Picture of a stopcock valve

What to do when you can't find your water stopcock

Posted on 10/05/2018

Your water stopcock is a crucial part of your home. It is the “off” switch for your water mains, and you’ll need to know where it is pretty quickly if you have a serious leak or burst pipe. But you’ll also need to know where it is for more everyday occurrences like having the plumber over.

Knowing how to find your stopcock is one thing, but what do you do when you can’t find yours?

Here are our thoughts on where to find your hidden stopcock.

Now it’s worth pointing out that some houses will have both an interior and exterior stopcock; our guide is mainly for interior stopcocks.

The first place to look is the kitchen. A lot of stopcocks are found underneath the sink. But some are also found behind larger appliances, like cookers and refrigerators.

If your property has been renovated or refurbished, you might find that your stopcock is in the room that was originally the kitchen. If you know which room that was, have a search around it.

Picture of a disconnected stopcock Everyone should know where their stopcock is located

Other rooms to check, where stopcocks are fairly common are the garage or the utility room.

You might also find your stopcock is next to your meters, which can sometimes be found hidden in specially designed cupboards around the property. So make sure you check there too.

If you’re still struggling, consider asking your neighbour. Often properties are built to the same specifications and so the stopcock will be in the same place in both buildings. Find out where your neighbour’s stopcock is, and there is a good chance yours in the same place.

Consider asking neighbours if they know where your stopcock might be found

Speaking of neighbours, if you live in a flat in a shared building you might find the stopcock is located in a communal area – such as a foyer or corridor – and serves to stop the water for multiple flats at once. If this turns out to be the case you should always make sure you notify other residents if you plan to turn yours off, unless it’s an emergency.

Once you do find your stopcock be sure to check it is in good working order at least twice a year.