is a $20 cost recovery charge, per trip. You may contact our office at 972-941-7105, Monday - Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.