How Do I Locate the Shut-Off Valve in My Home?

Customers have three options for shutting off their water to complete plumbing repairs:

  1. Turn off the main shut-off valve inside the property
  2. Turn off the water at the meter pit (usually located outside)
  3. Use the "curb stop" located outside the property, which is the County's means of shutting off the water.

1. The main shut-off valve is the easiest method to turn off your water for plumbing repairs, and it is located inside the property. Montgomery County Environmental Services does not have a record of where these valves are located, because they belong to the customer. If you can determine where the plumbing comes into the house, you can generally trace the incoming water line and find a shut-off valve there. There may be a pipe coming in through a basement wall or up through a utility room floor. In many homes, the water comes into the property in a utility room. The water would normally enter a property in a straight line from the meter pit, which is located outside. This may help you locate it.

2. If the location of the main shut-off valve is not apparent, and your water meter is not indoors, there is a meter pit outside your property. It is a 12" round lid on the ground. The meter pit can be opened with a pair of channel locks, by turning the hexagonal nut on top of the lid counter-clockwise to open the lid. In older homes, there may be a gate valve in the meter pit (such as you would use to turn on a garden hose) to turn the water on and off. If you do not have one of those, there may be a lock stop valve at the meter. It looks something like this.

Meter Valve

Figure 1: This is a lock-stop valve. When the 2 holes at the top are lined up, the valve is off, when it looks like the photo above, it is in the on position. You can turn the valve with a pair of channel locks.

3. The third option to turn off water is a "curb stop," which is the County's shut-off valve. It is typically located in the easement near the roadway or within a couple feet of the meter pit. We can use the curb stop to turn off your water, but it requires a special key. NOTE: There is a $43.25 trip charge to shut the water off at the curb stop for a plumbing repair. This cost includes water service restoration as long as it is done during normal business hours. This call requires a day's notice to schedule unless there is a flooding emergency. If you would like to schedule your water to be shut off at the curb stop, please contact Customer Service at 937-781-2688 during normal business hours. If you need this service for a flooding emergency after hours or on a weekend, additional charges may apply.

Ford Box Lid

Figure 2: This is the lid to the meter pit located outside the home. You can use this to help locate the water line that enters your home.

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38. How Do I Locate the Shut-Off Valve in My Home?