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Turning Off Your Water

Installing a new showerhead? Updating your powder room sink? Got yourself a brand new bidet? Before tackling any plumbing-related project in your home, your first stop (after the hardware store) should always be turning off the water main line! We tapped our friend Carly to tell us exactly how to get the job done–don’t worry, it’s super simple.

3 Types of Pipes

All water pipes are half inch


A popular choice because of its durability 


Braided plastic that is most often blue, red, or black

Galvanized Steel

Pro tip! If you have terrible water pressure, check to see if you have galvanized steel pipes. The steel corrodes from the inside out, which slowly creates a smaller opening for water to flow through. 


Step 1

Find the Main

Your water main is usually on the front wall of the house, next to the sewer pipes and anything running toward the street (where the city lines will be). It’s true–the shut off valve is usually in the basement, usually in a creepy closet. 

Step 2

Turn Off the Main

Once you’ve located the valve, you simply turn the handle 90 degrees clockwise to shut off the water. As Carly mentioned, it’s often a bright color and super easy to spot. 

Step 3

Drain the Pipes

After you’ve turned off the main, be sure to drain the pipes to remove all the water before you get started on your project.

Even if you don’t have any plumbing projects on the horizon, it’s always smart to know where your water main is in case of an emergency! Go ahead and check!

Watch Our Pro Carly Demonstrate

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