If you currently have a broken water pipe in your home
- Locate your emergency water shut-off valve (usually in your basement, garage, crawl space, or under your home) and turn off your water by turning the handle to the left until it is snug. If you do not have a shut-off valve (many apartments, manufactured homes, and older homes do not), call your water provider to turn off your water at the street.
- Then, turn on all of your faucets and flush your toilet(s) to drain the rest of the water from your pipes and reduce the pressure from the burst pipe.
- Document the damage by taking pictures with your phone or camera for your landlord and/or insurance claim before doing any cleanup.
Who is responsible for fixing broken water pipes?
Burst pipes inside your home or yard are your responsibility; you will need to contact a plumber and then your home or renters insurance . Burst pipes outside your home (in the street, water gushing from fire hydrants) is the responsibility of your water provider – call them to report an issue.
What is an emergency water shut-off valve?
The emergency water shut-off valve or master shut-off valve is what you will use to shut off the water supply to your home in an emergency. Typically, it is located in the basement, crawl space under your home, or in your garage. It may also be located outside your home by the foundation. Some homes do not have shut-off valves. If you cannot locate your water shut-off valve, or if it appears to be stuck, check with a plumber.
Learn where your home's shut-off valve is and how to use it before an emergency
Knowing where your home’s shut-off valve is, and making sure that the other members of your household know too, will help ensure that you can quickly shut your water off during or after an emergency. This is most important when the weather is cold and there is a risk of frozen or burst pipes.
How to turn off your home's water supply in an emergency
Turn the valve to the left until it is snug. Depending on the type of valve that you have this will either be moving the valve a quarter or half turn or if you have a valve that is similar to an outdoor spigot handle you may need to turn it several full circles to completely shut off your home’s water supply.
Examples of Home Emergency Master Shut Off Valves
Your water shut off valve may take many different forms. Below are a few of the most common types of shutoff valves:
Turning Off Your Water at the Street
In an emergency, it is also possible to turn your water off at the street. Contact your water provider for more information about how to do this at your home.